I can’t take it anymore. Even after a weekend of rest and watching nothing but college football bowl games on Saturday and the demise of Tim Tebow at the hands of Bill Belichick and the Patriots on Sunday, I still found myself trying to erase the debate from memory. After the end of the 13th (Is that all?) Republican primary debate I found myself hoping the chaos would end.
The primary season is in danger of turning into its own version of a reality television show in which a male or female is looking for the great love of their life. Unfortunately for Republican voters there is no Dream Candidate but instead a group of imperfect individuals, whose seemingly endless faults have left primary voters scrambling. The last few debates have treated potential voters to the same recycled talking points from the same group of candidates minus Herman Cain and Tim Pawlenty. The disappearance of the last two eliminates the extremes – the most colorful and bland – simultaneously. No one seems to miss Pawlenty except Bachmann, who has yet to find someone she can annoy as easily. The absence of Cain, whose unorthodoxy was as endearing as it was destructive, seems to have taken any humor out of the race. NOTE: No other Republican primary candidate has a sense of humor to the point where they can count it as an asset.
Here are the remaining contestants in the Republican Soap Opera:
Michelle Bachman has seen her candidacy go from a meteoric rise to a crash landing. She had originally captivated the Republican base with her supposed one-woman crusade against Obama-Care. It still passed and she is seeking recognition for apparently standing in front of a charging train and claiming she stopped it. No-one wonder veteran Republican operator Ed Rollins ditched her campaign.
Rick Santorum. What is there to say? Not much. Despite visiting every county in Iowa, the man is still playing second fiddle to candidates like Bachmann. One would think his impassioned speeches on family values and foreign policy would have elevated and cemented his status to Republican voters as a viable candidate. Instead it only seems to have cemented his status as someone no one would vote for.
Jon Huntsman, the former governor of Utah and ambassador to China has spent the majority of his campaign in New Hampshire staking his candidacy on the granite state. Who is he kidding? There is only room for one Mormon in this race and he doesn’t speak Chinese.
Ron Paul seems to have relished playing the role of the old, wise and often cranky candidate. He seems genuinely shocked and outraged that the United States has a federal reserve, killed terrorists, and criminalized drugs. He is supposedly gaining traction in Iowa. I’m not surprised. Even Howard Dean was once a front-runner in Iowa.
Rick Perry. See Dartmouth College Debate.
Newt Gingrich. Who saw that coming? The man has more enemies than Richard Nixon. He is the latest candidate to be the “chosen one” of the anyone but Mitt faction. His problems: his speakership was marred with controversies that included numerous ethics complaints, an affair with a staffer while simultaneously bringing charges against Bill Clinton for alleged oval office shenanigans, and a coup against him by his own leadership. Out of office he lobbied on behalf of great companies like Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, appeared in a global warming television ad with Nancy Pelosi, ran up a $250,000 Tiffany’s bill, and unflattering photos while on a Greek cruise. Other than that he has nothing to worry about.
Finally there is Mitt Romney. What can I say? The man’s hair is far too impeccable for a sixty-five year old. In his drive to the quest for the nomination Romney faces the precarious position of being distrusted by the far right but also the only candidate independents will vote for out of the Republican field. Some say he will say anything to be elected. Please. Have you ever met a politician who won’t? I remember a certain Senator from Illinois promising to close Guantanamo Bay, end the Bush tax cuts, and include a public option in his health-care plan. Romney represents the only acceptable candidate in the Republican primary. Unhappy conservatives need to realize that there is Republican version of the 2008-candidate Obama on offer for this coming Presidential Election. The sooner they realize that the sooner they will come to the realization that there is no credible alternative to Mitt.
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