Monday, December 5, 2011

Presdential Elections Are Not American Idol Contests

With the first Republican primary only weeks away, many people are complaining that candidates like Mitt Romney aren't just "exciting" enough: 
Talk to any Republican leaders or strategists and they will quickly point to the enthusiasm gap between their voters and President Obama’s as one reason they believe they will prevail next November. Listen to any Republican voters and a different enthusiasm gap appears. They are not truly excited about any of their likeliest nominees, least of all Mitt Romney.
The former Massachusetts governor is rapidly becoming a one-man political experiment, testing the theory that empathy and the ability to connect with voters are prerequisites for a winning campaign. He has many attributes, but firing up a Republican crowd isn’t one of them.
When it comes to selecting a person who will hold the most powerful office in the world, excitability should be on the bottom of the list of list qualities we want in a President. Yet, everyone, including conservatives, think that "excitability" should be top quality a candidate should posses. 
John Schroeder, in an article for Article IV blog, writes that the conservative desire for an exciting candidate is a serious problem for the GOP party and America:
There are a couple of troubling aspects to this trend.  Firstly, it seems to say that we are not impressed with ourselves.  We are the party of competence, not “sex appeal” – the grown-ups in the room.  When we go chasing stuff like this we seem to forget that fundamental aspect of what it means to be a conservative Republican.  There is no question that image and media matter in electoral politics, but it is up to us to shape them to our goals, not to be shaped by them.
Which brings me to the second and more troubling issue.  There simply is no greater evidence of where chasing image gets you than the current administration.  Incompetent and petulant on levels previously incomprehensible for the office of POTUS, we are witnessing a triumph of charisma over substance.  Charisma may help get you elected, but it is not worth the electrons it is transmitted by when it comes to actually governing. 
There is a huge difference between a candidate and a president. People seem to forget that being a candidate is not a job or a position. Yet, the Presidency is. 
A candidate is just a temporary label we use for someone who is seeking the office of President. Some candidates drop out of the race. Many don't get the job. Only a few men have been successful in becoming President of the United States. 
Its important to remember that there are skills and qualifications that may make a person an exciting candidate but they're not necessary for being a President. In fact, many of those skills are not in the job description for being a President.
It is a tough and very demanding job that requires a extremely high level of experience and competency.   Presidents have to make tough decisions on a wide variety of subjects, both domestic and foreign, such as the economy, national security, immigration and education. The President is also the Commander In Chief who oversees the armed forces.
Does America really want an exciting yet incompetent President? That’s what we got with Obama and look how that is going. Do we really want another four years of Obama as President? 
I want a candidate with experience and ideas, not a rock star politician. Yet, we're looking for the "American Idol" President. We’re a fickle society with a very short attention span. Look at current crop of conservative candidates. Bachmann, Perry and Cain were all flashes in the pan. They were the Republican flavor of the month. Newt is the current pick of these American idol conservatives.
Mitt Romney may be boring but he's extremely qualified for the job of President. He's not a rock star candidate. He's the serious and mature candidate America needs.
I don’t want the Republican party to nominate someone based on their rock star appeal and not on substance, ideas or positions. Yet, that is what the Republican party appears to have become. The only consistency that the American idol conservatives, also known as the Anybody But Romney crowd, is how quickly they betray and flip flop on the core issues and values they claim to cherish and hold dear.
I don't want an exciting President. If a president is boring, I'm ok with that just as long as he is extremely qualified and competent to be the President of the United States. 
America needs to grow up and take the election seriously by focusing on the candidate's resume rather how exciting he is.
Presidential elections are NOT American Idol contest. Lets not turn it into one.


  1. Only thing is, Jon Huntsman is more qualified by just about every criteria you can think of.

    If you were honest in your assessment you'd realize that Jon Huntsman is the not-rock star, but consistent conservative with an executive track-record that trumps Romney's on every issue.

    Romney is convenient and recognizable because he has spent the last four years campaigning. But if people really took a look, they'll see, he is not the conservative they are looking for.

    I challenge you to do the homework. Don't support who everyone else supports just because they're too lazy to to do the hard yards. Now more than ever America needs a candidate that truly understands the issues, is capable of dealing with them and doesn't determine his conviction by holding his wet finger to the wind.

  2. Ha! Of course presidential elections are American Idol contests. That's the problem. Remember, Winston Churchill was to have said: "The best case against democracy is five minutes with the average voter."

  3. Romney is not only the most qualified for the job because of his experience in both the private sector and government, but he is an exciting, principled, and passionate conservative. I don't understand anyone who would think that Romney is boring. Why are the democrats afraid of Romney? It certainly is not because he's boring. It's because he's won every debate and polls show he is the strongest candidate against Obama.

  4. I think the good president is the one who has a cool head and not making decision based on emotion because emotion will cloud up your good judgement and you end up making mistakes. For all GOP candidates I can see Romney is the one to trust. He has successful record (personally, professionally and politically)and he is well-rounded on all issues. Some voters said they want the guy they can have a beer with, really? I prefer someone who loves the country and has vision to lead us to a better place. Watch out for the guy who excites you. He may make you loose your head and take you to wrong path of no return.

  5. I am starting a coalition for Romney. Interested.

    I am going to publish my findings from a study we were commissioned to look into:

  6. Respectfully disagree with JonHuntsmanFan. Mitt Romney is the only candidate (including the President) who's ever brought an enterprise of significant size and international scope back from the brink (the Olympics). Our US economy is on the brink right now.

    My impression is that Jon Huntsman took an already relatively healthy state and made some improvements, aided by a friendly conservative legislature.

    Yet interestingly, when polled, Utahns--who know both men well--overwhelmingly preferred Mitt Romney.

    But let's take a look at Jon Huntsman's presidential run. He's declined to compete in Iowa entirely. He's run from Utah (probably because of the poll) to Florida, where he established a national campaign headquarters with some fanfare. Failing to gain traction there during his short stay, he ran to New Hampshire, where he's been camped out ever since, releasing snarky anti-Romney web videos. Along the way he alienated swing state Nevada by taking New Hampshire's side in the "who's on first" primary kerfuffle.

    Jon Huntsman has run--away--from everywhere on the primary map except NH, yet he's got the gall to call Mitt Romney scared.

    He's run a disrespectful, conceited (I'll just sit here in NH with my feet up on the table and wait till all these dummies realize how much smarter I am than anybody else) campaign. He thinks we're so dumb that we believe his campaign spox when they say the Huntsman girls have gone rogue with their tweets and web videos.

    While the rest of the GOP field competes, Huntsman (&Co.) snark.

    The worst part of Jon Huntsman's strategy is that it shortchanges the American people at a time in our election cycle when they hope to meet and be heard by the candidates. How many American households earning 0-100K/yr has Jon Huntsman visited since declaring his candidacy?

    I could go on, but to sum up I'm an independent voter who starts out an election season listening to all candidates (on both sides of the aisle). I'll grant you that Huntsman has a record I could have supported if my choice, Mitt Romney, isn't the nominee. But now I won't, and that has everything to do with the unadmirable campaign he's run.

    Right now the last thing America needs is a Snark-in-Chief, so I'm hoping that if Romney doesn't get the nomination, Gary Johnson will break with the GOP and run as a Libertarian. Like Romney he has executive experience in both the public and private sectors, and he's governed a state that didn't come equipped with a slam-dunk legislature.

    I sometimes think the character of our country in this era of high technology and 24/7 cable might accurately be measured by how quickly and thoughtlessly we reach for those tools to demonize and destroy just one good man or woman. After listening to everyone and watching this disgraceful primary process unfold, Romney's the only Republican I'll support.