Your comments about this column are welcome ~ e-mail Ron at
The Spectator
founded 2004 by ron cruger
A place for intelligent writers
A place for intelligent readers
 by Ron Cruger
The "Baloney Benders"
2007 Spectator Ron - The Spectator All Rights Reserved
  My grandmother had a way of taking in the most difficult situations and refining and reducing them to their simplest terms. I remember her watching a group of presidential candidates on television in the early 1950’s. When the debating, accusing and speech making was over she turned to me and said, “What a bunch of ‘Baloney Benders!” 
          Gram’s been gone a long time, but I have a hunch that if she were here today, watching the Democratic and Republican “road shows” (they call them debates) on television she would reach out, turn off the television set, lean back on the couch and once again say, “What a bunch of “Baloney Benders!” 
          I don’t know about you, but I’m getting a little fed up with watching these men and woman running for president from both parties as they appear on the televised debates. I think it’s wonderful that our American democracy offers the opportunity to all of the candidates to express their partisan views in front of millions of voters. However, I long for some straight talk. I pine for some down-to-earth discussion of our problems and their solutions. I yearn for a candidate to look straight into the television camera and say something like, “I want to cut out the graft, corruption, over-spending and “pork barrel” squandering in our government. If we cut out this waste we could have enough money to feed all the hungry children in our country. We could take care of our homeless. We could find a cure for AIDs and many other of the catastrophic diseases in our nation.” 
          I want to hear a candidate stand up and say, “My first action, on my first day in office, will be to get Democrats and Republicans together and very quickly come up with a bi-partisan solution to the war in Iraq. Personally, I lean towards making sure that no nation in the world will ever do harm to America or Americans. Because if the do they will feel the full might of our anger. If elected I will meet with many of the world leaders to find common ground among us, and tell them of our desire for peace in the world. At the same time I want every nation on earth to fully realize that it would be a monumental mistake on their part to bring even the slightest harm to America or any American. As far as the war in Iraq goes, we have made many mistakes. Primary among them was trying to get the world to believe that we invaded Iraq to get even for the attack on 9/11. However, we are there and America’s credibility is on the line. If elected I would call on our military to do whatever it takes to achieve an immediate victory. I would greatly accelerate the training of an Iraqi military and police force. Then I would begin a full scale withdrawal of American troops, after warning every other nation on the planet that their intrusion or trouble making in Iraq would result in American military action against their country – with unimaginable damage resulting.” 
          The time has come for Americans to stand up and refuse to accept mediocrity in government. We won’t accept it in car repairs, fast food service or septic tank cleaning, so let’s not accept in our government. 
          Now, I’ve looked over the Democrat and Republican candidates for President of the United States and I’ve created the C.C.R.S. (Cruger Candidate Rating System). 
          The C.C.R.S. is based on a 100 point rating system. A candidate can earn from 1-10 points in each of 10 categories. Any candidate getting less than 70 points might as well forget being a serious candidate and go home and get a job selling real estate.

Here is the C.C.R.S. (Cruger Candidate Rating System) 
     1. Charisma 
     2. Truthiness 
     3. Seems honest 
     4. Has class/style 
     5. Looks like “one of us” 
     6. Appears smart 
     7. Looks trustworthy 
     8. Looks good on TV 
     9. Can talk good 
     10. Could be a good leader

(From 1-10 points can be awarded in each category for a maximum total of 100 points) 

Joe Biden                                 79 
Hillary Rodham Clinton            76 
Chris Dodd                               67 
John Edwards                          79
Mike Gravel                               63 
Dennis Kucinich                       67 
Barack Obama                        85 
Bill Richardson                        82 

Rudy Giuliani                            80 
Mike Huckabee                         79 
Duncan Hunter                         73
John McCain                             78 
Ron Paul                                   73 
Mitt Romney                              85 
Tom Tancredo                          70 
Fred Thompson                        65 

          As the days pass and we learn more about the candidates these point totals will change. 
Stay tuned and from time to time we’ll update the C.C.R.S. (Cruger Candidate Rating System) results. 
          You may want to try rating these candidates yourself. Remember, rate them from 1-10 points in each category. You may be surprised at your own results. 
          But as you do, keep your eyes peeled for “Baloney Benders.”