The Obama Effect…or Why I Could Never Be a Politician

Barack in GermanySeriously, I could never be a politician. Being an editor at is fine with me.

I think this is true of most of us. The idea of subjecting myself, and my loved ones, to the relentless scrutiny, not to mention cruelty, of a national campaign would be a living nightmare.

Can you imagine waking up every morning and hearing yourself being called every imaginable name and accused of every cruel and thoughtless deed imaginable?
How would you like to be Barack Obama and tune in to Fox News? From “terrorist fist jabs” exchanged with your wife, to the fact that you are a “Muslim,” (read Black, that you are “arrogant,” read “uppity”) the criticism is all day, every day.

Okay, perhaps it is worse to be John McCain, who is the new punching bag for the only “ism” that’s still okay in America, ageism.

Obama goes to Germany, and McCain goes to the “Best of the Wurst” German restaurant.

Obama goes to France, and McCain goes to a local supermarket where, even worse, there is a call for an applesauce clean up in Aisle Three.

I’ve been left at home when my brother got to go on a really cool field trip, shoot three pointers, get cheered on by a crowd of half-drunk Europeans—but my sad little staycation wasn’t broadcast around the world.

Most people get to grow old with quiet dignity, McCain’s aging on the nightly news and not looking to great. As for Obama, he’s enemy number one of conservative bloggers and radio talkshow hosts throughout the known universe. If I heard Limbaugh or O’Reilly speak of me the way they speak of him, I’d sock each of them in the jaw.

In politics you have to be in the business of biting your tongue, holding your temper, and parsing your words morning, noon, and night. I’m a pretty mellow guy but I’m not that mellow. They talk about McCain’s temper, well if he is a bull we should get to find out in the coming weeks because every time I look someone is waving a red flag right in the middle of his rapidly aging face.

I guess if you’re McCain or Obama you get up every morning and you say, “only x number of days to go until election.” If you’re lucky, that’s the end of it. If you’re not, and you’re the winner you’ve got four more years of listening to yourself being called, a misfit, a moron, a mongrel—and that’s just the words of your supporters. The opposition are calling you a lot worse than that.

If that hasn’t satisfied your thirst for power, you get a second shot to do it all over again and win another four years.

Thanks, but no thanks. I’ll take the quieter life. Let my wife call me a misfit, my kids call me a moron, and my brothers call me a mongrel. At least I know they all love me, and I don’t have to hear it repeated over and over and over again on CNN.

Martin Brown
Money Editor

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