Friday, September 23, 2011

J Lo For President

Last night as I watched the GOP debate on television, three thoughts came to mind:

1) A dog's poo is now more famous than Gary Johnson.
2) I want a ring-side seat when Mitt Romney and Rick Perry take care of business the same way that Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed did.  
3) Television appearances greatly affect who is elected President of the United States.

After the debate, Frank Luntz asked a focus group to share their opinions of the Florida event.  When asked which candidate they thought won the debate, the overwhelming response was Mitt Romney.

Truth be told, I thought he won, too.  But if we could somehow find a way squish together Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich and Herman Cain into one politician, I think we'd have one dandy President.  Oh, and add Michele Bachmann's hair.  She always has great hair.

So it was not the fact that they picked Romney as the winner that interested me.  It was the reasons why they chose him that I found fascinating:

"Romney was confident."
"He spoke with ease."
"He didn't stutter."
"Mitt Romney seems strong."
"He looked like a leader"
"He was elegant."  (I think what he probably meant to say was "eloquent".)
And my personal favorite.... "Romney looked Presidential."

Not one person said that Mitt Romney won the debate because of his policies, economic plan or vision for America's future.

So how do we really choose a President?

It made me think about the very first televised debate in 1960 between Republican Nominee Richard Nixon and Democratic Nominee John F. Kennedy.

Nixon had been hitting the campaign trail hard up until the day of the debate and he had also been sick.  He looked tired, pale and weathered.  Nixon refused to wear make-up (he's no sissy!).  He shaved that morning, but by the time the debate started, you could see a 5 o'clock shadow.  And nobody wants a bum for President.

Kennedy, on the other hand, took time off from campaigning to rest before the debate.  He wore make-up and looked tan. He even wore mismatched clothes so that his attire would look best on black and white television.  He came across confident, strong and secure.  And let's don't forget, easy on the eyes.

The 70 million Americans who watched the debate on television chose Kennedy as the winner.  But interestingly enough, most Americans who listened to the debate on the radio thought that Nixon won.

I bet Nixon never wanted to be a Cover Girl so bad in his life.

Ultimately, Kennedy was elected President of the United States by the closest margin since 1916 - winning by only 0.01% of the popular vote.  Even though Kennedy had a Republican predecessor and  economic recession in his corner (sound familiar?), as well as issues with the Soviet Union and his family's political influence, his victory is largely attributed to his good looks and silver tongue during that first televised debate.

Richard Nixon learned from his television mistakes and successfully ran for President in 1968.  Of course, while in office he made another mistake, but I think you have probably heard that story before.

If all we want are good looks, we should elect Jennifer Lopez as leader of the free world!

I can't wait to hear the J.Lo/ Pitbull Presidential Remix of On The Floor:

I know you got it if you're on the Senate floor
Let's keep it rockin', makin' laws on the floor
If you're a criminal, it's okay on the floor
Sign it quick on the floor
Before they read on the floor

First televised debate held in 1960