Of The Day
But, sometimes not every day.

Most recent past comment.

Dream Team.
Not Al. Not George. Oh, no!
Steve and Bill. Now, that's a great race.

March 17, 1999

It's truly a square peg and a round hole sort of thing. Every other match up combination looks boring and intellectually uninteresting except for this one. Except for one thing: it will never happen. But let's look at these two guys for a moment. Personally, they are both nice guys by all accounts. Bradley really wins in this category, but Forbes is a solid contender. Forbes laughs at himself and eschews the federal matching money. He is a faithful husband and a fine father of five children from 11 to 25. He has never held a government position. He graduated from Princeton in 1970. Innovatively, he announced his campaign on the internet ( with a truly interesting and technologically advanced site. He is unconventional, future-oriented, but he does have some draw-backs. He is an uninspired speaker, and we like inspired speakers. He is not particularly funny, and that really helps during a prolonged campaign. He has adopted the religious right of the Republican party, but we feel that means he has decided to be himself, and let's face it, that faction and the conservative faction, which he also embraces, is where the GOP really is today. His flat tax proposal deserves widespread debate and discussion. On the face of it, it seems fair, simple, and will get the job done. It avoids the issue of sales side taxing which can be biased, and it also addresses the incentive issue of a graduated income tax. He is raising the "trust and sleaze" issue and offering himself as a proven alternative. That puts the "morality" issue front stage center. Remember, he won the Delaware and Arizona primaries last time. To many, Steve Forbes will be a common sense candidate and he is thoroughly intellectual and an energetic campaigner. "Now, the central questions of the year 2000 campaign clearly are these: Do you trust the establishment politicians to protect your economic security and to give you more freedom and more control over your life? Do you trust them to protect your values and to protect the first and most important freedom of every child: the freedom to be born?

But, the real dark horse, the really interesting candidate, to this writer, is Bill Bradley. He states that after 30 years as a basketball player, senator, speaker and writer, he has gotten to know America in a way that few people ever have. "I have learned that America is a country full of good people who are, by and large, industrious, talented, optimistic, and generous. In our short history Americans have settled a continent, won world wars and created unparalleled prosperity. When we are given the facts honestly, our common sense usually puts us on the right course. I have tremendous respect for the wisdom and decency of the American people. Today, when too many of our young people have diminished life chances and when we stand on the brink of convulsive changes wrought by technology and globalization, it is good to remember that we are up to meeting these challenges. We have done great things here and we will again." He runs across the political landscape with the ease of a conditioned athlete and shoots a arcing "nothin' but net" field goal. He is an easy thinker, who has never lost an election. People like Bill Bradley. His career as a commentator was a non-starter, but on the campaign trial and person-to-person he is a winner. He also graduated from Princeton University, five years before Steve Forbes. Bradley was a Rhodes Scholar, and he could return that career item to legitimacy. He served in the military, he has been married to same woman and they have one daughter. He doesn't preach a tax policy or a morality, he simply says, "I run to improve the opportunity for more Americans to live healthier, more economically secure, more personally fulfilling lives." He champions the GI Bill, Medicare and Social Security as three great examples of government policies that practice what he believes in. He speaks of being worthy of our founders ideals. He leaves the podium with an inspired audience behind him. He appeals to the common good, working together, and achieving great things, greater things in the future than in the past. All of the pictures I could find of him are like these. See his bald spot? He doesn't seem to have one ounce of ego, he is always depicted talking to real people
who seem to be genuinely interested and not put off at all. And, in the "
Scandals of the Candidates" website, which presents all of the dirt there is available on potential past, present and future candidates for president, Bradley (and Forbes, too, for that matter) looks like a boy scout.

Both of these candidates are the real deal. Forbes represents the heart of the true Republicans and Bradley, the heart of the true Democrats. Forbes is rich and already has the money, Bradley's got to fight an entrenched incumbent and raise $35 million, and he's busy doing it. Both candidates believe in the people. Both are clean themselves. They represent a true alternative and a chance for America at the changing of the centuries (depending on how you calculate it, this year or next) to make a defining statement about where we are going as a people. One of them represents enlightened self-interest and individuality, and the other represents enlightened group interest and the idea of progressive-togetherness lifting all people higher together. To me , that would be a great campaign. Liddy Dole, Al Droll, George W. I'm-Just-Like-Good-Old-Dad-O will be another inconclusive choice whichever way we go. They all sound the same. They are all the same, essentially. "Elect me, elect me, elect me." They all have never really had a job, a career, a boss, or a payroll to make.

Oh, dreamer dream your dreams of joyful campaigning,
O captive voter, rise and work, for these two, I plead of thee.
The campaign is here, and campaigners are already complaining,
Unloosing bonds of all evaporating verity.

These guys come to offer us times of healing,
To banish sleaze, and wipe all hype away,
They come anew, with bright ideas revealing,
The mounting footsteps of a better election day.

They come to give us choices instead of desolation,
Hope and promise for the ashes of these recent years,
For every voter, now to give full compensation,
And the chance to clear away Monica's phony tears.

They come to call the apathetic to the bell of freedom's ringing,
Our deaf-turned ears to hear, our television-eyes to see,
The glorious tidings of our bright future bringing,
O voter, rise, thy nation calls to thee.

Oh, well. It won't be long before Al gets the nod in LA and George or Liddy take the GOP by storm. But, to me, Steve and Bill are where its really at. We could listen, learn and finally on November 7, 2000, we could make an intelligent choice. Remember, in American history, there really have been campaigns that mattered. Call me crazy....

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