From the desk of author Michael Solomon

Michael Solomon was a 15-year veteran of the New York City Police Department and served  in its drug enforcement division, receiving well over a dozen awards for his excellent service
Date: January 14, 2008   Vol. 3 2- Issue 2

Quid Pro Quo

Endorsements have been something that people have been seeking forever. Whether they are of a personal nature to substantiate one's character or in the business world for a product or service. When these endorsements are given, they usually are presented freely without the endorser expecting much in return.

However, in the political arena, endorsements are usually Quid Pro Quo; you wash my back and I'll wash yours. Over the years, we have seen numerous endorsements by newspaper and magazine editorial boards, labor unions, religious groups and other organized groups and associations.

In the past, we have witnessed trial lawyer groups endorsing a candidate hoping for a favorable outcome when it came time for tort reform. We have seen teachers and police unions putting their stamp of approval on a candidate looking for additional funds in the classroom or to fight crime. We have experienced labor unions looking for favorable legislation to help their members.

The endorsements that seem important to the current Presidential candidates, from both parties, are from respected members of their party. However, some have turned out to be a surprise. Especially this past week, when Sen. John Kerry (D-MA), former presidential candidate endorsed Barack Obama, which appeared to be a quick slap in the face to John Edwards, his former running mate.

If that seemed like a surprise to you, it was not to me. It has been my opinion that their was never any love lost between the two former candidates, even during the campaign of 2004. Kerry and Edwards have had a strained relationship since the early part of the 2004 race. During the campaign, it appeared as though Edwards was running for President not best man. I just didn't expect Kerry's endorsement to happen so soon in the campaign. I wonder if it has anything to do with trying to knock Hillary Clinton out of the race early.

I can only imagine what would happen if during half-time at this years super bowl, Al Gore, in a thirty- second commercial, endorses Obama-of course their is no love lost between Al and Hillary either. If you are a Clinton fan, that would be as painful as the Patriots losing in the playoffs and not even making the game after having a perfect season.

Let us turn to Hollywood, the big announcement that really didn't surprise anyone, including yours truly, was Oprah's endorsement of Obama. She even went on the campaign trail with him. The 'O" factor usually elevates books to best seller status. However, can it help elect a president? Does Oprah want to be Secretary of State? The backlash from this is Oprah has now fallen to second place in the ratings behind Ellen DeGeneres. I imagine her viewers have expressed how they felt about her meddling in politics- - way to go Ellen!

Chuck Norris has endorsed Mike Huckabee; I guess he wants the government to place a Total Gym in every home in America.

John Edwards is trying to be quiet about Harry Belafonte's pat on his back. Maybe he is embarrassed by Harry's public comments with Chavez at his side stating that, "George Bush is the greatest terrorist in the world." Why would you want to align yourself with someone who appears to have anti- American sentiments?

Donny and Marie Osmond are backing Mitt Romney. I wonder what brought that about?

Here is the one I really like; Jenna Jameson, Best Selling Author of "How To Make Love Like A Porn Star", and a former porn star herself, has endorsed Hillary Clinton. She told Newsweek magazine, (Dec. 27, 2007), "The Clinton administration was the best years for the adult industry, and I wish that Clinton would run again." Is she looking for a job as an intern?

Besides the political and Hollywood endorsements, it seems that endorsements are coming out of the woodwork quite rapidly. Last week, the Nevada state council of the Service Employees International Union, which represents over 17,000 workers, announced its endorsement of Barack Obama. Of the 17,000 plus, I wonder how many dishwashers and busboys are here illegally?

When organizations and individuals endorse a candidate it amazes me that voters follow the lead of their union leadership or their favorite celebrity. It almost appears that voters need someone to tell them how to vote. When I was in school, I was required to do my own homework. It should be the same way during campaigns. If you are too lazy to do your own homework and vote your own conviction not someone else's, maybe you should not vote. Because when the person who wins turns out to be someone you dislike you have no one to blame but yourself.

Voters should do their own homework and make up their own minds. Do they really believe that if they do not vote the way their union leaders want them to, they will lose their job or some union benefit? If they vote for a candidate because Jenna said she's my girl or Oprah says he's my man, don't think you will be put in the good graces of Jenna or Oprah. Do you really think they know you exist?

Remember, Shhhhh! it's a secret ballot; they will never know unless you tell them, just make it count and make it meaningful. However, most importantly make up your own mind; don't let someone make it up for you.

And, that is my opinion.

Michael Solomon

Author of 'Where Did My America Go?"


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