Get Ready for More Clichés

This is a fishing expedition. There's no smoking gun. I categorically deny this column is chock-full of clichés. Even if it were, one incident shouldn't tarnish many years of distinguished public service.

I'm sure we can all rise above this, knowing that the true test of character is how you handle adversity. I regret any pain this may cause but, make no bones about it, I take full responsibility for my actions.

In other words, it's time to move on, put this unfortunate chapter behind us so we can let the healing process begin and bring dignity back to the office.

I care about children and families and I want to make a difference in people's lives, which is why I stand on my record of calling 'em like I see 'em.

Proof is in the pudding. And here's the pudding -- in the form of predictions about next year's mid-term elections.

You can expect strong voter turnout and races that will be too close to call; virtual dead heats. I'm talking about running neck and neck. The winners will have won because they were able to carry the state, appeal to swing voters, stay on message, and get out the vote.

But how long will they be able to ride the coattails? For as long as they are able to resonate with voters, win a landslide election and claim a voter mandate.

Of course, in order to pull this off, the political winners will have to connect with the voters and be willing to stand up to the Washington bureaucrats but not back down to the special-interest groups.

The important thing to remember is we need campaigns that will focus on the issues. We need to build bridges into the 21st century and face the challenges of the new millennium so that no child is left behind.

We'll need to grow the economy, reform government, and reach across party lines to serve the American people.

We need to fight for working families because the children are the future.

Never mind the polls. I've never believed in polls. They're much ado about nothing. Bells and whistles. Besides, people will vote their conscience, and with their hearts, and their pocketbooks.

With all due respect, it's the economy, stupid. At the end of the day, when you look at the big picture, the fact of the matter is, the American people are tired of politicians flip-flopping on issues and advancing hidden agendas.

We're heading down a slippery slope. And if we do that, the terrorists win. Remember: the world changed forever on Sept. 11.

Not only does terrorism wreak havoc on the very fabric of our democracy but drugs wreak havoc on the very fiber of our society.

I mean, haven't you noticed the campaign trail on both sides of the aisle? There are war chests and dark horses everywhere. People are fighting for their political lives, from the right-wing faithful and the rank-and-file left-leaning peaceniks.

And that's just the tip of the iceberg. We've only just scratched the surface of all the partisan politics and smear tactics. Not that I'm criticizing the greatest country on earth because I don't play the blame game. It's just that if the buck doesn't stop here, the terrorists will see our lack of resolve and that's aiding and abetting the enemy, which is wrong because loose lips sink ships.

I don't blame you if you didn't realize this because the mainstream press has ignored it. It's the liberal media bias, tossing around the political football, whether it's a mean-spirited Republican policy or another tax-and-spend program.

I, for one, am sick and tired of all the Clinton-bashing and Bush-bashing. Can't we all just get along and support the troops?

What I'm looking for in a leader is someone who can hold their own, hit a homerun and go for the slamdunk.

But if I had one piece of advice to pass on, I'd say avoid cliches like the plague.

By the way, will write speeches for food.


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