Sunday, February 03, 2008

Oval office try-outs...

All of these debates and pep rallies are hyper-distractions. The selection process is so speculative - we are left to choose our candidate based on smiles, one-liners, and murky paper trails. What does any of this have to do with the actual dang job of presidenting? I have a solution to the superficial horse race frenzy.

Oval Office Try-outs...

When you hire an actor you put them on a stage and make them read lines. When an athlete competes for a position in a big race, they must perform try-outs. They don't talk about what a dramatic face they'll pull or how high they can pole vault. No - People must be seen in action. So why can't we create a simulated week of presidential reality with all the replete decision making, opinion galvanizing, and crisis management that the job requires. Why don't we really put these candidates to the test? We would build perfect replicas of the Oval Office, Air Force One, foreign summits, etc., and unleash Obama, McCain, Clinton, Romney, Huckabee into these crackling environments. Each would be left to their own devices to fulfill obligations and navigate unforeseen challenges to the best of their abilities. Computer simulated "cabinets" would provide information and wildly divergent strategic advices. And so on. It would be the ultimate reality TV series with a genuine purpose for our great nation.

Of course, the presidency is an American emblem shrouded in secrecy and symbolism. The actual "on the job" profile isn't really available or of much interest to us. We want leaders who appear strong, capable, and in touch. We don't want to know how sausage is made.


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