Frontier Former Editor

March 22, 2007

And on John Edwards, et al . . .

Filed under: politics — Frontier Former Editor @ 5:48 pm

Back in late 2003 and early 2004, I had the opportunity to meet two Democratic presidential candidates: Wesley Clark and John Edwards.

I don’t profess to be the biographical authority on either man, but I think that, after 12 years of hearing political BS from others while reporting on politics up to that point, I could read someone fairly well after a few minutes and some side research before and after the moment.

The things that struck me most about those encounters – both of which lasted more than the typical two-question session – were that both men were not formulaiac and pat in their responses. Their thoughts were quite coherent and well formed but also reassuringly rough around the edges as most thoughts should be as they face public debate and discussion. They also did not seem to pander to fit the tone of the question. In general, I felt as if they were trying to explain their respective positions to me rather than feed me a slogan and assume that I should be satisifed.

I found it difficult – in a good way – to quote Clark and Edwards.  There was a refreshing lack of sound bite and one had to read, take in context and string together a series of quotes to depict accurately each man- something I’d long come to appreciate as a history major.

Whether this speaks to their abilities as politicians, I’ll leave that for another day. But I found it something infrequent, refreshing and depressingly rare in my former profession.

And something that every goddamned office seeker ought to be required to do at great and frequent length before an election and during any term of office that they might actually win. In the end, an election is a job interview and winning an election merely means that one is employed by the people. Good employees should get contract renewals. Bad employees should be fired for cause.

‘Should’ and reality have become a sad dichotomy.


1 Comment »

  1. I really do admire John Edwards as well as Wesley Clark. I would love to see Clark throw his hat in but maybe someone will choose him as a running mate.

    Comment by Kindness — March 24, 2007 @ 4:47 pm

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