As a liberal Democrat, my idea of the perfect ticket for the 2012 Republican presidential sweepstakes is slowly evaporating. A Trump-Palin pairing — with the campaign managed by Glenn Beck, financed by Bernie Madoff, and political ads by the lunatic who lives under a bridge near my work — would’ve been highly entertaining, with the side benefit of guaranteeing another four years in office for President Obama.
Trump says he’s out of the running. Palin seems too wrapped up in her Facebook account to notice things like filing deadlines. Beck strays farther from reality every day, Madoff still has over 100 years of jail time to serve, and the self-proclaimed Jesus Christ of the Underpass has shown a disturbing tendency toward moderation of late.
But I’ll continue to watch with amusement as the GOP lurches toward finding a candidate that will satisfy all the disparate wings of the party. Can the radical right, the extreme right, the far right and the fanatical right find someone they can all agree on?
In today’s post, I handicap all the would-be candidates with my assessment of how likely their chances are for success in 2012. After today, I imagine they’ll be handicapping themselves with the kind of fringe proposals and air-headed schemes for which they’ve already become famous.
Mitt Romney — I’m not so worried about this handsome fellow turning all of us into Mormons; I’m worried he’s going to turn half of us into gay.
Tim Pawlenty — Since overcoming the difficulties he encountered in his relationships with the opposite sex for much of last year, the now-41-year-old former Minnesota governor represents the eager beaver branch of the Republican party. So sincere and cute-as-a-puppy that he might just make it as high as second place in the 2012 general election.
Ron Paul — This libertarian godfather of the Tea Party movement would legalize heroin and prostitution. You go, Ron!
Newt Gingrich — Newt, former House Speaker and a small amphibian of the salamander family with short legs and a well-developed tail, may face opposition from social conservatives for his three marriages, his conversion to Catholicism and his ties to academia. Still, he stands a reasonably good chance of making it through the primary season and into the convention if he can keep his base — frogs, toads and caecilians — from defecting to the Green Party. (The caecilian vote is key; these limbless amphibians that resemble snakes could have difficulties pulling levers in the voting booth).
Mitch Daniel — The Indiana governor is reluctant to enter the race because his wife reportedly doesn’t want to expose herself to the prying eyes of the media. If Daniel can convince her that “exposing herself” isn’t what she thinks it is, he may become a major factor.
Chris Christie — The popular New Jersey governor has said repeatedly that he won’t be a candidate, possibly fearing the taunts of “fatty fatty two-by-four, can’t get through the White House door” he’d likely face in the rough-and-tumble Republican debates. Also not in his favor are the negative connotations the public has toward individuals whose first and last names are virtually the same. (See the close loss suffered by Robert Kennedy assassin Sirhan Sirhan in his 2004 bid to become California’s attorney general, and Chicago Cubs slugger Billy Williams’ inability to win a World Series).
Haley Barbour — First time most people heard of him — with his recent announcement that he won’t actively seek the nomination — was also the last time most people will hear of him.
Mike Huckabee — Once thought to be a potential front-runner, this Baptist minister and ex-governor of Arkansas has taken himself out of consideration with the announcement last week that “All the factors say go, but my heart says no.” The formerly obese Huckabee, now down to a trim 195 pounds since radical modification of his eating habits, may yet to decide to “make the runs” if he starts listening to his distended colon instead.
Paul Ryan — The boyish chairman of the House Budget Committee raised a lot of hackles with his proposal to “end Medicare as we know it.” To his benefit, though, the medical condition known as hackles resurrexit is not covered by current Medicare coverage, so much of this opposition will soon be dead.
Donald Trump — Says he’d rather fire the border-line famous on his hit NBC show “Celebrity Apprentice” than fire missiles at his long list of perceived enemy nations. May yet decide to run if all campaign finance laws are rescinded and he’s allowed to sell off the organs of children Donald Jr., Ivanka and Eric.
Rick Santorum — Fresh from his stay at a sanitarium, Santorum is just crazy enough to qualify as a dark horse. Literally. He thinks he’s a black stallion.
Herman Cain — The founder of Godfather’s Pizza and described curiously by one fellow Republican as “the Colin Powell of the restaurant industry,” Cain made a major splash at the recent South Carolina Republican debate. As president, he’s promised he’d allow citizens to place an order online for the country they’d like to invade. Arch-conservatives may want to be aware: just like you’d step onto your porch and lock the door behind you if you accepted a pizza delivery from a black guy, voting for this Powell-look-alike might be most safely done on an absentee basis.
Sarah Palin — What can be written about the polarizing former Alaska governor that hasn’t already been written? As soon as I think of something, I’ll write it. Until then, I’ll be communicating with our favorite GILF in my dreams.
Michelle Bachmann — Kind of like Sarah Palin except that she comes from a much colder place (Minnesota), this is the reactionary Ice Queen for those who prefer presidents with a trim bob rather than the upswept extensions that Palin has ridden to the middle of most polls.