The last time I said those words were in 2000 when Bush took on “The Mummy”.  I had not been a fan of Gore, and after the 8 years of Clinton, America was looking for a clean break from all things Clinton.  I was for Bush because he had an MBA, but soon after he took presidency his ineptitude was highlighted time and time again.  I thought Bush was a good man, someone I wanted to invite over for a BBQ and flip cups.  I just wouldn’t vote him into local town council, let alone president.

Last night, I had my breaking point.  Over the years, I had been a Hillary Clinton fan.  No one can really deny that the economy under Bill Clinton was REALLY good.  Republicans like to claim victory here, but in truth, you see how a bipartisan system worked to compromise and make meaningful legislation – as opposed to today’s vitriol with gridlock and rhetoric that continues to become more and more dangerous.  Anyway, I once heard someone ask the question – “Name the top three accomplishments Hillary Clinton ever did”.  Honestly, I realized I couldn’t name one.  Obviously, her resume has “first lady”, “senator”, and “secretary of state” – but the only real things I can tell you about her is:

  • Great lawyer many moons ago
  • Worked for children’s defense
  • Whitewater
  • Intimidating people who complained about Bill’s sexual past
  • Deleting 33,000 emails after standing up your own server and sending/receiving classified information over it
  • Benghazi, Libya
  • Architect of Libya plan to oust Khaddafi and creating a vacuum of power in Libya for ISIS to develop.  This was after about 20 years of peace between the US and Libya.
  • Reset with Russia – this was screwed up because we showed weakness, just a few years after Putin was chopping wood on a ranch with Bush

Today, I see her on TV and I really don’t see new ideas to help us out.  She tries to pander towards Bernie’s folks for some things that are just stupid.  But so far all I’ve really heard is more of the same.  Maybe she has great ideas…but the problem is, none of them have registered with me.  All that I really remember is “solar panels” and “green energy jobs”.  It’s just a drop in the bucket though to our bigger economy.

Overall, as a first lady and lawyer, I can give her an A.  As a politician, I could let a D come out of my mouth and no one could argue strongly against me.

With Trump…I’ve written a few articles here about him.  I really like some of his ideas.  Rational.  Logical.  Makes sense.  All he had to do was keep his mouth shut.   He spent the better part of this week trashing a former miss universe.  I jumped off the Trump Train a few months ago when he was trashing the Mexican-American judge and then the father of the (Edited) American soldier of Muslim faith, then…how many times has this happened?  I can just see Putin saying something to the press, it gets to him, and he spends a week trashing Putin on twitter…AS PRESIDENT.  There came a point in time where I needed to see him acting presidential.  There have been fleeting moments the last month where he really showed some progress.  Then he regressed.

I can honestly say that at face value, he seems like he DOES NOT WANT to be president.  If he wants to be president, it would not be terribly hard for him to do so.  However, just as he pulls even (or ahead) in some polls, he unloads a double barrel shotgun right into his feet.

Lastly, with Johnson…I had been a fan of his the last few months.  His common sense approach, his quirkiness, his experience as being a two term republican governor in a blue state – he had a LOT of things that were of interest.  I also liked that he was a CEO and did triathlons.  Seems like an interesting fella.  The “Aleppo” thing struck two weeks ago.  I had no problem giving him a pass, simply because the New York Times – when making fun of him for screwing up Aleppo, had to update their story twice with correct facts.  All most of us knew was watching the boy in the back of the ambulance in Aleppo and hearing U.S. reporters break down crying when reporting on it.  So, I understand if someone doesn’t know every city in the world.  At least it’s a pass.  For me, the thing that got me (after I chided someone for feeling the same way) was that he blanked when talking about world leaders.  Let me clarify…

Back in 2000 or so, during the Bush dark years, a reporter at a local new station was quizzing Bush about who is the leader of what country.  Bush failed miserably.  You know what?  I blasted him for it.  I do not expect  candidates to know the names of hundreds of world leaders.  It’s just too much for anyone to memorize.  Perhaps Clinton as Secretary of State over 4 years knows all of the names – but it doesn’t mean the actual ideas she has will help our country, only that she knows names.  Big deal.  This is why we have a CIA and advisors following the president around 24/7.

