By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)
Way back in August of 1979, a scion of one of the most powerful and successful political families of the 20th century demonstrated the need to be prepared when put on the stage in search of the highest office in the land.
The scion: Then U.S. Senator Ted Kennedy, (D-Massachusetts), brother of a president and brother of senator who was running for president– both, as you know — assassinated.
The situation: The Senator was being interviewed by CBS News reporter Roger Mudd on what should have been Kennedy’s chance to demonstrate why he deserved the Democratic nomination for president in the 1980 national elections. The interview took place in a safe and controlled environment: The Kennedy compound at Hyannis Port.
The question: “Why do you want to be president?”
The result: Senator Kennedy delivered a remarkably rambling, decidedly disconnected and certainly confusing response to Mudd’s simple question.
The outcome: Kennedy’s campaign was sunk. Sitting President Jimmy Carter was granted the Democratic nomination, but was trounced by Ronald Reagan.
The relationship to the 2016 presidential race: Republican nominee Donald Trump, as you know, has been asked many questions since the campaign began last year, and unquestionably, he’s delivered some rambling, disconnected and confusing answers. But I’m not sure if Mr. Trump has been asked perhaps the most poignant question for any candidate running for president.
And, now for the question — pretty obvious I trust — and subject of today’s post:
Mr. Trump, why do you want to be president?
Throughout this often bizarre and contentious campaign, Mr. Trump has been asked a lot of questions, but I’ve not heard an interviewer pose the simple one above. Given his proclivity for bluster and bombast, I would guess Mr. Trump would not shrink and retreat in the manner as Senator Kennedy.
And, in the interest of fairness, I would pose the same question to Democrat Hillary Clinton. But I think we know what her answer would be.