I watched the 1996 Star Trek film, First Contact last night. As the credits were rolling at the end I started thinking about that final scene where Zephram Cochrane is "entertaining" the Vulcan visitors with alcohol and his somewhat suspect jukebox. Not a great advert for human kind, a scruffy man getting drunk and listening to very loud music, was my first thought, but after a few moments it dawned on me that he wasn't trying to impress them particularly, it was just a sharing of culture.
Who better then to introduce the human race to the first group of aliens than someone with no agenda of their own, no desire to impress the aliens with the aim of getting an advantage in public relations. I would much rather live in a world where some essentially well meaning oddball was the one to represent me in situations of importance than a well groomed, scheming politician out to reach his own ends.
Who would you rather see make first contact, George Bush or someone like Zephram Cochrane?