How Al, Mike & Newt Should Run For President

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Interesting new blog called WalkingThinkTank popped up recently and the author sent me a post about the similarities between the titular three.

Here are some excerpts:

In his latest book, Assault on Reason, former Vice President Gore wrote: “Faith in the power of reason—the belief that free citizens can govern themselves wisely and fairly by resorting to logical debate on the basis of the best evidence available, instead of raw power—remains the central premise of American democracy. This premise is now under assault.” […]

Former House Speaker Gingrich, in an op-ed written in February with former New York Gov. Mario Cuomo, called for a different kind of presidential campaign – one involving “more thought, more creativity, more substance, more solutions–and a whole lot less rhetoric.” […]

And New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg, in announcing this summer that he was leaving the Republican Party and becoming an independent, took a shot at the way the two parties in Washington have governed.

“I am particularly upset that the big issues of the time keep getting pushed to the back and we focus on small things that only inside the Beltway are important,” Bloomberg said. “Any successful elected executive knows that real results are more important than partisan battles and that good ideas should take precedence over rigid adherence to any particular political ideology. Working together, there’s no
limit to what we can do.”

Good observations by WTT, but I think the ultimate conclusion that these guys need to set a voluntary contribution limit of $500 doesn’t really address the problem. But the idea that these guys need to run on the idea of political reform is significant. Because I believe that a lot of independents don’t think this is just a change election…it’s also a reform election. People are looking to reshape the political landscape and how we cooperate with one another, not just switch an R to a D.

Of all the actual candidates who are running I’ve heard so far, Ron Paul and Barack Obama have picked this meme up the most. Obama is fond of saying that there’s not a liberal America or a conservative America, but a United States of America. It’s a good line, and it resonated with me. Paul talks about broad reform based around respecting the Constitution, and that’s radical enough to give rise to a viable third party movement, and I wish he’d consider that more closely and possibly embrace the Unity 08 movement so he wouldn’t have to do all the leg work to get on the ballot in the 50 states.

And yet with all this talk about reform…the polls suggest that Giuliani and Hillary are the front runners. Sure, Barack is up there with Hill, but Paul trails far, far behind. There is no candidate talking about reform in the first tier of the GOP field.

The question then is do we really have a shot at reform in 2008 or is this merely a change election? And if the Dems were to win, are we really ready for another Clinton and thereby ushering in at least 24 years where a Clinton or a Bush has held the Oval Office?

If nothing else in this next election, I’m looking for the “change” to come with a heavy dose of reform. And if not…well, I just may sit this one out.