Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Testing Presidential Candidates

When it comes to those farcical questions being put to presidential candidates during televised debates by TV personalities masquerading as real journalists, Jon Swift makes more sense than Britt Hume and Wolf Blitzer combined:
In this week's Democratic presidential debate Wolf Blitzer asked the candidates to raise their hands if they would take out Osama Bin Laden even if innocent civilians would be killed. Asking for a show of hands is an even more economical way of quizzing candidates than limiting them to 30-second soundbites. In the future the networks might consider limiting all debates to 20 yes-or-no questions that can be answered with a show of hands, which would spare us from having to listen to them speak.
Swift also is right to caution the candidates, themselves, that they shouldn't fall for Britt Hume's trap by being too ready to imitate the macho fictional character, Jack Bauer, on the television series 24.
[I]n the disappointing finale to 24, we learned that Jack Bauer is tired of single-handedly saving America from terrorists and showed a dangerous streak of mushy compassion and self-interest. It seems he cared more about saving his girlfriend and his 16-year-old nephew this season than he did about protecting America. Sure, it would be great to have a President who was willing to torture his own brother or shoot one of his colleagues in order to prevent a terrorist attack, but I think we need to ask for a bit more from our presidential candidates.
On whom, then, should a wannabe U.S. president model himself if he wants to impress the American electorate? Jon Swift has the answer -- and a number of questions to be posed at least as intelligent as those the national news media has been asking.

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