The summer of the year preceeding an election year is traditionally the time when presidential hopefuls begin to shake out of the political tree; it is also the time when the “pundits” begin to prognosticate and make judgements about the chances of those candidates. Of course, a quick perusal of the historical record would show that no one ever has a clue at this point as to what’s actually going to happen over the next year and a half, but that never stops anyone. It certainly isn’t going to stop me. No, it’s never too early to begin handicapping the race, and as I am always fascinated with the missteps, faux pas and bonehead moves inevitably made by the losers, I believe this is the best part of the election cycle. This is the time when the real losers step from the pack and hit the ground losing. At least some of these hopefuls will fall by the wayside so fast they will not even be footnotes when the history of this election is written; at least one front-runner will drive a dump truck full of money into a lake with an epically stupid campaign, an embarassing scandal, or some combination thereof.
It is into this promising cesspool that I now wade, with my first post about the 2012 election. Let’s meet the Republican candidates!
Former governor of Massachussetts
QUOTE: "I love America's greatness. America got it right. This is the greatest nation in the history of the Earth, and there is no reason the president of the United States should go around the world apologising for America. Let me mention one more thing. I believe in the greatness of the American people.”
(There was more to this statement, having mostly to do with our rivers being full of fish.)
PRO: As a Mormon, would be first president to wear magic underwear.
CON: It is not certain at this time whether the magic underwear would protect the nation as a whole or just the candidate. In a related issue, he subscribes to a religion that has more crazy batshit than the Carlsbad Caverns.
YEAR HE THINKS IT IS: 1990, before the internet made it easy to find out what Mormons actually believe.
Governor of Minnesota
QUOTE: “Intelligent design is something that, in my view, is plausible and credible and something that I personally believe in but, more importantly, from an educational and scientific standpoint, it should be decided by local school boards at the local school district level.”
PRO: Funny name brings lots of possibilities for cute campaign slogans; currently has real job.
CON: Thinks local school boards are best qualified to judge what is good science. Also, guys from Minnesota don’t win presidential elections.
YEAR HE THINKS IT IS: 1858, right before science found a coherent explanation for the origin of species.
Former Speaker of the House (from Georgia)
QUOTE: “There's no question at times of my life, partially driven by how passionately I felt about this country, that I worked far too hard and things happened in my life that were not appropriate.”
PRO: Willing to cheat on spouse for the good of the nation.
CON: Long history of flip-flopping on issues, wives.
YEAR HE THINKS IT IS: 1994. Newt not only believes himself to be still relevant, he thinks he has a mandate to govern even when not holding office.
Former governor of Alaska
QUOTE: “I have said all along that America is based on Judeo-Christian beliefs and, you know, nobody has to believe me though. You can just go to our Founding Fathers' early documents and see how they crafted a Declaration of Independence and a Constitution that allows that Judeo-Christian belief to be the foundation of our lives. And our Constitution, of course, essentially acknowledging that our unalienable rights don't come from man; they come from God. So this document is set up to protect us from a government that would ever infringe upon our rights to have freedom of religion and to be able to express our faith freely.”
PRO: Name recognition.
CON: Name recognition.
YEAR SHE THINKS IT IS: 1776, shortly after Paul Revere blew his whistle to warn the British that we had nucular weapons.
Congresswoman from Minnesota
QUOTE: "Carbon dioxide is portrayed as harmful. But there isn't even one study that can be produced that shows that carbon dioxide is a harmful gas."
PRO: Absolutely confident in her stand on any issue.
CON: Not clear if she understands how to breathe.
YEAR SHE THINKS IT IS: Some really big number invented by Jesus.
Former U.S. Ambassador to China
QUOTE: None found.
PRO: Very clean slate, no past controversy, no baggage.
CON: May or may not exist. No one is sure.
YEAR HE THINKS IT IS: 2015, by which time someone may have heard of him.
Congressman from Texas
QUOTE: “Capitalism should not be condemned, since we haven't had capitalism.”
PRO: Name won’t take up much space on posters.
CON: There can never be a President Paul. There just can’t.
YEAR HE THINKS IT IS: 1852, when men were men and women were men and cattle roamed the plains, albeit somewhat nervously.
Former Senator from Pennsylvania
QUOTE: “You have civil laws and have civil penalties - we exact justice in a civil fashion - and then we have higher laws, we have God's law. Now our civil laws are supposed to comport with God's laws but sometimes they don't, and so it is always the obligation of those, for example, the issue of abortion - the civil law does not comport with God's law, in my opinion and I think the opinion of many people in this country and it is our obligation to continue to try and change that law. We have to live under the civil law, we have to obey that law because it is the civil law but we need to continue to try to change it to make sure that these laws, the laws our country, comport.”
PRO: Talks to God on a daily basis.
CON: Thinks God talks back.
YEAR HE THINKS IT IS: Roughly 3000 B.C. He’s actually pretty progressive for his time.
Former CEO of Godfather's Pizza
QUOTE: “We don't need to rewrite the Constitution of the United States of America, we need to reread the Constitution and enforce the Constitution. ... And I know that there are some people that are not going to do that, so for the benefit of those who are not going to read it because they don't want us to go by the Constitution, there's a little section in there that talks about ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.’
You know, those ideals that we live by, we believe in, your parents believed in, they instilled in you. When you get to the part about ‘life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness,’ don't stop there, keep reading. Cause that's when it says ‘when any form of government becomes destructive of those ideals, it is the right of the people to alter or abolish it.’ We've got some altering and some abolishing to do!”
PRO: Outspoken on subject of Constitutional law.
CON: Thinks The Declaration of Independence is the Constitution.
YEAR HE THINKS IT IS: Doesn’t matter. Whatever he thinks, it’s wrong.
Former Governor of Louisiana
QUOTE: “I’m the only guy running whose been a governor and a Congressman, so I’ve seen politics at its worst, but I’ve also been a businessman and I’ve seen life at its best.”
PRO: Name “Buddy” may remind some voters of a beloved old pet.
CON: Name may also remind many of guy who played Jed Clampett in The Beverly Hillbillies, calling forth a mental image somewhat less than presidential.
YEAR HE THINKS IT IS: 1842, when Americans were impressed by people with roman numerals in their names.
Former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations
QUOTE: “There's no such thing as the United Nations. If the U.N. secretary building in New York lost 10 stories, it wouldn't make a bit of difference.”
PRO: Great name.
CON: No talent ass clown.
YEAR HE THINKS IT IS: Whatever year allows people to be former ambassadors to non-existent organizations.
Governor of Texas
QUOTE: “NOW, THEREFORE, I, RICK PERRY, Governor of Texas, under the authority vested in me by the Constitution and Statutes of the State of Texas, do hereby proclaim the three-day period from Friday, April 22, 2011, to Sunday, April 24, 2011, as Days of Prayer for Rain in the State of Texas.”
PRO: Ppopular governor of large state.
CON: That state is Texas, and some of us have been there.
YEAR HE THINKS IT IS: Seems to be aware that it’s 2011; unfortunately, seems to have no clue what that actually means.