This morning I sat down with a cup of coffee and proceeded to watch the various Sunday morning talk shows as I read my paper. It is a routine I have done for years.
But watching David Gregory grill his victims ... guests ... by pulling out quotes (often out of context and often from years ago) I became acutely aware of what I have thought for a long, long time.
Who in their right mind would want to run for President of the United States? In this day and age of computers reporters can pull out papers written back in college or a speech made in 1978 (as was the case for Governor Jerry Brown of California today).
On the one hand it is very interesting to someone like me who is far removed from the process; but at the same time it makes me realize the extent of privacy that has been lost for anyone considering a run at national office.
The Republicans currently have four candidates left - but it seems so many people are unhappy with all of them. But given the amount of scrutiny and dissecting of every word, who could possibly look good after going through such a gauntlet?
It is always easy to criticize when you are not the person who has to make a decision. Talk to any person who has gone from an employee to becoming the supervisor, manager, boss, CEO - they will almost always tell you they had no idea how complicated and involved things could be when they got on the other side of the desk.
When you are in a position to just criticize or ask questions and do not have to defend a given position, it is rather easy. The less you know about something, the easiest the solutions appear to be. The result is that often, it seems, our candidates are staying away from good, solid, logical arguments to speaking in sound bites and catch phrases.
I enjoy watching the TV shows, I admit that. But I am also troubled that this saturation of news media and instant communication is causing many, many very qualified and excellent people from seeking higher office. And that is too bad.
Having to be afraid of the attacks you will encounter by the press on your family, your faith, your views, your earlier positions and knowing you will be forced to defend yourself through a maze of reporters who are eager to "one up" others is, well, deflating.
I find the political pundits and the news shows very informative and interesting. But at the same time the old adage of "familiarity breeds contempt" seems to be a double entendre.
The above picture shows Candy Crowley of CNN. She is, by far, my favorite political commentator and though she asks tough questions, they are, in my opinion, fair, insightful and relevant.
As a final thought, I want to add that I have a great deal of respect for each of the persons and their families who are campaigning. I do not agree with many positions of the Republican candidates but I respect them for having the courage to go through the process of running - and that must be so very hard for them and their families. I wish more people would be willing to get involved from both parties.
Thanks for stopping by.