Questions for the Presidential Debates

We’re just a couple of days away from the first Presidential Debate. They’ve become a regular feature of the campaign. They’re not just good theater, and a flub in one can ruin a candidate – but they provide the only direct comparison between the main candidates. In the rest of the campaign, they don’t face each other. It’s all speeches and ads.

True, they are formal and stage-managed. But consider them to be the “job interview” portion of the task of applying for the job of President. Just like a job interview, you get to see the candidates in person, in a format where they aren’t the ones in control of the situation.

As always, I have questions I’d love to ask the candidates if I ever had the chance.

First, some questions for both of them:

As a president should be prepared for anything, a candidate should also be ready to deal with known possibilities. What are your plans if you should lose the election?

Say something nice about your opponent.

If you had a “Do Over”, what one thing / incident / decision in your life would you do differently?

What do you consider to be your greatest accomplishment? Your greatest failing?

What have you learned over the course of the campaign so far that you didn’t know before?

You are old. There’s no getting around it. No matter what your current physical condition, old people are more likely to come down with illnesses and conditions both mental and physical. The Presidency is one of the most stressful jobs in the world, which can only make a health “incident” more likely. What’s your backup plan if you find you are no longer able physically to meet the demands of the office?

For the Individual candidates:

(Yes, I’m biased. I fully admit to supporting Hillary Clinton. This is my personal blog; I don’t have to be fair and even-handed here if I don’t want to. So there.)

For Hillary Clinton:

If elected, will you still serve on the board of the Clinton Foundation? Couldn’t that present conflicts of interest?

You’ve been called a “career politician” as a mark against you. Why do you think people count this as a detriment?

You’re not polling well with “millennials”. Why do you think this is so? Is there anything you can say or do to convince them to support you?

For Donald Trump:

You have business interests around the world, often in countries that are strategically vital to US interests, and outstanding loans to a foreign-owned bank that is currently negotiating a settlement with US regulators. How can we be sure you won’t put your personal profit ahead of our national interests?

How do you justify being a “jobs” president/candidate when by your failure to pay your bills, you’ve forced lots of small businesses into bankruptcy and closure?

One of the biggest complaints about Clinton is her habitual secrecy and lack of transparency. Yet you have yet to release your income tax returns, which has become one of the simplest things we ask of our presidential candidates. Shouldn’t you be tarred with the same brush?

You recently stated that Clinton started the whole “birther” controversy, and that you ended it in 2011. The former has been proven false, and if the latter were true, why were you still issuing statements questioning President Obama’s birth as late as January of this year? Many more of your statements have been proven to be lies, yet you’ve never issued a retraction or apology. What have you to say for yourself?

You’ve been involved in thousands of lawsuits, some of which are still open. It seems to be a habit with you. How can we be sure you won’t use office of President to intimidate or bully your legal opponents or personal rivals?

Your campaign slogan is “Make America Great Again”. This means that America was great in the past. When was the last time that America was “Great”? (Note: From what I’ve read, and what I sense, most people feel that America was last great prior to 9/11. That means America’s last extended period of “greatness” was during the Clinton presidency (1992-2000)….. Gee….)

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