May 26, 2016

I was never a fan of Bill Clinton, not when he was running for the Democratic nomination for the presidency in 1992, not during the 8 years when he was President. My one and only requirement of Mr. Clinton in the '92 general election was that he not turn out to be as bad for me and mine if he won as President George Bush Sr. had been during his term in office. That's why, in all the years of his presidency, Bill Clinton never disappointed me. Through all the many things he did that I disagreed with, he lived up to my hopes, because he was never as bad as Mr. Bush.

I know this is an admittedly low bar to get over for my support, but when one lives in the United States long enough on my side of the great American divide, you learn to have low expectations of those who live in the White House.

I took the same position with the losing candidacies of Al Gore in 2000 and John Kerry in 2004 against Mr. Bush's son, George W., and I feel assured I would have felt the same about them had either of them won those elections.

As for Bill Clinton and Gore and Kerry, so it was for Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in the Democratic presidential nomination race in 2008. Satisfied that either Mr. Obama or Ms. Clinton would have been a far better choice than John McCain or whoever else our Republican friends might have nominated that year, I took no public position in the Democratic primary. From my perspective, either of them would do. And so, just like with Mr. Clinton, I was never disappointed with Mr. Obama during his years in the presidency, because no matter what he did, and no matter what I disagreed with about what he did, he was never as bad as Mr. McCain or Mitt Romney would have been.

That brings us to 2016, and the contest for the Democratic presidential nomination between Ms. Clinton and Bernie Sanders. Despite the fact that I have good friends in both the Clinton and Sanders camp who make compelling cases for their gal or guy, I have not, and will not, take a public position in that race. For my part, I'd be tickled to death, as the old folks used to say, with either of them getting the nomination and winning the presidency in November, as either Ms. Clinton or Mr. Sanders, on their worst day, would be head and shoulders above Donald Trump on his best.

My only hope in that fighting for the nomination, neither Ms. Clinton nor Mr. Sanders nor any of their many fervent supporters do anything that directly or indirectly aids Mr. Trump in getting into the White House next year in any capacity except as a participant in a guided tour. As low as my expectations for an American President are, that's quite a bit lower than I care to go.