Another day, another Republican debate that provides SNL fodder . . .
Mitt Romney is the great blight hope of his party and he wins Iowa by a measly eight votes? I mean, dog catchers win by more than eight votes. George W. won by more than eight votes in the double zero election (Okay, he was grandfathered into that one by the Supreme Court, never mind).
If you’re a defendant in a criminal trial, eight votes is beautiful. But the presumptive GOP candidate? Not so much. And if that wasn’t mediocre enough, you almost lose to Rick Santorum?!
The GOP is no closer to having a clue than it was four years ago when they tabbed McCain. I’m not referring to the message, but rather, the messenger. Republicans keep waiting for Reagan 2.0 to come along and save the day, and that is just plain silly.
Reagan was a transcendent figure who just so happened to be in the right place at the right time. Back in ’80, this country was in the midst of its first sustained losing streak. There was OPEC’s grip, Vietnam and Watergate, followed by rampant inflation and the hostage crisis in Iran. Central casting could not have created a better entrance for a candidate than the one Reagan was given.
We’re not looking for another hero. Just someone who can fill in all these bleeding blanks we’ve been scoring since Prince’s ’99 went obsolete.
Our current guy in chief? Ain’t it. He’s a fantastic fellow and witty as all get out, with one liners aplenty. He’s a tremendous family man and an awesome sports chat. But as President, he bit off far more than he ever was able to chew on. I do not fault his audacity in the least. I was never more proud of being red, white and blue than the night he walked on Chicago with his acceptance speech in ’08.
But in the speaking of now? With hindsight? I think Hilary was the chance we didn’t take, but should have.
Now, do a perusal of the GOP field and give me ONE candidate who possesses the “It” factor. Herman Cain doesn’t count, since he took ‘it’ out of his pants. The GOP doesn’t have a telegenic cowboy in its posse. Unless you count Todd Palin’s brief fling with first dudeness. But really, the only thing he was running for was his life.
Newt Gingrich– He fancied himself as Reagan, once. While smart as a whip, he’s simply the collegiate version of McCain in that he speaks with equal aplomb from both sides of his mouth. Plus, he’s fifteen years worth of old news at this point.
Ron Paul– He’s an angry little man.
Rick Perry– Think George W. as one of the Expendables.
Michelle Bachmann– She suspended her campaign until such time as all the other candidates spontaneously combust.
Jon Huntsman– He would make a terrific President . . . if they ever make that 24 movie.
Rick Santorum– He’s creepy and kooky and altogether spooky.
Which brings us back to Mitt, who’s looking more like that guy every day. Unless the inside peeps at GOP headquarters weren’t just chumming the waters when they predicted a dark horse candidate would be making the scene shortly.
Short of that, we get a guy who couldn’t get out of his own way as Governor of Massachusetts. A guy whose success in the private sector was never matched in any public office. A guy who already feels like a Trivial Pursuit question.
I wonder if Mike Huckabee wakes up in a cold sweat.