Diagnosis for Democracy
Insights into the State of Our Union
A Blog by Rob Tenery, MD


Stripping the Presidential Candidates Down to Their Bare Bones

By Rob Tenery, MD on September 26, 2016

“Good morning, ma’am,” a member of the uniformed Secret Service once greeted Hillary Clinton. “F— off,” she replied. That exchange is one of many retired Secret Service agents shared with Ronald Kessler, author of  “First Family Detail,” in a compelling look at Hillary Clinton.

“When in public, Hillary smiles and acts graciously,” Kessler explains. “As soon as the cameras are gone, her angry personality, nastiness, and imperiousness become evident…Hillary was very rude to agents, and she didn’t appear to like law enforcement or the military,” former Secret Service agent Lloyd Bulman recalls. “She wouldn’t go over and meet military people or police officers, as most protectees do. She was just really rude to almost everybody. She’d act like she didn’t want you around, like you were beneath her.”

Voters select their President based on three premises: Party affiliation, the candidate’s position on the issues and the person, the individual without their political armor.  In past times, the person who occupied the Oval Office was held in high regard, just because of the lofty position.  Even John Kennedy’s indiscretions were somewhat shielded by the media. Bill Clinton changed all that! His inappropriate sexual acts with Monica Lewinski so tainted the nation’s highest office, that position will never be the same.

Now this country faces the possibility of putting the other half of the Clinton team back in the White House. Along with Hillary Clinton’s opposition, Donald Trump, these two candidates are both upside down on their approval ratings.

With the Clinton campaign team focused on getting her elected mainly by demonizing Trump, it only seems appropriate to look at the two candidates stripped of their party affiliations and their positions on the issues. To look at them based on their personalities and their accomplishments to this point. This analysis should be a reasonable projector as to how they will use their position in the highest office to lead this country.

The first measure is illustrated in the opening illustration by Ronald Kessler that demonstrates Hillary Clinton’s distaste for those she considers below her or won’t be helpful in propelling her in her quest for the Oval Office. She is not a people person. Does that indicate she will be a bad President? Not necessarily! In some ways, her distaste for the opposition could help her in not being too conciliatory to other countries as is her predecessor. Compared to Donald Trump, despite his billions, who aligns himself with the common man, it could put her at even more odds with her opposition in Congress.

Another measure is Hillary Clinton’s past accomplishments. She failed to pass her law exam when she took it the first time around in Washington, D.C. Once back in Arkansas with her husband Bill, she was able to pass the bar. As first lady, she was given the responsibility of creating a new health care delivery system to cover the uninsured that never made its way through Congress. As Senator from the State of New York, she introduced only three pieces of legislation in her eight years in Congress. As Secretary of State, she can list the Benghazi attack, the Russian Reset, the rapid pullout of American troupes that directly led to the rise in ISIS and the failure to bring the Syrian crisis to an end, as tests of her abilities on foreign policy.

Donald Trump, out of the political circle, except for making it work for him in his business enterprises, can only use his successes in television and business development in is dossier of accomplishments. His claims over $4 billion in assets and counting would attest to his business abilities.

Next would their physical status. Unfortunately, Hillary Clinton sustained a minor stroke after a fall that slowed her down temporarily. But like Donald Trump’s tax returns, the rest of her medical status is a closely guarded secret. Trump, on the other hand, keeps up a pace that rival those half his age.

Although she has appeared before the black and Hispanic reporters, and held frequent scripted rallies, Hillary Clinton has not held an open news conference with the media in now over 9 months. So, tonight’s debate is a real test of how she will perform under pressure. Whereas, Donald Trump is virtually always in front of the camera. 

Although Trump’s campaign stays mired in controversy over his off-the-cuff remarks, Hillary Clinton seems to get deeper and deeper in trouble over her unsecured server, deleted emails and pay-to-play relations with the Clinton Foundation, while she was Secretary of State. Only the questionable investigation by the FBI and the reluctance by Obama’s Justice Department have kept her from being prosecuted.

Finally, Trump’s recent trips to Mexico and Baton Rouge and his trying to connect with the black and Hispanic communities, demonstrate his willingness to get ‘out there’ while Hillary stays cloistered in her scripted campaign. That is until the debates!

Closer scrutiny into Clinton and Trump that will determine how each will govern should they be elected. Clinton from afar, surrounded by her team of advisors. Judging by his past actions, Trump will be hands on, confrontational and ready to ‘go to them’ to advance his agenda.

Many voters will continue to just ‘feed at the trough of their chosen media guru’ and  ‘pull the lever’, rather than looking deeper into their choice. Joseph de Maistre’ s quote that every nation gets the government it deserves, couldn’t be more true. 





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