How important is the ‘likeability factor’ in our president?

Published 8:29 am Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Gulf Coast was very hospitable to Donna Sue and me this past week. Isaac stirred up the waves and the wind a little bit before we got there, but, mostly, it was a good week for a vacation.

Some people have difficulty relaxing. There are the worries about what is going on with the job back home. Or who is going to look after the family pet or the house if something should happen? There is hardly ever a time, these days, when some family member or friend is not having surgery or some kind of need.

The “busy-ness” of our lives is a definite detriment to the ability to vacation, but, generally, if I take one, I am usually able to relax. This past week, I didn’t “hit a lick at a snake.” That means I was pretty lazy. We used to say about lazy people, “He ain’t scared of work, he can lie down right beside it.”

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As with most men, though, I was ready to come home after the allotted time. One has to be careful with gender prejudices, but most of the men I know look at vacations as something that needs to be done every so often. It’s not that we don’t like to take a vacation, it’s just that once we get somewhere, the really big question is “when do we leave.” I will simply say that it’s a man thing.

Here is another thing that is important for a successful vacation. Some might not agree with this or like it, but one of the first things to do when getting to your vacation destination is to find out if the most significant of all the appliances work. I’m not talking about the stove or refrigerator, I am talking about the television.

Is there cable and how does the remote work? Remotes: what is it about them? Most of them are so complicated that it takes a brain that is younger than daddy’s or momma’s to figure it out. In other words, a child is better at contraptions like remotes than adults are.

Why would a company need to make a remote that is at least a foot long and with 50 or more buttons? I simply want an “on” and “off” switch with numbers 0-9 to change the channels. Is that too much to ask?

Here is a good question. What’s the first channel you look for? For me, it’s The Weather Channel. It still amazes me that a channel that shows nothing but weather could be so popular.

For us this time, The Weather Channel could have been called the “All You Would Ever Want to Know About Isaac” channel. First we heard of Isaac was that a tropical depression had formed off the coast of Africa and could impact the United States.

Then Isaac turned from tropical depression to tropical storm and, like the Energizer Bunny, it just kept on a-coming. The experts on the, you guessed it, The Weather Channel followed it every inch of the way and gave us updates all along the way. In fact, I got wondering, what would all those people have done if it wasn’t for Tropical Storm Isaac?

Finally, they coaxed it into becoming a full-fledged “herry-cain” and then, Praise the Lord, it took its aim on New Orleans. It might have been simple coincidence that Isaac was going to make landfall around New Orleans on the exact, same date as the infamous Katrina. I’m not sure about the coincidence. There had to be some cahoots involved so that all that footage from Katrina could be used again. Will we ever forget Katrina?

For all of you who believe in silver linings, here it is. Isaac cut the Republican National Convention short by one day and, if that is not a silver lining, I don’t know what is. I don’t really want to see any more mayhem, but if we could just get another day-shorterner for the Democrats. What’s good for the elephant is good for the donkey, as I always say.

Donna Sue and I did watch quite a few of the speeches from Tampa and I enjoyed many of the speakers. Since Mitt Romney had already secured the nomination, there had to be another reason for all the excitement down in Tampa. Our reliable talking heads on television came to the rescue.

It seems that they have decided that Mittens is lacking in the likeability quotient. Votes for the governor could be lacking, but not because he doesn’t have the ability to be president. Much to the dismay of the opposition, his sterling record as a businessman has already been attested to by none other than former president Bill Clinton, who surprisingly will get the chance to walk that back this week at this party’s convention.

It doesn’t matter that his four years as running the state of Massachusetts showed executive office ability or that the Salt Lake City Winter Olympics in 2002 were on life support when he accepted the challenge to save them. It doesn’t matter that his hair is perfect and his family has been raised in an exemplary manner.

It seems that Mitt Romney is going to have trouble winning the 2012 presidential election because he is not liked as much or doesn’t seem as cool as the current occupant. Since Romney doesn’t drink beer, the majority of Americans would rather have their happy hour with President Obama. Is that a sound reason for voting for president?

How about this? How about let’s listen to what both have to say. Let’s challenge them both to tell us how they are going to get us through this pretty tough spot in American history. Let’s see if either can balance a check book or present a budget. Then, may the best man win. After all, I don’t expect to be invited to have dinner with either one. I don’t have to like them. I just want them to work!