One remove from the real

McCarthy, Abigail

343 OF SEVERAL HINDS Abigail McCarthy ONE REMOVE FROM THE REAL QUALIFIED CANDIDATES WHO DO NOT RUN Not until the late summer of 1988 - roughly a year and a quarter from now will the...

...Howard Baker also renounced the effort as did, a little less certainly, the much-admired Sam Nunn...
...Could they learn enough about the candidates...
...The associate editor who described Foley is even more positive: "Thomas S. Foley has the most presidential qualities of anyone in the Congress and indeed is one of the most clearly presidential persons in the land...
...They were never meant to foster the perversion of self-selection, commercial merchandising, and gamelike media coverage which now constitutes the electoral process...
...They may have become tired, even indifferent, by the almost interminable caucus-andprimary, poll-and-pundit process we now go through, but they are persuaded that it is more of a grassroots way of choosing, which gives the ordinary citizen a greater voice in the political process...
...gives me greater reason for optimism about the quality of leadership in this country or the decency of people in public life...
...In a mock campaign ad never to be aired, as the writer of the profile tells us sadly, Evans is described as "a mature president to lead us through the day, a leader who understands that things are not as simple as they seemed this morning, a leader who deals in ideas and realities as well as images, one who is guided not by a rigid ideology, but by breadth of experience, by keen powers of analysis, and a strong sense of right and wrong...
...In Washington state on the third of May, for example, the largest metropolitan Sunday paper profiled two of these: one a Republican, Senator and former Governor Dan Evans, and the other, a majority leader of the U.S...
...David Broder stated more or less seriously not so long ago that writers and commentators could simply not keep up with all the candidates in the field and would have to narrow their attention to three or four after the initial go-rounds...
...But is it...
...Other ordinary citizens could wish that distinguished public servants from their states, although not mentioned nationally as presidential possibilities, might rise to that status as "favorite sons...
...Dan Evans, we are reminded, was the ¦man of whom senior political writer David Broder once said, "No one in government...
...Governor Cuomo has explained that he cannot run the state of New York and spend the required months campaigning in Iowa, New Hampshire, and the superTuesday-primary states...
...A final consideration for those who still approve the present process is that campaigners who might well prove to be gradual gainers in states other than Iowa and New Hampshire are apt to be eliminated not so much by voter- as by media-choice...
...Foley simply speaks of the desire to run for the presidency as "a virus" from which he is immune...
...344...
...Says Hearst columnist Robert Thompson: The rich corn fields of Iowa and birch-covered hills of New Hampshire already have been trampled to pulp by the trudging feet of presidential hopefuls...
...Could the voters make an intelligent choice in the eight to nine weeks left before election...
...By next February when the voting begins, the candidates will have spent millions of dollars, bought all available television time, and cornered the market on endorsements from all living citizens of Iowa and New Hampshire...
...And does it...
...Senator Bumpers cited health and family reasons for eschewing the long and arduous trek towards the presidency...
...One has only to travel around the country a bit to find that almost every state boasts someone it considers to be of presidential stature...
...Exaggerated, but pretty much the way it is in this campaign year of 1987...
...And that the party reach its decision in a representative microcosm in which the needs of our varied regions and interests can be reconciled...
...The presidential primaries were designed as a legitimate device to challenge an entrenched administration or party apparatus which could be challenged in no other way...
...Reading these articles, the voter from any state might well ask why the system rules out men of their caliber...
...Voters who have come of age in the last thirty years are apt to answer, "No," so foreign is the scenario to their experience...
...Many ordinary citizens would be happy if they could vote for one of the nationally admired men who have refused to submit themselves to the present process a Mario Cuomo, for example, or a Dale Bumpers...
...So it is unlikely that the centrist, the conciliating leader, the downto-earth officeholder will have as much chance as the colorful, the quotable extremist, the best-financed, and most cleverly packaged...
...House of Representatives, Congressman Tom Foley...
...Suppose, by some unlikely chance, that the candidates of the best known prospects are in question until the moment of convention choice, or suppose that a hitherto obscure prospect surfaces as,a solution to a convention deadlock...
...Isn't it better that a man or woman be advanced by the state delegations who have watched him or her grow and develop, who know what manner of officeholder he or she is, and what kind of person...
...Among the presidential qualities the editor listed are the ' 'remarkable gentlemanly skill of listening to and working with people of both parties and the fact that capitol veterans view Foley as a true internationalist and an expert on trade...
...But to call the desire a virus is to reinforce the growing perception of the present, prolonged ordeal as unhealthy for the body politic...
...The process, he fears, may favor extreme ideologues "narrowly directed, super-charged in their beliefs...
...Under present conditions they won't be able to...
...Evans, too, has in the past advocated the presidential primary way of picking candidates as more democratic, but now he is not so sure...
...Those most likely to be nominated are those who want it most, but those who want it the most are not necessarily those who would do the best job as president...
...Could the important issues be explored...
...It has been said that, because of the multiplicity of candidates, no one of them particularly outstanding, the candidates might possibly be picked in brokered conventions next year...
...Good...
...343 OF SEVERAL HINDS Abigail McCarthy ONE REMOVE FROM THE REAL QUALIFIED CANDIDATES WHO DO NOT RUN Not until the late summer of 1988 - roughly a year and a quarter from now will the official candidates for president be formally chosen by the conventions of each party...
...Couldn't they wait, our citizen might ask, and announce later, thus reducing the wear and tear of the ran...

Vol. 114 • June 1987 • No. 11


 
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