(CBS News) Dec. 12- For the series “Primary Questions: Character, Leadership
& The Candidates,” CBS News anchor Katie Couric asked the 10 leading presidential candidates 10 questions designed to go beyond politics and show what really makes them tick.
For the fourth part of the special series “Primary Questions,” Couric asked the candidates: “What country frightens you the most?”In a new CBS News / New York Times poll, Iran was named most often by Americans asked what country they fear most, followed by Iraq and China. Two percent said the United States is its own worst enemy.
You can read a transcript of this thing here, if you want to. I’ll give you a few highlights, if you want to save time:
- Joe Biden is afraid of Pakistan and Iran.
- Hillary Clinton is frightened of Pakistan.
- John Edwards hides under the bed when he hears the word “China.”
- Rudy Giuliani and Mike Huckabee start screaming “Run away! Run away!” when they think of Iran, too.
- John “Straight Talk” McCain is afeared of Iran, too, but he’s even more afraid of someplace called “radical Islamic extremism.” I couldn’t find that place on Google Earth, by the way.
- Barack Obama and Bill Richardson both wet themselves at the thought of… can you guess? Very good! Iran wins again!
- Mitt Romney made sure he covered all his fears by listing Iran, North Korea, and Russia. That way, when someone asks him the question again, he has a better chance of guessing right as to what he said the first time…
- Fred Thompson is afraid of the “zealotry of the mullahs.” Or something.
Like, am I the only one in the room who thinks this whole question is, like, way stupid? Do we really want to hear that all of these people, each of whom want to be our next president, are afraid of these countries? China worries me, but that’s for largely reasons of our own making, mostly having to do with our economic and trade connections to them. That, and the fact that their military is growing by the day. But seriously, Iran? Pakistan? North Korea? People in North Korea have nothing to eat, for pity’s sake. Neither Iran nor Pakistan would have been nearly the threat they both supposedly are if we hadn’t invaded Iraq and destabilized the whole region (not to mention pissing off millions of people), and done a lot of the other nonsense in that area of the world that’s passed for “foreign policy” since World War Two.
C’mon now, this is a question for a would-be leader? I have a better idea. How about this one, Katie: Why not ask “What country on the planet would you most like to build a diplomatic and economic bridge to? Who should we be reaching out to that we’re not reaching out to now?” See, that’s what a real leader would do. Build, not destroy. Reach out, not push away. Embrace, not attack.
I don’t know about you, but you know what my answer would be? The country I fear the most is The Land of Stupid.
And some days, when I hear and read stuff like this, I feel like I live there.