Politicians are inherently uncool. In good times, they tell you what you want to hear, they’re afraid to be edgy, to be real, to tell hard truths. In this caustically partisan moment, politicians lie brazenly and proudly, as if flaunting the truth to win votes is what they’re in office to do. Well, some do. The men on this list buck the trend by telling hard truths and openly disagreeing with the powers that be. Does that make one cool? Not necessarily. But these are also men with records, conviction, and who happily talk about the joys and difficulties of being fathers. It’s a way of politicking that gets our vote.
Cool Dad Job: Brooklyn Borough President
Latest Cool Dad Achievement: Running for mayor???
Eric Adams has been a New Yorker his whole life. Born in Brownsville and raised in Queens, Adams attended City University and the NYC Police Academy. He went on to spend 22 years with the NYPD, founding an anti-racism advocacy group. Adams, now in his second term as Brooklyn Borough President, has offered his constituents a vision of what a public service can be. During the Covid-19 crisis, he camped in his office and worked around the clock to do anything he could to protect his borough. Now, as Black Lives Matter protests wind through his streets, he’s reacting with thoughtful guidance and continuing to focus on doing the work, which means getting AC units to seniors through the New York City Housing Authority, not jousting with straw men, or attempting to use a movement as a photo op. Adams may not be a change agent, but he’s a responsible adult at a time when more of those are needed.
Cool Dad Job: Last Decent Man
Latest Cool Dad Achievement: Being on the right side of history.
Anybody describing Mitt Romney as cool is grading on a curve. Romney can’t stand next to anyone under the age of 50 without looking like he’s about to fire them. Still, he has something that almost none of his Republican colleagues seem to possess in the age of Trump: integrity. Whether you like his right-leaning centrist politics or not, Romney deserves credit for being an adult who functions in reality. His insistence on stating obvious truths — Trump obstructed Congress, Covid-19 is serious, Black lives matter — has offered some relief for those tired of being gaslit by an increasingly out-of-control party intent on creating popular fictions instead of meaningful policy. Is Romney a guy you’d want to get a beer with? Well, he doesn’t drink, but at this point… yeah, probably.
Cool Dad Job: Entrepreneur, politician
Latest Cool Dad Achievement: Making outsider politics cool again.
Andrew Yang’s presidential campaign marked a shift in American politics that four-years prior, seemed nearly unthinkable. His near singular focus on Universal Basic Income and automation brought a once-fringe campaign idea into the forefront of American politics — one that feels all to prescient now with massive unemployment hitting the country in a tidal wave at the onset of the economic crisis triggered by the Coronavirus pandemic.But Yang, who ended his campaign and went on to launch a non-profit that gives direct cash payments to American families, is more than a candidate. He’s also a dad to two sons, one of whom is on the autism spectrum, a guy who has amassed an enormously loyal political following, months after leaving the race, and a moral voice in a world that lacks it. He’s a nerd who is not afraid of being a nerd. And he’s also the type of dad who has learned that the most rewarding thing about being a father is learning what drives his kids, and facilitating those passions. He is also, unsurprisingly, extremely nice.
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