Every four years scores of people venture out on the trail to the Presidency. Ultimately only one will finish the journey – will reach the goal. There is danger at every turn. One false step and the candidacy can be doomed. Some recover from a slip or a slide – some perish, dashed on the rocks of a hard-nosed media. There is no forgiveness. There is little understanding. Take a step at your own peril.
History is fraught with examples: John Kerry was right before he was wrong. Huckabee prefers the Bible to the Constitution. Gore sighs like an old lady in a debate. John Edwards – whoooeee! Dukakis walked with Willie Horton. Ford freed Poland from Soviet Domination. Nixon was profusely sweating at the debate. Dewey believed outdated polling. Even Teddy Roosevelt was a Bull Moose.
I love allegory.
Check out this video as an allegory of the hike to the Presidency:
I hiked Long’s Peak in Colorado when I was forty-five years old. I was in good shape for a Missouri boy – not so much for the adventure of the Colorado Rockies. Actually, I attempted ten fourteen thousand foot summits and was successful eight times. I did make the summit of Long’s Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park – but I remember the Narrows as much more frightening than these videos capture:
In terms of Presidential Politics we might say that after the nomination is captured one has yet to challenge the seasoned opponent of the other party – the homestretch. The following video shows the ‘home stretch’ at Long’s Peak. These hikers have just crossed the narrows and are making the final ascent up a two hundred foot, very steep, rock face to the summit. Personally, coming down was much more scary than going up: