Let the Republican Presidential contest begin! With no formally announced candidates entered into next year’s Republican Primary, it’s interesting to calculate the odds of winning for potential entrants. Based on both polling data and common sense, we could narrow down the field of likely winners with relative ease. While I am no prophet nor the son of a prophet, I’ll share my thoughts on some of the more popular figures in the GOP who may run for President in 2012. That way, you can either say “You were wrong,” or I can say, “See, I told you so.”
First, the polls. In the latest Gallop poll , former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee stands atop the list as the candidate more Republicans and/or Republican-leaning Independents prefer when asked who they would vote for in 2012. With 19%, Huckabee leads Romney (15%), Palin (12%), Gingrich (10%), Paul (6%), and Tea Party darling, Michelle Bachmann (5%). If Gallop asked (which they didn’t), I would have probably picked Mike Huckabee as well. Not only does common sense tell me that he has a reasonable chance of winning, but the fact that Gov. Huckabee is also a former Southern Baptist pastor doesn’t hurt his cause (at least with me).
Someone from far down the pack — Pawlenty (3%) or Barbour (2%) or even the Donald (1%) — could emerge as the leading candidate, but I wouldn’t count on it. Of course, this in only one poll in the early stages of what will undoubtedly be a very long campaign season. Be that as it may, the Gallop poll, while not 100% accurate in predicting the future, will come much closer than some other polls , including the various “straw polls” that have already been conducted.
One such poll, the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) straw poll, conducted in February, saw Texas Congressman Ron Paul receive 30% of the vote, giving him his second straight CPAC straw poll victory. To put things in perspective, former Arkansas Gov. Huckabee received 2% of the vote whereas former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson took 6% of the vote. Even though I live in New Mexico, I would venture to say that, nationwide, only a miniscule number of Republicans have ever heard of Gary Johnson. I’m sure he was a fine governor for the Land of Enchantment — we hit rock bottom with Bill Richardson, who is thankfully gone — but he has no chance of winning the Presidential nomination. And, neither does Ron Paul.
That’s were good, ole’-fashioned common sense comes into play. Barring some unforseen catastrophic event which wipes out most of the Republican field, Michele Bachman has no chance of ever being elected the Republican nominee for President in 2012 much less President of the United States of America. However, it seems that the Republicans (and the Democrats back in 2008) have followed the formula for American Idol — just show up on stage and think that they are worthy to be there.
I used to watch the show, but ever since Simon Cowell left, I see no reason to watch. Simon was great at what he did — he had an ear and eye for talent. But, if he could see tat you had no business being on stage, he would let you know in no uncertain terms. I know that the producers of American Idol would use some contestants as comic relief, but I often wondered where the friends of these woefully and obviously untalented singers were when the auditions came to town.
Where was the best friend or parent or teacher who would lovingly and honestly say, “You can’t really sing that good. You have no business trying out for American Idol. If you do, you will either be rejected outright or you will be “allowed” to audition in front of Randy, Simon, and Paula, but will be humiliated on national television as you are being rejected with extreme prejudice.” Far too many of American Idol wannabes apparently had no one who was close enough to tell them not to make a complete and total fool of themselves.
Such has become the case with the field of candidates for the 2012 Republican Presidential nomination. I’m sure that Congresswoman Michele Bachmann is a fine representative for the people of Minnesota. She likewise acquits herself well on various political talk shows like Hannity. However, for Congresswoman Bachmann apparently has delusions of grandeur which have caused her to explore a Presidential run.
Speaking to ABC’s Jonathan Karl, Bachman said, “I’m in!” Just what is she “in” for? Bachmann clarified:
“I’m in for 2012 in that I want to be a part of the conversation in making sure that President Obama only serves one term, not two, because I want to make sure that we get someone who’s going to be making the country work again. That’s what I’m in for,”
According to the interview, Bachmann will not make an official decision on whether or not to run until June. Is there no one close enough to Michele Bachmann to tell her that she is losing credibility? Does she have so much money (or other people’s money) to burn that she is willing to waste a few months on an ill-fated quest for a sweepstakes prize that she will never win? Let me help her out. She does not have to wait until June to make that decision. For Michele Bachmann to even flirt with the idea of running for President is ludicrous beyond belief. It simply defies common sense.
Are there no political figures within the Republican Party that still possess some of the wonderful common sense that made Ronald Reagan such a great President? Michele Bachmann and Tim Pawlenty (what is it about Minnesota?) and Gary Johnson and Herman Cain??? may be fine public servants, but I do not see them sitting in the Oval Office.
It’s time for the Simon Cowell’s of the Republican Party to speak to some of the potential candidates. This is a serious election in a time of uncertainty at home and abroad. This is no time for comic relief on the national or world stage. We already have a President who, if it were not so sad, is providing enough comic relief to go around. Let the cream rise to the top, but by all means, let’s stop the American Idolization of the Republican Primary Process!