By Sylvia Gurinsky
I never want to run for President of the United States. I truly don't understand why anyone would want that job, even with the salary and benefits. No other job has bigger headaches.
But there are a number of people campaigning for it. One of them is Sen. John McCain, who has served this country long and honorably, but who is currently in attack mode against Sen. Barack Obama. The topper is the inexplicable ad comparing Obama to Britney Spears and Paris Hilton (I like the blog note on the Los Angeles Times Web site that indicates Rick Hilton, Paris' dad, has been supporting McCain. To quote the first word of a Spears song, Oops.).
In the middle of this campaign tomorrow will come the movie "Swing Vote." (Full disclosure: I am the author of the "Costner Cinema Chat" blog, which includes news and reviews of Kevin Costner's films.) In the film, Kevin Costner plays an extremely apolitical man who is thrown by circumstances, and his 12-year-old, civic-minded daughter (played by Madeline Carroll) into being the deciding vote in a presidential election. I haven't seen the film yet, but I suspect Costner's character will learn his lesson.
I also suspect both McCain and Obama will see the movie. What will they learn?
Here's what I wish they'd say to the American people:
McCain: I want to come right out and say I've goofed by having these negative attacks against Sen. Obama's character. It goes against the promises I've made in the past about clean campaigning. I disagree with a lot of Sen. Obama's positions on the issues, and that is what I will target for the remainder of the campaign.
Obama: I've promised change this election year. I want to stick to that by not countering any personal attacks against me with personal attacks of my own. I respect Sen. McCain, and my issue is with his ideas of how to run the country.
Here's what I wish they'd both say about the media:
Candidates: So far, many of the reporters and all of the pundits have played us back and forth, like a match at the Roman Coliseum, instead of looking at our programs, taking apart the details and really trying to figure out which of our proposals on the important issues is better for the American people. Did it ever occur to them that one reason journalism is in so much trouble in this country is because they no longer practice it, that they've turned elections into a more dignified-looking form of the WWF?
And by the way.....Enough already with the daily polls!