I dozed off while watching TV this week. I dreamed that I was watching a political debate. The candidates were saying all the things I wish we could hear in real campaigns.
The challenger said, “You know, I’ve never held the office I’m seeking. And while I’ve got some ideas that I think will help make all of your lives better, it may turn out that I’m wrong. My ideas may not be worth a flip. So, I promise that if I’m elected and I’m wrong about the best solutions for our problems, I’ll seek excellent advice from somebody smarter than I am. I’ll work harder and won’t quit until I find a way that works.”
The incumbent said, “I’ve got a confession to make. I was excited when I was elected and eager to try out some ideas I’ve considered for years. But, in my enthusiasm, I overlooked problems that you all face that needed urgent attention. I’ll certainly make other mistakes if you re-elect me, but I promise I won’t make that one again.”
The incumbent continued, “If you’re pleased with the accomplishments of my administration, I’m afraid I can’t take all the credit. Some of the most capable public servants in the country are on our team. They work very hard to serve you and to assist me. This job is too big for one person. I’m thankful for the sacrifice of the men and women behind the curtain who really do all the work.”
Then the challenger spoke. “As I offer my services to you, my greatest fear is that I will let you down. That I will act in some manner that betrays your trust. That I will abuse your money. If you should ever feel that I have failed you in any way, please let me know. I want to improve and become worthy of the honor of holding public office.”
Then I awakened. Bill Clinton was still speaking, wagging his finger at the camera.
Well, it was nice while it lasted.