A little presidential parlor game

I should preface this with a lawyer-like disclaimer: My opinions are truly my own and are not the opinions of any employer past, present or future …

Okay, the 2012 presidential election takes place 52 weeks from today. And since shit is being stirred on both sides of the political debate — Occupy on one side, the surreal circus that is the Republican Debate Tour on the other — it’s time to address a question that’s been bothering me for a long while now.

And maybe it starts some healthy debate. And maybe it starts something bigger.

It’s no secret that many of us to the left of the radical right are disappointed, disillusioned and/or pissed off at the man currently in the White House. The man who had the audacity to make so many people hope, then tossed them aside once he took office in order to follow a course of appeasement — with the wrong people.

And there are a lot of other things about him that I won’t get into now, both for brevity’s sake and for risk of veering off-course.

So now he’s coming back to us — taking his too-little, too-late-for-many job bill show on the road, trying to “energize the base,” as they so call it in D.C., with that smug, arrogant, look-down-his-nose pose of his, and speaking eloquently and slickly (with the aid of a teleprompter), because that’s what he does best. And he won’t do much else.

Why? Because all he and his handlers have to do, really, is point at the Republican side show and say, “Do you want our guy or these clowns?”

Any why’s that? Because people have been cowed into thinking they don’t have any other choice.

I’ve had too many friends tell me, both in conversation and on Facebook posts, “Well, who do you want to run for president?” As if we don’t have any other choice. Maybe they’re still haunted by visions of Ralph Nader; maybe they believe the two-party system is mandated by the Constitution. or something outlandish like that.

I’ll tell you what I tell everyone: 310 million people in this country and this is the best we can do?

This is really the best we can do? Two people who are gonna be in the pockets of Wall Street, who will say whatever it takes to win, then do what Wall Street damn well pleases?


So here’s the parlor game:

Pretend that you have no choice but to vote for someone else for president. Pretend Obama’s a lame duck, or he’s decided to step down to take part-ownership of Da Bulls or something. You have to pick a new president.

Okay — who’s the best person, or persons, for the job?

Think of a name or two. Could be a Democrat; could be an independent,  Republican, Libertarian, Green, whatever. Doesn’t matter. Just someone who hasn’t been announced as a candidate up to this point who you think would give us the leadership and strength we need to get out of one hell of a mess.

You don’t have to articulate your reasoning beyond a sentence or two — besides, every candidate is gonna be run through the Central Scrutinizer at some point, so all the laundry, clean and dirty, will eventually be wrung out. The whole point of this parlor game is to get some names out in the Webosphere — to get the country thinking that we don’t have to settle for the status quo. Hell, most of us have been screwed by the status quo every way to Sunday.

In short, do you want a say in choosing the next president at an extremely crucial time in our history — or are you just gonna lazily leave the choice up to them? Whatever them is?

So get your thinking caps on. And please share this with your friends — play the parlor game with your circles and see what happens. Let’s see if we can actually find a good president among the 310 million people in this damned country. Here goes …


My name to toss in the squared circle would be Elizabeth Warren.

Why stop at senator from Massachusetts? It’s beneath her — they already have a former model occupying Ted Kennedy’s old seat, so the bar has been considerably lowered in the past couple years.

Why not her for president?

She’s spent time affiliated with both major parties (as an ex-Republican), she has a law background (and hopefully more of one than the self-proclaimed constitutional scholar currently in office) and over the past couple years, she has pissed off both the banks and the Obama administration for daring to do something bold to protect you and me — the consumers.

She’s not a flashy or charismatic sort, seems rather pragmatic and levelheaded … and, unlike the guy trying to please everyone, but big business and banks even more, she seems unafraid to stand up to wrong. And in numerous interviews on crucial issues such as bank reform and healthcare reform (see YouTube), she comes off not only as pragmatic, but understanding — compassionate — about what the 99 percent is going through.

And, of course, as a bonus, along with her comes the busting of another social barrier in America: A viable female presidential candidate without all the baggage of Hillary Clinton.

I won’t be fooled into even a moderate sense of hope by any candidate again. But it is empowering to think beyond the artificial — and increasingly unnecessary — boundaries set by the power brokers generations ago.

So, that’s my suggestion. What’s yours? And if you respond, maybe a sentence or two explaining why would would be good.


10 Responses to “A little presidential parlor game”

  1. mattderienzo Says:

    Michael Bloomberg or Maine Sen. Susan Collins.

  2. janee Says:

    Not michael. no.

    Dennis Kucinich! He doesn’t have a chance but he’d be great

    I like you take on Eliz Warren.

