Too much mediocrity in our candidates.


While Republican leaders ridicule and criticize Democratic candidates for courting and receiving support from celebrities, with the usual talking out of both sides of their respective mouths, they are busy recruiting celebrities to run for office! Consider former President Ronald Reagan; California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger; U.S. Congressman from California, the late Sonny Bono; Iowa Congressman "Gopher" from the television show, "Love Boat," Clint Eastwood, mayor of a California community.

The latest gem is asking former Bears football coach Mike Ditka to run for United States Senator from Illinois, "cause he’s just a good old guy." Jesse Ventura was a similar example but he fooled ‘em, he turned out to be smart.

Not long ago I wrote a column about mediocrity. If this effort to recruit Ditka isn’t reaching into the pool of the mediocre, I don’t know what is. And I hear the same thing about President Bush. "He’s so ordinary, just a bubba like us." I beg your pardon?

Most of us would rather not be in that category and want someone intelligent and well educated to represent us from the President on down.

There’s no question but that our current president is there because of his family’s political influence and money. He had accomplished nothing but business failures and the highlight of his college career was being a cheerleader.

We have a calendar in our home called "Bushisms," quotes for every day which cause us to laugh and/or cry. An example: "Laura and I really don’t realize how bright our children is sometimes until we get an objective analysis." (CNBC, April 15, 2000)

Other gems: "I will have a foreign-handed foreign policy." (Redwood CA, Sep. 27, 2000.)

"We’ll be a great country where the fabrics are made up of groups and loving centers." (Okey-dokey! Sounds like fun.)

"Over the long term, the most effective way to conserve energy is by using energy more efficiently." (Radio address May 2001)

"We need any energy bill that encourages consumption." (Trenton, New Jersey, Sep. 23, 2002.)

"Russia is no longer our enemy and therefore we shouldn’t be locked into a Cold War mentality that says we keep the peace by blowing each other up. In my attitude, that’s old, that’s tired, that’s stale." (Des Moines, June 8, 2001)

"The key to foreign policy is to rely on reliances." (The Boston Globe, Jan. 23, 2000)

At Fairgrounds Elementary School, Nashua, New Hampshire, during "Perseverance Month" as quoted in the Los Angeles Times, January 2000 —"This is Preservation Month. I appreciate preservation. It’s what you do when you run for president."

On the Vietnam war, "I don’t remember debates. I don’t think we spent a lot of time debating it. Maybe we did, but I don’t remember." (- while Bush was an undergraduate at Yale, the Washington Post, 1999)

Intelligence, education, accomplishments and life experiences should be prerequisites for our elected officials. Let’s stop thinking the candidates should be LIKE us, but understand our problems and be able to represent us well in their complex work.

Caroline Porter is a freelance writer who can be reached at