12/12/2006 12:53 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

Charisma as Catastrophe

With his movie star good looks, his dazzling smile, his early commitment to the Republican Party, as well as his self-proclaimed Mormon faith, he should be a shoo-in as a Presidential candidate, right? You thought I meant Mitt Romney? Sorry I was talking about Ted Bundy, the infamous serial killer. There's an old expression, "if looks could kill," and the fact is, they often do. Put aside everything you know about George W. Bush, if you can, and I know that's real hard; and you will have to admit that our President was a pretty handsome chap when he entered the race in 2000. And now think of the pile-up of those three D's - death, destruction, and despair that resulted from his Presidency. The devolution into the simian Bush cartoon happened in direct proportion to his mindless acts as President. He turned himself into his own monkey-man.

I write this because we are now entering the Presidential beauty contest time once again. Will a middle aged, albeit attractive Hillary, lose out to the more attractive younger Obama? That's a question of great concern to some. Not to me. Jack Kennedy and Ronald Reagan made their looks part of the political equation, and good looks might have helped unify the nation in simpler times, but in these complex, tragic days, it is time that good looks are taken off the table if we wish to survive as a nation. Attention America. Life ain't a movie.

No, I am not suggesting that we all get behind Rudy Giuliani, far be it for me to propose that a hatchet face that once sported a bad comb-over is an assurance of virtue and political wisdom. I lived under Rudy as my Mayor and I know the other Rudy, the narrow minded bully, no I am simply - oh, what the hell, let's cut to the chase - this is my pitch for my candidate Al Gore. He's wise, he's decent, he can see ahead to the consequences of his acts - and best of all, he's fat. Yes, in his case I view it as a positive virtue. As one of the formerly skinny, who now fights the poundage that arrived unannounced in middle age, settled in as an overnight guest and then refused to leave, I am part of a vast constituency who find in Gore a leader who understands our struggles, not just as a nation, but as men and women with weight problems. Yes, John McCain is also fat, so that may appear to punch a hole in my argument, but McCain looks like he works out, and you can't trust a fat man who works out, can you? Particularly one who will say anything, and do anything, to become President, forsaking all principles for that prize.

The plain fact is that Gore is the most qualified person to be President in America today. He is that rare, endangered species, an honorable man. And the weight doesn't hurt a bit. Think of all of us who identify with him for that alone, and honor him for recovering his balance after the debacle of 2000, demonstrating a rare grace, and decency in a world that is very short on those qualities. Yes, fat is beautiful when it comes accompanied by wisdom. So please, Al, say you'll run.