Too Popular To Be President?

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that the McCain campaign is pressing on with their advertising taunt that Obama is too much of a celebrity to be a good president. I’m not sure what they are attempting to imply: that to be a successful president, one needs to be unpopular? It is true that both Lincoln and Truman were unpopular during their terms, but other presidents now recognized as good were popular. Certain the current office holder is proof that being unpopular doesn’t make you a good leader.

The first Presidential election I could vote in was the 1980 election (I was 18 in 1978, but there was no presidential election then). In 1980, there was one candidate who really impressed me — so much that I actually voted Republican — Rep. John Anderson. What impressed me about Anderson was that he published a series of clear position papers that described what he was going to do in office in a manner that convinced me his approach was best.

Mr. McCain (and Mr. Obama… as well as Ms. Hilton :-)), that’s what I want to see. I don’t want advertising telling me not to vote for the other guy. I want you to tell me why I should vote for you. Tell me what you propose doing. Tell me why it is the right approach. If you must attack the other candidate, attack their proposals and ideas, and demonstrate why yours are better. Both parts are required. I don’t want to see attacks on fluff. I don’t want to see attacks on personality. I don’t want to see attacks on history — people change and grow and learn, and I don’t want someone hidebound to old ideas in office. Nixon was successful in Foreign Policy because he learned and changed positions. Bush 43 has been unsuccessful because he has been seemingly unable to learn and change.

Translation: I don’t care if Obama is the celebrity of the day, Mr. McCain. Why should I vote for you, not against him?