I don't know about you, but I am dreading the build-up to these mid-term elections. I guess I don't have it so bad, living in New York, where the Congressional races aren't too ugly, but when I go to Florida for "Impact" tapings, the non-stop dueling negative ads just seem so childish. I just hate the ads, one after another, each one seemingly voiced by the same guy, all saying things that are most likely a collection of misleading half-truths. Really, so many of these races seem to come down to who hires the most ruthless PR team.
I really thought Obama's election would change the tone, but, if anything, things have gotten worse. I don't think it's the O man's fault, but I think he was probably guilty of misreading the partisan rancor in Washington. I don't mean to seem cynical, but I just don't see things getting better unless someone comes along who really can bring people of all types together. And I think the only chance we have of finding that man is to look outside our two party system for a true Independent, who won't campaign for candidates of either party; who makes it clear their their only constituency is the people of the United States. I know it's not likely to happen, but, man, it would it's nice to envision a day when it will happen. Please enjoy a small story about the man who I think represents our country's best hope for that far off dream. I know that General Petraeus has expressed no interest in running for public office, but just I just love to think of a guy so universally respected eventually calling the shots. Please enjoy my story of the time I met General Petraeus, Commander, U.S. Central Command.
I'd been familiar with Gen. Petraeus's name for a few years, well before his ascension to the top of the Army ladder in Iraq. Although I was not a particularly big fan of the decision to invade Iraq, I strongly disliked the MoveOn.org "General Betray Us" campaign, largely because it had no basis in fact, and wasn't going to gain any credence with anyone who'd ever met or served under the guy.Which is pretty much what I told the General and his wife on the occasion of our meeting. I also told him I'd heard of his prodigious propensity for premium push-ups; apparently even well trained soldiers half his age know not to mess with the General in any type of official push-up challenge. Petraeus informed me that he was up to a contest if I was, before correctly noting that I would be working with considerably more resistance (hips and ass of near Dreameresque proportions) than would he.
Thank goodness he spared me the public indignity of performing the worst military related push-ups since Bill Murray's five dreadful reps in the 1981 movie "Stripes."
FYI, - to this day, whenever I see Stone Cold Steve Austin, either he or I will repeat the classic "Stripes," Warren Oates/Sgt. Hulka line, "Okay hot shot!," usually within the first minute of speaking.