Candidates for president: ones who are, ones who are not, ones who should, ones who should not

The Democrats have some excellent candidates for President. Are more needed? Whether needed or not there may be more.

Ralph Nader has suggested he might run. Nader started his career as an excellent public citizen doing many good things. But that seems to have made him very uncomfortable.  Like George Bush he is determined to go down in history remembered for the great damage he has done. If not for him Bush would never have been president and thousands of deaths would have been avoided. But he feels that damage is not enough and is looking for ways of doing more. He is no longer capable of doing much, but every little bit helps.

Michael Bloomberg has criticized both parties for their superficiality, and with good reason. By speaking out he can greatly raise the level of the campaign and improve the performance of the next government.  He can also do a great deal of damage by running. If he is really concerned about the country (and world), not just his own ego, he should speak out, forcefully, but not run. He still has about a year to be a potential candidate before deciding not to be an actual one. He can use that year to vigorously push the level of our national conversation upward, offering criticisms, comments, ideas and new policies. Since he need not be concerned about alienating voters he can be very frank. That will force everyone else to be more honest and specific, and lead to a real, badly needed, discussion of the actual problems. Having rendered that service to the country he should then continue, but from the sidelines so as not to negate what he has so helpfully accomplished.

There is one other person to consider, a grandfather who is likely to have more grandchildren in the future.  Does he care about the world in which his grandchildren will live? Of course grandfathers are expected to. But there are very few of them, or of any of us, with the ability to really affect that world. Al Gore however has the ability to greatly improve the world his grandchildren will live in. That gives him an opportunity, a responsibility and also a burden.

Al Gore should go into a quiet room, with his grandchildren, and think about them and their future. If he runs, even if he does not win, he can greatly improve that world. It is something he should think about, very, very carefully.

Another thing Al Gore should do is lose 75 pounds.


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