Friday, November 11, 2011
This column is about the magic of presidential politics, all right, but unlike a lot of stuff you may have read already, it does not foresee doom, gloom and defeat for Barack Obama.
Neither, of course, does it foresee Obama thundering to victory, pursued by a herd of world class Republican rivals. My vision, instead, is of an average horse, Obama, crossing the finish line in front of a lame field of GOP opponents who might have trouble qualifying for the pony race at the county fair.
Rivals, contenders? Well, there's Mitt Romney, former governor of Massachusetts, who finished tied with somebody else in a straw poll. Wasn't it Herman Cain in Iowa? Or does memory blur? With this crowd that happens quite easily. Today they are the two frontrunners. With the allegations against Cain, his position could well change with the next poll.
Republican hopes centered briefly on Rick Perry, the allegedly charismatic governor of Texas. It was Perry, remember, who armed with his very own hand gun while out on his daily jog shot and wounded a coyote. Wounded only, of course. Texas Rangers, normally armed when protecting their governors, finished the job. This is just one in a series of Perry "oopses." In a debate Wednesday night, the Governor could remember the names of only two of the three federal agencies he wanted to cancel: Commerce, Education and "Oops" (which turned out to be Energy).
Don't forget the slew of others in this mix: Michele Bachmann; Newt Gingrich; Ron Paul; Rick Santorum – and Jon Huntsman, a former ambassador to China, who may actually be qualified to be president. At the back of the pack are some whom I guarantee you've never heard of – I least I know I never have: Gary Johnson, Tom Miller, Matt Snyder, Vern Wuensche. It all feels like a pile up at the starting gate.
Where's the magic in this field? Can't the GPO do better than this? Doesn't a race for the presidency deserve some magic? Don't we?