  3. Country Maron Says:

    Dennis Kucinich. A staunch anti-war Congressman (see “Department of Peace”). Voted against the Patriot Act and it’s renewal. Would cancel NAFTA, CAFTA and withdraw from the WTO. For Universal Health Care for all. etcetera…etcetera…

  4. Country Maron Says:

    Dennis Kucinich continued: Oops! I meant “its”.

    Also knows about being amongst the 99%. Lived in many places as a child, including a couple of cars, along with his parents and 6 brothers and sisters. It cost him his mayoral office, but he saved MUNY Light in Cleveland.

    Thanks for picking him, Janee. Isn’t it past time for us to be told by the media, etc… who is electable and who isn’t?

  5. jmucci Says:

    Maybe I’m just totally cynical at this point, but I think the whole game is rigged. I think Obama is a decent man, for the most part, and I do agree he has tried too hard to appease everyone, but no matter who gets in there… regardless of whether there are people out there that would be much better than him or the Republican clowns, I don’t believe there is any way to have a good president these days. There is too much corruption, too many lobbyists, too much of everything that has gotten us to this point. It’s almost like they need to blow up the whole system and start over…. otherwise I really don’t see anything changing. Maybe the Occupy Wall Street is the beginning of some real changes in this country? I don’t know.

    If Elizabeth Warren is actually fighting for the 99% of us, I wonder if she would continue to do so if she became president.. or if she would have to do like Obama and anyone else who becomes president has to do… and that’s compromise compromise compromise, until whatever you originally stood for has become just an illusion.

    The way the system is rigged, I think it’s impossible for a good person to get in there and actually do a good job. If your a Democrat, there is no way the Republicans are gonna go along with anything you do or say. Maybe some of Obama’s problems are his own doing, but he also has had a Republican Congress who are hell-bent on making sure every idea he comes up with is shot down. Would it be any different for anyone else??

    Plus, there is wayyy too much money being thrown at these candidates. It’s really whoever has the most money gets in.

    I don’t know. I’m hoping something good will happen, but I’m much too realistic to think that anything will change, no matter who gets elected.

  6. jmucci Says:

    Anyhow, Elizabeth Warren sounds about as good as anyone else. If she ran and if she is really serious about fighting against Wall Street, then I would gladly vote for her.

  7. Kellie Says:

    Gary Johnson. Successsful two-term libertarian-leaning Republican Governor of a predominantly Blue State (NM.) Balanced budgets, vetoed legislation, held the line on taxes, libertarian on social issues. It’s a shame the GOP has continued to shut him out of debates (despite polling as well, or as poorly) as Huntsman, Santorum, a couple of others. And a shame so many LGBT folks are so wedded to the Left Wing fringe of the Democratic Party that they will not open their minds to other, more sensible, views.

    (PS- I’m from Mass; Liz Warren is just another Far Left “progressive” Dem, not any sort of sensible centrist.)

  8. Rob DeRosa Says:

    I am likely a very bad example of voter responsibility. When I voted illegally TWICE against Ronnie his second time out and he obviously still won, I gave up participating in any elections at all until I met Clinton when he was looking for the nod. I jumped back in and loved every minute of his terms. I even ignored his ultimately biggest problem.
    I’ve since decided to vote in the presidential elections even if it’s simply to vote anti- republican. Do I wish Obama was more liberal? Yup. I’d like a president that is so liberal he/she makes Ted Kennedy look ultra right. But he is definitely the best person running- and it’s far too late for a third party to catch up now.
    My main problem with voting at all is that I really do not believe it’s my duty. I am not a patriot. I dodged the draft in the Viet Nam era because I did not feel it was my duty to protect America’s interests.
    I could easily drop out of caring again and very well may if one of the morons on the republican dais wins the election.
    The Weathermen had lots of real good ideas.

  9. Jordan Fitzpatrick Says:

    Gavin Newsom.
    Wish I could run for president but then I think, “oh wait, I’d never get elected because I’m a transsexual” it’s really disapointing to feel like transgender people can’t have positions of power.
    Oh what the hell, Fran for president!

  10. JessBear Says:

    Before I had finished reading this article, I turned to my partner and said: “The only person I could think of at the top of my head is Elizabeth Warren.” He chuckled and told me to read the rest of the article.

    I have loved this woman (in a political sense) since I have been aware of her lectures on the vanishing middle class and her solid stance against the flouncing of credit card and bank companies.

    If I lived in Massachusetts I would vote for her to be senator. If I had a job I would fund any attempt of hers to become president.

    I hope that when she has had a chance to establish herself in the Senate, that she would seriously consider being a presidential candidate.

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