However, with Johnson…the question was a little more broad.  Name a foreign leader who you admire.  It got to a point where the host was just like…”ok – name any foreign leader of any country.  Any country”.  His response…”I must be having an Aleppo moment”.  Here’s who he could have picked from….

  1. Anyone in Britain over the last 20-30 years.  Hell, even a Churchill would have sufficed.
  2. Nelson Mandela.  One of the most admired people to ever walk the face of the earth.
  3. Even a Canadian or Mexican President over the last 10 years.
  4. Since you’re running for president, it might not be a bad idea to have a few Israeli PMs
  5. If you are blanking, you can simply say “I am not a fan of Putin” and be done with it.

How he “blanked” twice in 2-3 weeks is troubling to me.

I’m going to tell you why this is.  Leadership.  Gary Johnson, in my eyes, might be the best pick that remains, but what happens when people blank like this is you “lose control of the huddle”.  The deer in headlights look is not good for a rookie QB in the NFL, and because of this, the QB soon loses teammates, the defense, and finds himself out of the NFL after a few years.  We’ve ALL seen this QB on Sundays.  I watched Donovan McNabb with the yips every first quarter of his career throw at peoples’ ankles until he settled in and delivered strikes.  Then, we all saw him throw up in the Super Bowl and essentially, lost us the Super Bowl.

When it comes to leadership, people rally around the person who can fake it the best.  Confidence is not something you can study.  There’s no book for it.  You see leaders like Schwartzkopf walk into a room and command respect.  You see people like Trump standing at 6’3″ not necessarily command a room, but take charge of a room.  You see Reagan deliver messages through a resolved strength.  You see Obama almost want to put his foot in someone’s ass.  There are many forms of leadership.  No “one way” is best, and often times, a leader has to adapt to his situation rather than change the situation.  Trump has been able to tap into the pulse of the nation effectively and adjust his rhetoric to pander to this base.  Clinton is able to speak eloquently and in a rehearsed, professional manner able to rally the academics who see her as prepared and at the very least, stable.

Johnson seems to miss on leadership.  Two chances where he’s blanked, he could have taken control of the conversation and adjusted the narrative to LEAD the conversation.

For example…”Aleppo”.

Response: “In what context are you asking about Aleppo”?

Interviewer: “I want your take on the civil war in Syria and how you stand on it”

Response: Go into your position on Syria.

 

Name a leader….

Response: “There’s obviously so many to choose from.  I feel at this time, it would be safe to say I would not be endorsing Putin as one of my opponents has”.

Interviewer: But can you pick one?

Response:  I’d rather not – we have allies all over the world, I don’t want to be perceived as picking favorites.  I’d say my idol may have been more domestic with Thomas Jefferson.

 

See what I mean?  He was not able to control the room.  Now, imagine a crisis and 5 people are yelling at him at once for a decision?  I just feel that in order to be able to wield a big stick, you need to be able to have the arm strength to carry it, and he is failing this test for me.

 

Overall, 2016 will go down as probably the first time ever the two major parties are somewhat embarrassed by their candidates.  Democrats feel Trump is unstable, and have to swallow some dog food that is Hillary.  Republicans feel Hillary is the devil, and she must be stopped at all costs, even if that means electing someone whose primary means of communication is twitter rants at 3AM against C and D level celebrities.

Lastly – people from all over the world read these blogs. Some of mine got a decent amount of readers here and there.  I get to see all of the countries who read them and this platform is truly global in nature.  To our wordpress friends across the world, sorry.  This year is tough on the United States, and I think it’s making a lot of nations pretty worried.  Americans are really pissed too.  They just don’t want to see the other guy win.  My country has become very partisan the last 15 years or so, fueled by both sides of our democratic republic.  At some point, we have to learn to find common ground again and not spew such vulgar words across the isle to those who don’t think exactly like we do.  I try to use logic and ideas to sway peoples’ ideas.

This just doesn’t feel like the country I grew up in.

And on that note.  I abstain. Out.

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