Cool Over Competent, the New Normal?
Meghan McCain, daughter of 2008 Republican candidate John McCain, and alleged professional writer and pundit, has regularly demonstrated that she is first and foremost a "blonde". Meghan's latest adventure into deep thought, courtesy of the liberal Daily Beast, has her advising Republican candidates to "stop trying to be cool". She thinks they are doomed to be "not cooler than President Obama."
Let's burst her Tiger Beat/MSNBC bubble:
Lyndon Johnson and Jimmy Carter? Definitely not cool.
Nixon, Ford, Bush I, and Bush II? Probably the antithesis of cool.
Clinton could be cool to some and Reagan cool to others, but you would have to think a cool consensus on both would be hard to achieve.
Most, except Jimmy Carter, were fairly competent at their job, whether you agree with their governing philosophies or not.
Obviously, cool is a marginal qualification for President, which is about right for the current White House occupant. If Obama is cool, he has also shown that he was only marginally qualified to be President. His on-the-job training has proven costly. American voters now understand better why we should elect someone authentically competent, with hard-earned executive experience.
Playing along for the moment with the blonde's premise, is there any Republican who seems as cool as Obama? Clearly, Sarah Palin is the most compelling figure on the political scene today. Michelle Bachmann is moving up fast. Mitt Romney, Rick Perry and John Huntsman all look like Presidential figures right out of central casting. Herman Cain has a dynamic resume. As governors, businesspeople and seasoned legislators, they all are better prepared to lead than Obama ever was.
But really, who is cooler and more competent than New Jersey Governor Chris Christie? He balances budgets, tells off reporters and stands up to the whiners in the public sector unions, doing it all with integrity and panache. And just today, the epitome of cool, he ordered the state flags flown at half mast in remembrance of the Big Man, Clarence Clemons.
When it comes to being cool enough to be President, you can only hope that Governor Christie heeds the call "Born to Run".