John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


Optimists and Pessimists

Posted on November 10, 2011
Optimists make better Presidents.  Pessimists tend to run into trouble if they get to the White House.

Hermann Cain is an optimist.  That is why he is doing so well in the polls.  To have Herman Cain’s success in life, you have to be an optimist.  He probably believes he can still be President, despite the fact that he knows less about foreign policy than the average political science undergrad, his economic plan will never pass Congress, and he has a pretty thin political resume.

Oh, and don’t forget his problems with sexual harassment, although that probably can also be chalked up to optimism.  He probably thought all of those ladies really liked him.

Pessimists tend to be cynical.  They tend to see dark forces around every corner.   They like to divide people and plot their way forward.  Newt Gingrich is a pessimist.  He really likes to see a conspiracy in every reporter’s question.  Maria is the enemy, not a moderator.  Same with Harwood.  And don’t forget about Chris Wallace.

Ronald Reagan is the best modern example of an optimistic President.  Richard Nixon was the most pessimistic President (and the most cynical).  Jimmy Carter was a pessimist.  Jack Kennedy was an optimist.

Barack Obama hid his pessimism in a cloak of optimism.  He offered change you can believe in, but he hasn’t really bought into America as a concept.  He sees America’s flaws more clearly than the average American, and he tends to govern cynically.  He has taken the permanent campaign to a whole new level (basically inviting himself to give a Joint Session address because he wanted the footage for a new campaign commercial).

George W. Bush was an optimist, but his White House was run by pessimists.  Dick Cheney and Karl Rove weren’t exactly looking at the bright side of life.

George H.W. Bush was almost too much of an optimist.  He was so optimistic that he was going to be beat Bill Clinton that he forgot to run a campaign against him.

Bill Clinton was an optimist.  He really did believe that all of those women loved him, and in many cases, he was right.

Ron Paul is a pessimist.  To him, the world is going downhill, fast, crushed by tons of debt.

Jon Huntsman is an optimist.  He is still in the race, isn’t he?

Michele Bachmann must be an optimist, because she believes that people still think she can be President.  But her optimism is so suffused with conspiracy theories and all kinds of other doctrines that it comes off as being otherworldly.

It is not yet clear if Mitt Romney is an optimist or a pessimist.  In one sense, he believes in the possibilities of America.  Mormons tend to be optimistic (perhaps because they never have hangovers and don’t drink coffee), and Romney, who has been married for ever and has a great family and has great wealth, can help but be optimist with a life like that.  But on the other hand, he sometimes seems so tactical, so careful, and so, I don’t know, not quite optimistic, that it makes you wonder sometimes.

I hope our next President is an optimist.  God knows, the country needs one as its leader.