You Have To Be Wrong To Be Right for the U.S. Presidency
by Jon Swift
To a lot of Europeans, and Americans as well, U.S. presidential campaigns are a mystery. Perhaps three-time presidential loser Henry Clay explained the process best in 1839 when he said, “I had rather be right than President.” In other words, you have to be wrong to be right for the U.S. presidency and that is just as true today as it was in 1839. The purpose of a presidential campaign is to give the candidates the chance to repudiate, back way from and explain away as many of their old positions and actions as possible in order to convince extremists and one-issue voters in their parties to nominate them. Then the candidates must run to the middle and regret a few more positions and actions they took in the past in order to get elected. Finally, once they are elected they must never change their minds or admit to any mistakes at all no matter what the situation. President Bush is a perfect example of how this strategy works. While running for President he regretted most of what he had done in his life, from his drinking to his performing badly in school and in business, which just made him more likeable. Now that he is President, he can’t think of a single mistake he has made.