Why do we not hold presidential candidates up to our own standards?

These are things that would keep them out of the FBI, or prevent them from getting a faculty position at most universities, yet somehow it is condoned if one is running for President. Perhaps we have no one that could measure up to flawless standards, but one does have to wonder…

Cindy McCain ran her fingers through her husband’s hair and teased, “You’re getting a little thin up there.” He reddened and fired back, “At least I don’t plaster on the makeup like a trollop, you c*nt.” McCain later apologized saying he’d had a long day.

Any wives out there that accept verbal abuse based on a “long day”? What will President McCain say to the Chinese ambassador after a long day?

Here’s McCain on a good day:

“Why is Chelsea Clinton so ugly? Because her father is Janet Reno.”
Not to be partisan, here are two gems from Obama:
“…I’ve got two daughters… I am going to teach them first of all about values and morals. But if they make a mistake, I don’t want them punished with a baby.”

The principle seems off here. If they make a mistake, he doesn’t want them to face the consequences?
“The point I was making was not that Grandmother harbors any racial animosity. She doesn’t. But she is a typical white person…”

I’m not sure what he means here, but I’ve often been critiqued for making generalizations around my colleagues… can someone this high get away with it?

I do not intend to slam both candidates, nor suggest that we should view it as choosing ‘the lesser of two evils.’ We should choose the candidate we think is best for the job. My question is, should a presidential candidate be held up to higher scrutiny or personal standards than a daycare worker or a substitute teacher? No offense to those honorable positions, but this is the highest office in the country.

I have had four background checks (for work and school) in the past two years, and have been told to be wary of what I write here, lest future employers base their hiring decisions on my words. Do politicians get away with abuse or questionable judgment because they have a monopoly on candidacy?
Oh yeah, and McCain committed adultery in his “immature” 40’s, and Obama is the Antichrist. People believe both of those. One of them is true.

About shenpa warrior

"Patience is not learned in safety." View all posts by shenpa warrior

20 responses to “Why do we not hold presidential candidates up to our own standards?

  • G

    omg…. He really called her a c()nt?

  • adam

    Really. Crazy huh? It was back in 1992, but you have to wonder what kind of man is capable of saying something like that to his wife.

  • George and WP

    Answer: An arrogant and mean spirited R candidate for president of these United States.

  • Hill Family

    It is frustrating that the people running for the highest office in our country are unable to conduct themselves with decency. I know there are people in this country that are able to keep character intact- even in trying circumstances or after a “long day” – and they do it without abuse or abdication of morality. Why do we not see anyone like that run? Maybe we just keep trying to throw clean fish into dirty water and expect the fish to come out unscathed? So who does one vote for when one feels that neither candidate represents worthy ideals? (Sorry, that was a weird stream of random questions!) Mickey Mouse is looking like he deserves a second thought as a write-in, though! 🙂

  • adam

    “throw clean fish into dirty water” – this may be part of it, or perhaps clean fish can’t survive in dirty water… as for voting, I had the that kind of dilemma in 2000 and ended up voting for Ralph Nader… I guess we could do write-ins every time (and I have threatened to on more than one occasion)… Dallin Oaks gets my vote this time. 🙂

  • Salt H2O

    I was watching John Adams over the past few weeks and thinking about how the quality of candidate has drastically declined since inception of this country- not just in character but in lifetime achievements.

    Those that ran for president had dedicated their entire lives and careers to service of their country- and now? a term in the senate is enough.

  • Salt H2O

    A side note: unless you critise Bill Clinton for cheating on his wife as well- WHILE in the white house no stones can be thrown at McCain for the same sin.

  • adam

    Salt – that’s a good point on Obama, however I wish there was some other way a candidate could ‘dedicate their lives to the country’ other than collecting their fat senate paychecks and 90k pensions. Obama certainly is not as “experienced” in terms of public office, but I wonder if experience tends to muddy the fish a little. One thing I liked about Romney was his relative lack of Washington experience.

    Re: Clinton/McCain… agreed! – as fellow human beings I don’t throw stones at either of them, but as POTUSs I expect A LOT more class and virtue than they have shown.

  • Hill Family

    There is stong evidence to suggest our 3rd president fathered a child (maybe children?) with his slave. Not a lot of class or virtue there either. Jefferson did, however, draft the Dec. of Independence, which has had a pretty good response over the years… 😉 Maybe these men aren’t so different from the presidents of the past; technology exists that can catch them at their worst? Just an idea.

  • adam

    You’re probably right… we tend to romanticize our early leaders, while nowadays we can read what McCain said to his wife 16 years ago. You have to wonder what some of these past leaders would look like if their words were punctiliously recorded like they are today. I guess what I am protesting is that ANY of our presidents have behaved in such ways. As human beings I cast no judgment, but I guess I expect a lot more out the leaders of the country. Perhaps that expectation is misguided.

