This is the part of the political dance that I hate. The sparring, where good people are forced to tear each other apart like gladiators.
If you haven’t been following the recent news, Hillary Clinton was asked if she thought Bernie Sanders was qualified to be President. The interviewer asked several times, interrupting her and leading her on. She didn’t actually say that Sanders isn’t qualified. Instead, she hemmed and hawed over it, leaving it open for interpretation.
Apparently, Bernie Sanders got some memo that said, “Hillary says you’re not qualified!” And so he responded, citing the same points that he’s cited before about her connections to the banks, and how a candidate that is in someone else’s pocket is not qualified.
I’ve lost a little bit of respect for both candidates from this exchange.
First, let’s start with what it takes to be qualified to be President. Taken from PresidentsUSA.Net and the Constitution:
No person except a natural born citizen, or a citizen of the United States, at the time of the adoption of this Constitution, shall be eligible to the office of President; neither shall any person be eligible to that office who shall not have attained to the age of thirty-five years, and been fourteen years a resident within the United States.
So, there you go. Both Bernie Sanders and Hillary Clinton are qualified. They meet the age and citizenship requirements.
I also meet these requirements. Sadly, so does Trump. The only one running for President right now that doesn’t meet these requirements is Ted Cruz, since he was born in Canada.
So, both Bernie and Hillary are qualified.
When Hillary was being interviewed, she shouldn’t have played coy. She should have just said, “Of course he’s qualified. The real question is if he’s the better candidate or not. I don’t believe he is, and I also believe the voters will side with me.”
That would have put an end to the question, and it would have shown respect for her adversary while at the same time projecting confidence.
But let’s say that, put on the spot, she chose to dance around while thinking of a proper answer. Fine.
What Bernie should have done was check the facts first. I’m sure one of his staffers came to him with the news, probably out of breath from running. The staffer panted out, “Did you hear? She says you’re not qualified!”
Instead of flying off the handle like he did, he should have checked for himself. When you get news that is just a little bit ridiculous, exercise incredulity. That way, you don’t set yourself up, the way Bernie set himself up.
Both candidates screwed up. I want Hillary to be more direct when answering questions, and quit constantly playing the politician game. And I want Bernie to take a breath and be more thoughtful instead of reacting on second hand information. If either of these two are going to be President, they’re going to have to learn these lessons in order to be effective.