Going to the White House?
Need a ride?
Hmm! Hmm! Uh! Eh! Yah! There is not much room here.
I don’t care, make room. I need to go there.
Well, it’s a bit tight but jump in. What’s going on?
The race to win the most coveted prize, the Oval Office, is on. After long periods of speculations, assumptions, commentaries from political pundits, the race to the White House has started slowly with Ted Cruz, a Texas Republican Senator since 2013, announcing on March 23, 2015 he is making a bid for the highest office in the land. Mr. Cruz chose Liberty University as both the location for the announcement and a backdrop for his campaign.
A couple of weeks later, on April 7, 2015, Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican Senator, made the announcement that he too is making a run for the Oval Office. Rand Paul is a son of Ron Paul, a Texas ex-Republican Senator who ran unsuccessfully the third and last time in 2012 to become president of the United States. Mr. Paul used the Galt House in Louisville, KY as the site for his announcement; in contrast to most candidates who have picked a site with some meaning, which symbolizes something for the candidates or the campaign, Mr. Paul picked a site which is famous for being the city’s only hotel on the Ohio River.
On Saturday April 11, 2011, on the heels of Rand Paul’s announcement, Mrs. Hillary Clinton put an end to all speculations regarding her political ambitions; Mrs. Clinton, via a carefully crafted video, announced that she too is doing something, she is running to become the next president of the country. In contrast to her 2012 bid for the White House where she was front and center, the 2016 campaign puts the focus on the voters, on the country, blending her with the constituents. It is a very smart move from the Clinton’s campaign. It remains to be seen whether she is able to keep it up when the “mudslinging” begins. Contrary to the 2012 presidential election where all the Republican candidates ganged up against the occupant of the White House, expect the Republican candidates 2016 to focus mostly on Hillary than on Obama
On Monday April 13, 2015, just two days following Mrs. Clinton’s announcement bid for the White House, Marco Rubio , a Florida Junior Republican Senator also announced he is running for president. Using Miami’s Freedom Tower as a backdrop, Mr. Rubio casts himself as the candidate for the future. Wasting no time, Mr. Rubio took a swipe at Mrs. Clinton, calling her a leader from yesterday.
The race has just started; many more candidates from both parties will place a bid for the Oval Office, hoping voters will do what they expect voters to do, pick the candidate they perceive as the best one for their party to lead the country for the next four years. It will not matter whether the candidate is good for the country; as long as s/he belongs to their political party should be good enough. Already, we are in a position to give you a peek at what to expect from that point on; we will even venture to predict who will be the nominee for each party and who will be the next president of the United States. We do have a track record of predicting the future before anybody else, you know.
What qualifications should a candidate have in order to become the party’s nominee and eventually the next president of the United States? None, really. There will be so much noise during the long, long, stretchy roads to the White House that you may even give up on the whole voting thing. It is by design that the two major political parties (Democrat and Republican) in the country set it up so that the voters are always at a disadvantage. It’s not about who is best qualified to run the country; it’s not about who can run the country most effectively.
Remember McCain’s slogan “Country First”? Well, who did he pick as running mate? His calculation (albeit wrong) that Sarah Palin would help him win the election was all that mattered to him. It was not about country first. It was a buzzword; it was a soundbite. Had he won, he would have justified his choice (as right) although it would have still been wrong for the country.
It’s not going to be any different this time around. It’s still going to be about the candidate’s aspiration, not the country, definitely not about you.
If you already made up your mind which party you’re voting for, there is no point to even care about the whole campaign affair, the debates, the interviews, the rallies, etc… Whosoever is the candidate for your party will get your vote, no matter what. Remember how much Republicans didn’t want Mitt Romney? Well, when he became the nominee, he got the Republican votes. It seems that the candidates are right to think the way they do, even voters – who claim to care about the country – don’t care as much about the country as they do about their party.
For those who still care deeply about the country, watch this column as we will discuss steps to steer discussions on issues instead of mudslinging competitions.Follow @mducheiney