Roger L. Simon

Presidential Candidates as Television Actors with Bad Ratings

Adding to the comedy of yesterday’s post, another perpetual (or semi-perpetual) candidate Chris Dodd has complained that those snotty front runners (or semi-front runners, in Edwards’ case) Hillary Clinton and John Edwards are thinking of practicing “debate elitism” and leaving out the also-rans.

Never mind that Dodd is not even scoring one percent in the latest Gallup Poll (how much would Paris Hilton score, if she decided to run?) – we have to hear from Christopher.

Okay, Senator Dodd, just what is the cutoff and what qualifies you to run for President, especially since your campaign is generating no discernible interest? Oh, yes, you are a US Senator. Okay, good, but so are 99 other people. And there is some question that being a Senator is even an important qualification for the Presidency, which is primarily an executive job. Corporate CEOs have more experience with that.

Actually, I wouldn’t mind seeing Bill Gates or Steve Jobs run for President. They’re vastly more imaginative people than anyone we have had in the White House for some time, possibly since the days of the Founding Fathers. (Gates and Jobs really did found amazing companies.) Also, they are forced to find pragmatic solutions to problems and tend not to bloviate. (Okay, they do preen, but they have demonstrably accomplished something, as opposed to most Senators.)

Anyway, enough of that. The basic question is raised: who determines whose campaign is taken seriously? In the final analysis, of course, it’s the voters. People who have been running for office for a long while, years in many cases – Dodd, Kucinich, Paul, etc. – and are still only getting around one percent in Gallup should do us all a favor and depart from the scene. They arelike television actors with bad ratings, perpetually dreaming of making a comeback.