November 1, 2016          Daily Chronicle

Because this presidential campaign began so early last year, I wondered about other campaigns. Research revealed that as early as February 1983, Sen. Alan Cranston of California, announced he was running for president in the 1984 election (Source: “Everyone Is Entitled to My Opinion,” by David Brinkley).

Political campaigns are mental and physical endurance contests.

It takes a thick skin to handle all that is hurled at them. Intelligence, too. But, one would think that anyone intelligent enough to run the country would be too intelligent to seek the office.

Because we live in the age of television, we can easily see how the presidents age while in office.

Teddy Roosevelt referred to the presidency as “the arena.” It’s also referred to as a prison, living in the White House. Others have spoken of the loneliness of the presidency.

So why do they seek the office?

A question in a poll once asked: “Would you rather be president for four years or spend a week in jail?” Result was that 52 percent said they’d rather go to jail.

We in Illinois are familiar with the phrase, “Be sure to vote early and often”

The late Republican President Ronald Reagan (once a Democrat) said, “My whole family were Democrats. As a matter of fact, I had an uncle who won a medal for never having missed voting in an election for 15 years … …and he’d been dead for 14.”

The wry wit of David Brinkley was evident in his book mentioned above. when he wrote about an election in Texas. At one point he described President Lyndon Johnson and other politicians going through a cemetery to copy names off tombstones to add to voting rolls. One stone was covered with moss and hard to read, so they skipped it. But according to Brinkley, Johnson said, “You will not skip it. He’s got as much right to vote as anybody in this cemetery.”

You’re probably familiar with the question these days during a crisis, “What would Jesus do?” I am wondering what a Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, or FDR would think about today’s campaigning?

The quote below is from the biography of John Adams, by David McCullough.

“No man who ever held the office of president would congratulate a friend on obtaining it.”

Advertisements