In a move that shocked no one (mainly because no one was paying enough attention to be shocked), New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson threw his hat into the ring for consideration for the Democrat Party's nomination. Just what we needed.
Is it just me, or have the quality of candidates for the highest office in the country gone down in recent years? So far, the Democrats have John Edwards, Joe Biden, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton (maybe), John Kerry, Al Gore (maybe), former Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack, and now Richardson. And I'm sure I've missed one or two candidates at least.
The Republicans aren't much better. John McCain? Rudy Giuliani? Mitt Romney? Ron Paul? Newt Gingrich (maybe)? Tom Tancredo? And I'm sure I've missed on or two candidates at least there, too.
Out of all of those candidates, running or on the fence, that I've mentioned, each one has at least one thing working against them. Scandal, lack of a high profile, lack of money, or in the case of Gore and Kerry, general thickheadedness, even the good candidates are going to be hamstrung, leaving us with the political equivalent of survival of the fittest to give us the candidates.
But are they truly the fittest to lead the country? Hardly. Ever since George H. W. Bush, we haven't had a President we could look up to, but we had three we could ridicule and look down on. And whomever comes out of the nomination process will probably be the same way. The good candidates get knocked out early due to lack of money or some made-up scandal that ultimately wouldn't impact their ability to lead. And when you eliminate the good folks, you're left with the dregs.
Isn't it about time we elevate our expectations of who gets to be President? After all, that person will be the leader of the most powerful country in the world. Shouldn't we expect someone holding that office to shy away from being the punchline of jokes?