When it comes to criticism of modern politics, I stand second to no man.
I've bored more than one audience with my tirade about how money and the New Meanness created by the professional consultants is ruining our campaigns.
Having said that, we interrupt this criticism to bring you a special announcement:
The debates in New Hampshire and Iowa being broadcast around the country by the cable companies have gotten this campaign off to an excellent start, and are doing just what campaigns are supposed to do: tell us a lot about the candidates.
We're learning there is not much difference between the front-runners in either party.
But from gays in the military to abortion and tax cuts, we're seeing a clear difference between Democrats and Republicans.
All of the front-runners have their little fictions. McCain, Bush and Bradley are no more outsiders than Al Gore is a Tennessee dirt farmer.
But there's also something to admire in each of them from Gore's doggedness to Bradley's courage to Think Big to McCain and Bush's honesty in saying that if they lose, it won't ruin their lives or the country.
No small thing. The best public servants are usually those who don't need the job to boost their self-esteem.
No, these front-runners seem decent men running for the right reasons. It's hard to imagine any of them putting us through the soap opera of the Clinton years.
So, enjoy it while you can...and now back to our regular programming.
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