Germond talks politics to the Q

Jessica Hodges

Jack Germond, political columnist for years, took the podium in the Mancheski Executive Seminar room at 2:30 p.m. on Wednesday afternoon to discuss politics .

Germond focused on this year’s election, and why he has lost some faith in the political system.

Germond has covered every presidential election since 1960 and became a popular journalist while working on the political talk show “The McLaughlin Group” for 15 years.

Recently, Germond has published his second book “Fat Man Fed Up” in which he addresses his frustrations with the politics in the United States.

“The truth is politics has become mechanized, trivialized, and bloodless over the past years,” Germond said in the first 15 minutes of his opening statements.

Germond, a stout man whose head barely reached the microphone, cracked a joke about his height before he even began speaking about politics, giving the audience a glimpse of his good nature.

Germond then went on to say why he is so disappointed in politics today, and why the 2000 election was the last one he covered.

“First of all, I didn’t like the first George Bush, and I thought having two Bushes in office in one lifetime said enough about our country. I didn’t like Al Gore either; he has no idea who he was,” Germond said.

Germond was quick to add that we cannot put all the blame on the candidates.

“They are just people like everyone else; we can’t blame them for everything. We also have to blame ourselves for not knowing enough about the elections, and the press for not knowing what is going on.”

Germond strongly emphasized that although it is not the media’s job to educate people on the election, it is their job to get proper coverage and to make the news accessible.

He explained that there has been a rise in TV networks who ultimately control our decisions, but who do not spend enough time on politics to cover it well.

“The media spends too much time on the cheap shots that each candidate takes at one another. That isn’t the news! This year’s campaign, unfortunately, is being completely focused on cheap shots.”

During the open ended section of the presentation, Germond was asked many questions concerning how John Kerry and George Bush differ, and how they have been presented by the media.

“Personally, I think Kerry is going to win the election. He has realized that he cannot be such a pushover and he has stopped being Mr. Liberal-Nice-Guy, which he desperately needed to do,” Germond said.

“I don’t think either candidate has received different treatment. Politics is a rough scene.”

When asked to comment about the presidential debates that have taken place over the past several weeks, Germond quickly responded.

“The Republicans made a huge error. They thought Bush would destroy Kerry in the debates, which is why they agreed to have three, as opposed to two. Bush didn’t come out looking better, and even the Republicans will tell you that Kerry looked like he belonged on that stage.”

Germond went on by explaining that debates are always harder for the existing president because he must spend all his time defending himself, while the challenger can just keep attacking him.

The inevitable question about the decrease in voters came up into question and Germond responded by blaming not only the media, but the candidates who have recently served.

“When we have a politician who leads, and succeeds, things will change. We need to get someone who can get beyond the gauntlet of the process and really perform in the White House.”

Germond closed his presentation saying that sometimes the best people to put into candidacy are the ones who refuse to endure the spotlight.

“One of these years we will grow up, but it will not be this year.”