Out of the Mouths of …????

gaffeDoes anyone reading this remember the segment from the old Art Linkletter show titled “Kids say the darndest things”?  Anyone even remember the old Art Linkletter show (1952-1969)?   Well, on that segment, Art would talk to kids, ask them questions, and their answers were often off-the-wall, always humorous.

  • Art: Who was George Washington’s wife?  Kid:  Miss America.
  • Art: What are the qualities of a woman’s ideal man?  Kid:  A man that provides a lot of money, loves horses, will let you have 22 kids, and doesn’t put up a fight. (Love this one, but scratch the 22 kids!)
  • Art: When God punished Eve, what did he make her become?  Kid:  A housewife.

At any rate, the whole point was that kids just say whatever comes to mind, don’t over-think the question, and their answer is usually pretty funny.  Let me just say that the same is true for politicians, though it is rarely humorous.  Of course here, half the problem is that there is a hoard of media pundits just waiting to pounce on every word, every nuance, and pick every statement apart with a fine-tooth comb.  But the politicians know this, and therefore one would think they would come prepared, or at the very least think twice or even three times before opening their mouths!

  • At a town hall meeting in Watertown, New York, a student asked Ohio Gov. John Kasich how he would help her “feel safer and more secure regarding sexual violence, harassment and rape” as president. His answer?  “Don’t go to parties where there’s a lot of alcohol. OK? Don’t do that.”  While I agree that it is sound advice, but is not a practical answer to the question and it has many up in arms.  Some have read into his answer that he is blaming women for being raped.  Personally, I do not think that was his intent, but I agree that it was an off-the-cuff, inconsiderate answer and did him no favours.  But then he only remains in the race to try to get a few delegates here and there to keep them away from T anyway.
  • An April 5th interview between the New York Daily News and democratic candidate Bernie Sanders: Interviewer: “I’m wondering how far and what you want Israel to do in terms of pulling back.”  Sanders: “Well, again, you’re asking me a very fair question, and if I had some paper in front of me, I would give you a better answer.”  Apart from the fact that he gives a non-answer, this might have gone unnoticed, but there were no less than nine questions in this single interview for which he had no answer, all about foreign policy issues that he should have taken the time to understand long ago.
  • 28 October 2016, CNBC republican debate: Opening question is that old interview question we all hate, “What is your biggest weakness?”  No candidate actually answered the question, but Ted Cruz took the award for worst response with “If you want somebody to grab a beer with, I may not be that guy but if you want someone to drive you home – I will get the job done. And I will get you home.”  Not much I can say about this, but if I ever need a designated driver, I will try to call Teddy.
  • Governor Chris Christie, after dropping out of the race, was interviewed by George Stephanopoulos on February 28th in regards to his surprising endorsement of Donald Trump.

Stephanopoulos: Some of your supporters say you promised them you would not endorse Donald Trump. Joe McQuaid, the publisher of the New Hampshire Union Leader, says you promised him on a phone call you wouldn’t endorse Donald Trump.

Christie: Not, it’s just not true. He called me two days after the primary and said, I was just told that you’re about to endorse Donald Trump. And I said to him, that’s absolutely untrue. I’m not about to endorse anybody.  Huh?  Didn’t he just say … oh heck, never mind.

  • Just this morning, as I was flipping between Sunday morning news shows, I saw Hillary Clinton, again on This Week with George Stephanopoulos. When asked a question about a bill sponsored by Sen. Chuck Schumer to allow families of 9/11 victims to sue potential state sponsors of terrorism like Saudi Arabia, Clinton responded “I don’t really know about that, George, I’d have to look into it …. So I’m not…”

Stephanopoulos: You don’t know about this issue? It’s been around for several years.

Clinton: Well, I know there’s been an issue about it for quite some time, I don’t know about the specific legislation that you’re referring to. But obviously, I’ll look into it.

Stephanopoulos: OK. So — but you’re not prepared to say now whether you support it or oppose it?

Clinton: I can’t, I haven’t studied it. Unlike some people — I do try to learn what’s at the core of any question before I offer an opinion, because you know it’s not enough to say what’s wrong, I think you’ve got a responsibility to say how you’re going to fix it.

I generally agree that it is better to simply say “I don’t know, but I will find out” than to bumble around trying to evade and ending up making a total fool of oneself.  However … Hillary Clinton is a former Secretary of State, as well as a candidate, probably the most plausible candidate, for the office of President of the United States!!!  And this is an issue that has been around for quite a while and has become a very hot topic in recent weeks, as Saudi Arabia is threatening to sell off billions of dollars in American assets if the bill is passed.  So this is not just another gaffe.

You will notice that I did not use a single one of Donald Trump’s many, many improbably, wacky, derogatory and disgusting statements.  There are just too many, Trump news is getting old and stale, and he is too easy a target.  I wanted more of a challenge.

Candidates for such a high level position must learn to engage their brains before their mouths.  This bunch remind me of someone trying to change gears without disengaging the clutch.  They set my teeth on edge, make me shake my head, and wonder what our next leader is going to “lead” us into if they cannot survive a ten-minute interview unscathed.  Sigh.


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