By Alan Caruba
The thing I fear most right now is having to write a column about the Republican Party in late November 2012 with the title, “What Were They Thinking?”
Let’s put it this way. No incumbent President since Jimmy Carter has had worse polling numbers than Barack Hussein Obama.
The question—the fear—on the minds of most Republicans these days is whether the Party intends to commit political suicide by choosing the wrong candidate to run against Obama and to add to their present agony, it has a litter of candidates who run the gamut from charisma-challenged to scarily brilliant.
Let’s review the choices.
Jon Huntsman, a former Governor of Utah, is in the race I’m convinced only because he harbors a deep animus for Mitt Romney, a former Governor of Massachusetts and fellow Mormon. Oh? You didn’t notice we have not one, but two, Mormons running? We do. No matter. Huntsman has so far managed to keep his tinfoil hat hidden in a box in the trunk of his car. Fortunately and wisely virtually no one is paying him any attention.
Then there’s Michele Bachmann. Frankly, I don’t want to have to listen to Nanny Michele for four years telling me to clean my plate because there are starving children somewhere in the world. She gained notice leading the Tea Partiers against Obamacare. Good for her. Now please return to the House of Representatives and leave us alone.
Rick Santorum is a very nice fellow and that’s his problem. He’s too nice. He doesn’t scare me or anyone else. In a dangerous world, I want a President who just might blow the hell out of some nation or other. He’s stuck on the abortion issue when the majority of Americans have, for better or worse, moved on.
The Cain Train officially derailed on Saturday, Nov. 4, and saved us from having to further give him any serious attention. I don’t much care that a bunch of dubious women claimed he was a sex fiend. I do care that Herman couldn’t find Ecuador or Chad on the map if his life depended on it. He had no experience working with a legislature or in politics except for losing one race in Georgia. He was and is extraordinarily unqualified to be the President of the United States
It pains me to say this because I love Texans and have many friends who live there, but Governor Rick Perry is not ready for prime time. Granted that Texas is big enough to be a small nation, most people outside of Texas are unaware that its legislature meets in regular session on the second Tuesday in January of each odd-numbered year for a session that is limited to 140 calendar days! Perry is charming and fairly bright, but even I could run Texas by drinking heavily for 140 days every other year.
I will not even linger over Ron Paul because he is a Libertarian and widely believed to have come from another planet. Paul gives “old”, “cantankerous” and “opinionated” whole new meanings when you put those words together in a sentence.
In March of this year I wrote about “the Newt-ster” saying that Newt Gingrich “intellectually, is head and shoulders above anyone else in the race. In terms of pure brain power, he has a real grasp of most issues.” Gingrich has a grasp of every side of every issue because, at one time or another, he has been on it. If, however, you had heard him speak to the Polk County Republican Party in Iowa last week you would know he would wipe the floor with Obama in a debate. For all his flaws—and who does not have flaws—he has an historian’s and working politician’s grasp of issues, big and small. Do I agree with him on all of them? No, but I think he could make the changes needed to turn the nation around and I believe he has a passionate love of America.
Which leaves us with Mitt Romney; old sure-and-steady, a man who has had the political misfortune of actually changing his mind over the years, largely because he ran as a Republican in one of the most Democratic States of the Union…and won!
Romney is an attractive, intelligent, and very well qualified candidate, having succeeded in the worlds of politics and business. Let’s also give him points for having lived a moral life as a good husband and father. He has made it this far without a single major gaffe, but Romney increasingly gives the impression of being robotic. He is locked into his political gameplan and talking points, and it has worked to this point. It may get him the nomination.
Of the two, Gingrich is just more fun to listen to as he speaks extemporaneously, citing Jefferson and Lincoln, quoting the Declaration of Independence, reminding us why the first Americans fought a Revolution. Gingrich has already made some history of his own, wresting control of Congress away from the Democratic Party in the mid-1990s. He could do it again.
The Republican Party made a spectacular mistake in 2008 when they choose John McCain. I think the Iowa primary will give Gingrich a win. I think the New Hampshire primary will give Romney a win. After that, money—lots of it—and organization will make the difference.
What matters above all other considerations is that the Republican Party must have a candidate who can send Obama packing. If that happens, America’s future will begin to improve in the late evening of November 6 when the election results come in.
© Alan Caruba, 2011