  • Emily

    I dunno, but I'm not sufficiently offended by any of those Obama remarks. The remarks sound like they could very well have a context. Given a choice between being born to a mother who thought of me as her punishment, and not being born, or being born somewhere else, I'd take one of the latter options. There are lasting consequences to face even if the pregnancy is terminated. And no matter how enlightened a white person is, he or she can never really understand what it is like to live inside a different skin color. We all have biases whether we want to or not (though it helps at least to consciously not want to have them) So that generalization might have been spot on. We don't know what he said after that…but he probably didn't say 'typical white person who can't dance.' John Travolta and Napoleon Dynamite shattered that stereotype long ago.

    Whereas using vulgar, misogynistic language deliberately to hurt someone can't ever really be justified by its context.

    On the other hand, maybe ol' Mc & spouse were just doing a more hard-core reenactment of the old SNL skit with Jane Curtin & Dan Aykroyd on Weekend Update…that one where they insult each other in total deadpan. On the other other hand, I am puzzled as to why any woman in her right mind would want to be married to that, either way. Yick.

  • adam

    Emily, I agree about McCain, outside of the improvisational live theater hypothesis…

    As for Obama, his remarks, as well as anyone’s, usually have a context. I don’t agree, however, with the idea that we should shield our children from consequences in most cases, including childbirth.

    Re: the “white” generalization–we do have biases, and you’re right, we can’t understand what it’s like for someone with a different skin color. Regardless of the potential accuracy of his generalization, I don’t have any sort of affinity for prejudice (can you imagine a white person saying the opposite?). If he had said “grandma is like 83% of white Americans–according to this study” it would have been funnier, but not offensive. For people who want generalizations they can read all the Men are from Mars books they want, but I think they are inaccurate at best and prejudiced at worst.

  • chanel

    hill family sent me your way- lovin it. why is this post and comments making me laugh?? McCain SAID that??? WHAT? Who says that??? ewwwww! makes me laugh though, its so obsurd! and the anti christ thing cracks me up too, people are insane!

    its all gonna work out, i mean, look what we’ve survived for the past 8 years. neither of these two let downs are gonna make it worse, although I think obama will make it a bit better.

  • Papa D

    Unfortunately, Adam, I’ve become desensitized to our options for president. It really is the lesser of two evils, imo, and that generally has been the case in most of the elections in my lifetime. We have had some very good men in the office, but one of the most moral presidents also was one of the worst presidents. Any guess who I mean?

  • Nichole

    Hi. I found you through Chanel who found you through the Hill family. I too am really enjoying your blog.
    Why is it with EVERY election now we hear that lesser of two evils argument? There is never going to be a perfect candidate. Also, I think that people often romanticize the past. Every great president did some not so great things. I am excited to see a “change” and hoping that Obama can pull it off.

  • Nichole

    Hi. I found you through Chanel who found you through the Hill family. I too am really enjoying your blog.
    Why is it with EVERY election now we hear that lesser of two evils argument? There is never going to be a perfect candidate. Also, I think that people often romanticize the past. Every great president did some not so great things. I am excited to see a “change” and hoping that Obama can pull it off.

  • adam

    chanel – thanks and you’re welcome to comment anytime! I agree, although I don’t know how exactly we have survived… even if McCain wins in November I’m not threatening to move to Canada like I did before. 🙂

    Papa D – makes me wonder… would I rather have an amoral president who was great at running the country, or the opposite. I think I would take the former. And no, for you republicans out there, that was not an endorsement of Bill Clinton.

    Nichole – thanks! It’s funny, because you found me through Chanel through Hill Family through the sister in-law of one of my friends… What does that make us? Have you ever seen Spaceballs?

    I agree, there will never be a “perfect” candidate. It also gets a little old hearing people wax on about how great Reagan (or even Jefferson) was, when they had their own share of shortcomings, or in some cases, major issues. Putting Obama and McCain next to each other, after what I have read about both of them, Obama gets my vote.

  • Hill Family

    I read this about McCain awhile back and thought you might find it interesting: http://www.newsweek.com/id/107581 Highlight for me: “Senator Hothead” has yelled profanities at and shoved several other Senators (but has frequently written apology notes afterward). Seriously! Who acts like that?
    Dear (insert country): I am truly sorry I nuked your country because of our differences in opinions. I get really volatile when angered. Sincerely, President Hothead.

    I feel horrible that his wife that has to endure that kind of treatment and it makes me afraid of what he’ll inflict on the rest of humanity if elected….

  • adam

    Hill – thanks for the link. Honestly if his anger issue was the only problem, and he was a great leader and person otherwise, I would consider voting for him… they could keep a tranquilizer nearby just in case, and we’d never know the difference. However, his stuff is just piling up too high for a lot of us, I think.

  • Happy The Man

    Ahh, I’m disappointed that the voice of the people has brought us to these two candidates. I’d be happy for “good and better”, or “good and less good”. But evil and less evil (or more evil), those are really not good options.

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