A recent quote from Hillary Clinton about having to be a little crazy to run for President should have had a lot more resonance than it did. Only reported in some circles as part of an interview on PBS’s “NewsHour”, Hillary’s reference was a telling idea of what’s going on today in running for President and how much of a mountain it is to climb. In fact, it may have become too big of a mountain lately to a point where it’s simply too grueling for any human being (or family) to take on. Only a billionaire bachelor who has nothing else to do may be the best we can ever come up with as more and more qualified candidates decide to bother running.
This, of course, leads to the inevitable question: Does that quote from Hillary give some kind of indication that she perhaps won’t run for President? Based on how much she’s been dogged about her health and her realization of how steep the scrutiny is now in the age of social media and every eye watching constantly, will she inevitably decide to not run? It’s something America has to prepare for, as much of a shock as it might be. With so many automatically thinking her running is inevitable, a dropout would give a huge indication of what lies ahead for the future of running for President.
If she does drop out, there may have to be a huge assessment by the media on how running for the Presidency can be made to be more fulfilling rather than a giant wall of stress. With the world becoming more and more troubled, it’s no secret why someone wouldn’t want to be subjected to the intense scrutiny, lies, and fishbowl visibility. The problems of the world are also becoming arguably too much for one person to take on, almost giving the impression that we need a team of Presidents to help solve issues rather than one going up against a frequently resistant Congress.
Where should it start to make running for the Presidency more fulfilling to the ones that should be running for President, yet won’t out of sheer fear for them and their families?
Should the Media Step In to Step Out?
Some of the problem may have to fall on the shoulders of the media who report on politics every day. Should they lighten up on how much time they give to Presidential candidates so some privacy can be given during specific times? While it may be impossible in the age of cameras everywhere and social media, the media could make a conscientious effort to give Presidential candidates time out to rest with their families in privacy during campaigns. This includes political commentators who now live to grill politicians into the ground so hard that the politicians almost don’t want to come out again.
Making a concerted move to grant Presidential candidates some respect would send an immediate ripple that would give the role of running for President a bit more hope in leading somewhat of a normal life. In no way should a potential leader of the free world be considered a celebrity where it’s expected they be hounded by paparazzi. There has to be a distinction between wanting to become a celebrity for personal attention and running for President to help make the country and world a better place.
If the media cooperates, the public would have to do the same in how they treat politicians nowadays. Despite all politicians having some kind of bones in the closet, the public may have to stop treating the Presidency as a celebrity job rather than the Herculean task it really is. President Obama managed to bring some of that celebrity aspect to the Presidency that probably hurt him in the long run. A President Hillary Clinton may have the same situation, including near paparazzi-like scrutiny not unlike all the speculation about her health now.
The public will have to start being more forgiving of politicians, which they may already be now. This means not uploading videos of them on a constant basis in private places or spouting so much wild speculation about things on social media without knowing facts first.
And most of all, Congress will have to make an effort to have a better relationship with the President. America’s ever-widening political divide isn’t helping gain good Presidential candidates either. Assuming there’s a commitment to compromise, it might persuade a moderate to run for the first time. When someone of that political persuasion runs and who appeals to the public, all of the above may fall into place naturally anyway.
It’s all a matter of who goes first: A candidate emerging everybody agrees with, or all of us changing things to help get that better candidate out from under their bed.