Private Eye | Hillary for President: Engaging my negative election juju 

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It’s not yet mentioned in the same breath as the Sports Illustrated jinx but, in time, it’s an even bet that politicians everywhere will quiver when they learn that I’ve advocated for them. Whenever I do so, the opposite happens. When I want someone to win, they lose. When I want them to pass a bill, it fails. The only time the reverse happened—when I endorsed Ross Anderson for mayor in 1999—he won and the city lost. I’m damned bad luck either way.

My negative election juju is most readily apparent in the headlines that accompany this column. To name just a few, this column previously has been introduced with the headlines “Kerry for President,” “Mitt for President” and “Christ for President.” To date, none has sworn the oath of office, and my belief is that none will. Kerry was Swiftboated and Mitt Swiftboated himself by switching parties (from reasonable Moderate Republican to pandering Ass-Kissing Republican). Meanwhile, Christ discovered many Americans think he’s too liberal and not nearly a good enough Christian to lead this nation. It hasn’t seemed to bother him, though. He was last seen keeping score and taking names in the Mormon vs. evangelical Christian throwdown.

It’s been clear for years that my jinx is real. My jinx has impact—just not the one I want. So, this week, I’m turning a negative into a positive. The headline on this column reads “Hillary for President.” Do you really think I want Hillary for President? No, and hell, no. Why would I support a candidate who insures the success of Fox News? My premise is that by putting her name up there with Kerry, Mitt and JC, my jinx will torpedo her chances. I can only hope, for if there’s anything I’d least like to see come this November, it’s another Clinton presidency. Hillary turns me off faster than a bowlful of liver Jell-O.

I’d expect that some of you are already crying foul. Not because I’ve failed to follow the liberal Democrat line with the other Jackboots for Clinton, but because you think Mitt is going to win in November despite my headline curse. No, he’s not. I don’t even think Mitt will be the Republican nominee, let alone win the election. Mitt has piled up loads of bad will out there—switching positions on issues, fighting the evangelicals, dissing the war veteran McCain, appearing out of touch with common people. No matter how much ink his friends at the All Mitt All The Time Deseret Morning News spill in his direction, he remains the holder of multiple campaign negatives, not even counting his hair.

If you get the chance—and as long as you can hold your breath so as not to take in too much stench—you might want to go to the Deseret Morning News Website and check out all the stories on Mitt. You want a coronation, it’s right there for you in black and white. Stinkier than all those stories, though, are the thousands of reader comments that accompany them. The majority are either overwhelmingly pious or confoundedly hypocritical. Wading through them is like taking the Wayback Machine to the seminary classes you skipped back in junior high.

Reading “people who won’t support Mitt are anti-Mormon bigots” for the 200th time is enough to convince me Mitt can never be right for the presidency as long as he has friends like those. Yup—what America needs right now is a four-year long debate about the origins of the Book of Mormon and an equally long assault on the veracity of the Nicene Creed. That’s all people will talk about. Many people claim that a Mitt presidency will restore virtue, faith and Christian values to the American people. I disagree. A Mitt presidency will usher in an era of skepticism of all things faith-based or Christian. I know people who think that would be a good thing, by the way.

Either side of any such debate is a glorious waste of time. President Bush can pray all day long, and he’s still regarded as the incredibly poor communicator who managed to get us into the Iraq war while stumbling on domestic issues. Where does he go, though, when he needs a sympathetic boost? To a church pulpit. I mean, Yikes! He even posed with a bunch of grey-bearded Greek Orthodox bishops and monks on his recent trip to Jerusalem. No, I didn’t feel good about it.

Being regarded as a religious sort makes it all better for some people. We’ve all seen a reader comments like, “George Bush may be the dumbest, least productive, orneriest, most inept president in American history, but he has moral values,” haven’t we? Can you imagine what would become of that illogical trainwreck if Mitt—or Huckabee, for that matter—were elected president? And what if it turns out to be Obama?

I’d like that. For starters, making fun of his religion—whatever it is, but it’s likely the same one he doesn’t wear on his sleeve—will be seen as piling on. I like his message of change, too. You know it’s a good message because everyone else has copied it. What I really hope, though, is that his message changes. He’s the one candidate who beats all others in the No. 1 message to me this year: Unity.

That should become his message. Unity. Hillary, Mitt and all the rest who are feeling entitled to the presidency are polarizing. Their claim to world and political experience is worth less than a thimbleful of dust if they cannot speak representatively of all Americans. Obama scares them because he can. I hope I don’t jinx him.

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