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I wish politicians would have this attitude instead of avoiding the questions and coming out with meaningless statements.

I hate to point this out, but when he was running for Governor, Jesse Ventura used to say it all the time. I remember in several of the debates when asked tough economic questions.

"I don't have the answer to your question, but I know if I'm elected, I'll appoint the brightest economic people I can find to solve the problem."

As opposed to other candidates who either talked along party lines and said they would tax the rich or give tax breaks to businesses and rich people.

I still feel like it was one of the most important things he said that got him elected. He never acted like he had all the answers.

If he got elected and that worked for him, then awesome, but I could understand why many people would take issue with that way of answering questions.

When it comes to politics, a lot of people aren't looking to elect someone for their decision-making ability. They're looking to elect someone who is making the same decisions that they've made. For instance, people don't want a candidate who will "investigate whether universal healthcare is a good idea". The people have already decided whether or not it is, and they want someone who will agree with them.

In addition, not having a hardened position on something could mean that you intend to compromise with the opposition on that issue in order to appeal to more voters.

This. Or at least someone who appears to share the same values and decision-making criteria.

Politicians don't say anything useful because everything they say is fodder for the media to find something to excerpt, distort, and then replay endlessly out of context as an attack. The media has forced politicians not to say anything.

    Qu'on me donne six lignes Ă©crites de la main
    du plus honnĂȘte homme, j'y trouverai de quoi
    le faire pendre.

        If you give me six lines written by the hand of
        the most honest of men, I will find something in
        them which will hang him.

    -- Cardinal Richelieu (attributed)

A surprisingly large number of people would actually be turned off by a Politician who says I don't know.

One thing I realized very quickly while doing some volunteer work - when the guy in charge (or running to be in charge) says I do not know - people react as if they have lost all confidence in him/her despite understanding that not everyone can know everything.

so caveat emptor on preaching that.

There was a comment about Hilary in those Clinton papers that just got released along the lines of "Stop just answering the question asked. It's good manners but bad politics."

Unfortunately the audience is different. Uncertainty becomes more of a negative the further away the audience is from the practitioner.

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