Nobody is presidential enough for the presidency

Mike Royko

April 10, 1992|By Mike Royko | Mike Royko,Tribune Media Services

"I think I got this election figured out," said Slats Grobnik. "There ain't none of them any good."

Does that mean you don't care for either Bill Clinton or Jerry Brown?

"No, I mean all of them."

Ah, you are part of the angry and disgruntled "none of the above" school of political thought.

"Not just none of the above. I don't like none of the below or none of the ones on either side, or none of the ones standing in the third row. Or nobody else, either."

You mean there isn't one Democrat you think is fit to be president?

"That's right. And no Republican, either."

Let me see if I understand you. There is no candidate from either party who satisfies you? Then you must be for H. Ross Perot, who is thinking of running as an independent.

"No, I don't like him, either. Or any other independent candidate."

That's a bit extreme. You seem to be saying that nobody is fit to be president.

"You finally got it."

Don't you think that you are being overly critical and demanding? After all, you aren't a New Yorker.

"Nope. And I'm not the only one. From what I'm hearing, I'm part of the majority. We don't like nobody. Or if we like somebody, we don't like him very much, and the only reason we like him is because we don't like the other guy more."

I assume then, that you are rejecting Bill Clinton.

"You bet. He's just too cool, too calm, and too reasonable, too slick, and he's got an answer for everything."

And Brown?

"He's not cool enough or calm enough. He makes me nervous with all his yelling and goofy talk."

Then I would think Paul Tsongas would appeal to you.

"Nah. He's not slick enough. I want a president who looks like a president. Besides, he says we're going to have to make sacrifices. I don't want to make no sacrifices for anybody else. I want somebody to make sacrifices for me."

Ah, then Jerry Brown should be your man because he is vowing to make life miserable for the rich and the powerful.

"Yeah, but he says he'll pick Jesse Jackson to be

his vice president, and I know what Jesse wants to do. He wants to take my money and give it away to somebody else. If he's ever president, he'll be remembered as the great Middle Man."

Well, we all have to pay taxes. Or most of us.

"Why? I don't see why the tax laws can't be changed so that everybody who makes a certain amount don't have to pay taxes. Only the people who make more than that amount."

And what amount is that?

"What I make. That's the cutoff. Unless I get a raise. Then the cutoff will go up."

Do you consider that fair?

"Who's talking fair? I'm talking about what's the best deal for me."

I think you are being unrealistic. After all, everybody would like to avoid paying taxes and pass the burden on to the next guy.

"That's right, so I'm no more selfish than the next guy."

Then what's wrong with George Bush as your candidate? At least he has said he's sorry that he raised taxes.

"Too late. Not raising my taxes means never having to say you're sorry. Besides, he was sitting right next to Ronald Reagan when they were screwing up the economy and those savings and loans were swindling the whole country."

But you are still working and have about the same standard of living.

"Sure, but now I can't get a decent rate on my CDs."

Yes, but that's because the savings and loans must now show greater caution in making loans. Therefore, they have less need for your money and aren't paying high rates. It is for the national good.

"I'm not worrying about the national good. I'm look

ing out for my good. I want that 9 percent."

Let's get back to the candidates. A self-made man and a patriot like H. Ross Perot should appeal to you.

"Maybe. But what about him smoking that marijuana and playing around with other women?"

He hasn't been accused of these things.

"That's right, so how do I know he didn't do them? For all I know, he even inhaled."

But that hasn't even been suggested.

"I know that. So I can't support a guy who hasn't even been accused of not having any character yet, and hasn't had a chance to deny it, which would give me a chance not to believe him, no matter what he said."

In other words, you would question his character, regardless of the evidence?

"Hey, everybody's got something to hide. Besides, how did he get that super-rich if he didn't do something kinky, huh?"

What if Mario Cuomo got into the race?

"I don't like fast-talking guys from New York."

How about Sen. Lloyd Bentsen, who is being talked about?

"I don't like slow-talking guys from Texas."

Well, let's consider other possibilities. Let's say George Bush pulls a Lyndon Johnson and doesn't run for re-election. Could you support Dan Quayle?

"Let his wife support him. He don't sound smart enough to support himself."

What about Pat Buchanan?

"He doesn't have a chance because the media guys don't like him. That's one of the reasons I'm anti-media."

Then that is all the more reason for you to support Buchanan.

"I can't. There's something about him I hate."

What's that?

"He's a media guy."

You're difficult to please.

"Me and a hundred million others."

I think you will have a long wait if you're expecting a candidate who is absolutely perfect.

"I wouldn't vote for someone who was perfect anyway."

Why not?

"What, and have him looking down at me?"

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