01/17/12 — Debate Club: It is just like a scene from 'Mean Girls'

View Archive

Debate Club: It is just like a scene from 'Mean Girls'

Americans want to know the differences between candidates. They need to know them. That is the only way to make an intelligent decision about whom would be the best choice when voting time comes around.

But let's face it, sometimes the campaigns -- and the debates -- are more like some scene out of a classic high school drama -- or one of the new reality shows. There is more bickering, insulting and name-calling than actual substance and sane, rational discussion.

Some of that is politics. And if you cannot take a little criticism with grace and while remaining focused on your own message and mission, then perhaps the presidency is not for you.

And if you turn into a mean girl when you are questioned about a decision you made, you ought to think about another line of work, too.

A Republican debate at this stage is not going to be a hand-holding, kumbaya moment. This is battle. There are a bunch of candidates who want their chance at President Barack Obama this fall -- and they are trying to earn the votes necessary to make that run possible. So expect some negativity. There is no way around it.

But in the next few weeks, and the next few primaries, it just might be the person who is able to best-maintain his cool under pressure, and who is able to stay focused on his own message rather than what his opponent is doing, who might walk away with the final nod.

This is a battle for the future and it is an important one. No one wants to see a barrage of negative ads -- or to think anyone who is seeking the GOP nomination would resort to dishonesty or mudslinging. But we need to hear where the candidates stand, clearly and succinctly.

So grow up, wanna-bes. Focus on what matters.

We need a leader, not a "plastic."

Published in Editorials on January 17, 2012 10:42 AM