Monday, May 14, 2007

The Road to the White House

The campaign for President of the United States started right after the 2006 mid-term elections. I can only wonder why so many senators and congressmen decide to run when the track record of failure for pursuing that position is 100 % in my lifetime. The only senators and congressmen that became president got there via the VP position first. Have a look for yourself:

George W. Bush: Governor of Texas
Bill Clinton: Governor of Arkansas
George H.W. Bush: Vice Prsident Under Reagan
Ronald Reagan: Governor of California
Jimmy Carter: Governor of Georgia
Gerald Ford: Vice President under Nixon
Richard Nixon: Vice President under Eisenhower
Lyndon B. Johnson: Vice President under Kennedy

It should be rather apparent that the congress of the United States is not a launching pad to the highest office in the country. At least it is to me. What is my theory for results such as this? It's rather simple. Those that are in congress have a very elevated opinion of what they are and how important they are to the American people. Yet the American people know better.

The American people know that members of the house and senate do not really accomplish much. Most often whatever they pursue for their own state comes at the expense of other states, and those states have more voters and remember longer. For example, despite how popular Ted Kennedy is in Massachusetts, there are more than enough voters he has angered outside of that state to have kept him from ever being a serious candidate.

When senators and congressmen fail at their job, they look around and blame their peers. Or they blame the president. But they do not take accountability for failure.

If you look back at that list, you see that there was a general path to the White House, and that is by being a governor first. At the state level, the governor gets the full credit for failures and successes at the state level. And a governor has to be successful at the state level(for he must carry his own state) to be a viable candidate for president.

Currently there is only one democrat running for president that is or has been a governor, Bill Richardson.

And for the republicans, there are four current or former governors running, and one former mayor of New York City who easily could fall into the same descriptive category as a governor, considering the size of his city, and his management of 9/11.

It will not be too long before we see the American people whittle away this list of candidates to those that have actually accomplished something real and tangible. Yet look at the millions of dollars that have been already raised and are to be wasted by senators and congressman have such delusions of grandeur.

I also find it rather interesting that frontrunner status for candidates seeking the presidency does not actually come from the American public. Instead, it originates in the media. Once it takes place the artists, entertainers, and other wealthy (and in their minds influentual) individuals begin to pile on to their favorite candidate before they have even heard or seen what their real ideas and proposals are. Instead, these decisions are made on a fantasy basis.

Consider for a moment Barrack Obama and Hillary Clinton are basing their run for Presidency upon. Both have authored books with their visions for the future. The Audacity of Hope: Thoughts on Reclaiming the American Dream by Barrack Obama, and It Takes a Village, Tenth Anniversary Edition by Hillary Rodham Clinton are books about vision. But they are not books about leadership or reality. Writing a best seller does not prove that you have what it takes to be the President of the United States.

Being a congressman or senator is indeed an exclusive club. With 435 members in the House of Representatives and 100 senators in the senate, it is certainly a difficult to make and keep in our country. But being elected governor is even a tougher challenge. Fifty states, fifty governors. Try to determine how effective a senator or congressman has been usually is states as to how much legislation they have "authored" and how much bacon(or money) they bring back from your out of state pockets to their home state. Yet most of the legislation they approve they themselves have never read.

Look at the "Read the Bills Act", which is before congress now. It only asks that the legislation proposed be read in each house before being approved. This bill has an uphill battle on the scale of climbing Mt. Everest. For if the bills are read and then voted on, how could a congressman or senator vote for legislation that later proved to be lousy, and get away with saying he did not know? Or that it was tucked in an amendment and he never saw it.

At the state level, you can be sure that the Governor of a state has read what he signs. If he or she han't, they know they are THE ONE ultimately accountable.

Successful leadership at the state level seems to be the best path to the White House, even if you do not start out with "frontrunner status". Carter, Reagan, Clinton, and the current Bush were certainly not frontrunners. But they were certainly able to stand in front of the American people and talk about results in their home states, results that are directly attributable to their performance in that job. Mondale, Dole, Gore, Kerry and many others from congress were not able to do the same.

Maybe the media needs to focus on well run states and what gets them in that category. It's really what our founding fathers wanted. It's proven to be what the people want. Thank God for that.


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