Note: I usually post on Huffington. For reasons still unknown, they have decided not to publish my latest. Does the decision have something to do with the AOL merger—new rules of some sort? Probably. Or perhaps I was too harsh on the GOP? Who knows. This morning marks the official launch of Barack Obama's 2012 reelection campaign. Thus, we now know for certain that there'll be at least one candidate running for president, but what about the GOP field? It sure as hell hasn't been an easy 2011 for the Republicans, despite having won back the House of Representatives (running on a whole host of phony issues). So far the GOP has been hard at work doing the people's business and really spurring job growth: They've defunded NPR, Planned Parenthood, and the health-insurance reform bill.
The Republican election victories of 2010 might just as well have taken place 50 years ago instead of five months ago—it's but a fading memory for most people: tea party support has plummeted, and the Republican House is looked on as a national joke. Minnesota Congresswoman Michele "Concord Whatever" Bachman herself seems to care little about governing (as if she ever did) and appears to be more focused on "taking America back"
from the clutches of a foreign, black president as proven by her statements in Iowa recently:
I’m in for 2012 in that I want to be a part of the conversation of making sure that President Obama only serves one term, not two.
Part of the conversation? What conversation would that be, Michele? The one inside your brain, where the Fascist side tells the idiot side to pipe down? Or the conversation in the general populace about how utterly devoid you are of any shred of intellect? Now that Bachman has successfully flirted with the idea of becoming the leader of the free world, it's high time to look the potential pool of 2012 GOP candidates.
Mitt Romney Odds of Running: 2-1 Odds of Winning Nomination: 7-1 Odds of Winning Presidency: 9-1
Mitt Romney, the creepy guy with the nasty hair gel who invariably sits next to you at a wedding banquet, has already been at this dance. But apparently he's forgotten what happened to him in 2008: The GOP establishment bolted from him faster than a Mormon says "I do." Why? Why didn't a telegenic, relatively well-spoken upper-crust blue blood resonate with Republican voters? It must have been RomneyCare, the health-care reforms implemented in Massachusetts by Gov. Romney that closely match the ones Obama put forth last year. Nope. Of course to Republican voters in 2008 health-care reform probably ranked lower in importance than defunding NPR; the president's health-care reform law was nothing but a speck in Obama's eye. No, Romney lost solely because of his Mormonism. Republicans love rich guys, but they can't get past the Mormon
cult religion. Romney's Mormonism, to the GOP, might as well of been Scientology. With that said, the Broadway musical Book of Mormon looks to be a blockbuster. Maybe Romney can feature the show in his ads.
Newt Gingrich Odds of Running: 9-2 Odds of Winning Nomination: 5-1 Odds of Winning Presidency: 17-1
Wow. Gingrich? Really? Ok, so he's flip-flopped on just about every issue. The GOP can probably live with a guy who changes his position more often than John Boehner applies bronzing cream, but for God's sake, Gingrich? As president? Of the United States? Of America? Two words here that the former House speaker should keep at the forefront of his mind: Silvio Berlusconi. Now, admittedly, Gingrich hardly matches the cocksmanship of the massively corrupt Italian prime minister, but Gingrich is a national joke, just as Berlusconi is a (sick) joke to Italians. Cheating on one's wife: bad. Cheating on one's wife while trying to impeach President Clinton on marital infidelity? I won't say it, because I hate that trope. Oh well, ok, I will say it: "priceless." The GOP faithful ("faith" being the key) pretty much think Gingrich is as big a douchebag as the rest of us do, no matter how much he espouses Republican talking points or how much he takes the opposite positions of President Obama. If Gingrich somehow manages to eek out the nomination, Obama should just spend the entire presidential campaign with his feet up on a beach chair in Hawaii.
Michele Bachman Odds of Running: 25-1 Odds of Winning Nomination: 8-1 Odds of Winning Presidency: 134,547-1
Just when we thought there was no politician dumber, more irritating, and frankly more in need of therapy than Sarah Palin comes Congressman Michele Bachman—a poor person's version of the former Alaska governor. I'm still not convinced Bachman's not a Manchurian candidate thrust into the spotlight by Palin to make Palin look human—or smart. Where to begin with Bachman? Here limited brain power indicates that she may have learning disabilities. Thus, it's not right to make fun of her. Oh well, as far as her candidacy goes, she she has precious little support among the GOP stalwarts, and is viewed on as a joke (much like Palin). And heading up the tea-party "caucus" hasn't won her any fans among the GOP apparatchiks. (Though it was five months ago the Republicans remember it was she and her ilk who kept the Senate in the hands of the Democrats. Et tu, Christine O'Donnell.) Thus, should she run—and by all accounts she's not running, which sucks for comedians and people who love watching car crashes—she'd never make it out of the starting gate. And just imagine an Obama-Biden/Bachman...Glenn Beck ticket. It would be a historic blowout along the lines of Obama winning 99.9999999999 percent of the popular vote. Progressives can only dream of a Bachman ticket.
Tim Pawlenty Odds of Running: 3-1 Odds of Winning Nomination: 3-1 Odds of Winning Presidency: 11-1
Tim who? Paw-what? Oh yeah, that guy who I always confuse with Eric Cantor. Should the former governor of Minnesota win the nomination, he'll be about as successful as another former Minnesotan: Walter Mondale. As far as being enmeshed in GOP politics, Pawlenty gets an A. But the guy lacks personality and is pretty much a behind-the-scenes player. Let's just say he sparks the same kind of passion and enthusiasm among Republican voters as Michael Dukakis did among Democratic voters. Again, if Obama has to face this guy in the general, he might as well vacation in Tripoli. Another Obama landslide.
Haley Barbour Odds of Running: 6-1 Odds of Winning Nomination: 9-1 Odds of Winning Presidency: 48-1
If Haley Barbour wins the GOP nomination, he'll definitely sew up the Dukes of Hazzard voting bloc: He's a dead ringer for the classic TV show's old corrupt Boss Hog—not just physically. Imagine for a second Barbour on the world stage, negotiating with myriad world leaders on issues of grave importance. Take the Japanese prime minister for example. Barbour would need one translator to translate his thick, southern drawl into English, and another translator to translate that into Japanese. Thus, a President Barbour would actually cost taxpayers more. In a time of wanton spending should we really be funding two translators? But seriously, Barbour? The tea party may like his borderline, subtle racist diatribes, but his schtick tires the GOP heavies. Should he somehow fool the GOP voters into giving him the nod, it's yet another Obama landslide. What'll be Barbour's first act as president? Change motto to "the South will rise again"? Change the National Anthem to "Free Bird"? Or perhaps ignite another civil war just for kicks?
Off all the GOP non-candidates, Christie is the most reasonable and the most electable, thus, the Republican Party will throw him under the bus (well, they would, but the House has just defunded throwing people under the bus). Though Christie is panderer, a bloviator, and a gigantic ball of ego, he'd pose a challenge to Obama in the general election. Thankfully for Obama, Christie will never win the nomination, and it looks like he's not running. Remember the last Republican politician hailing from a solidly blue-leaning state who ran for president? His name was Rudolph Giuliani, and he got his ass handed to him by GOP voters. There might as well be a platitude in the Republican Party platform that states: "We hate the northeastern United States, and if any Republicans from that area want our blessing, they better move to Idaho or Mississippi." Imagine tea baggers voting for Christie? Sure, he's garnered some tea-bag d-bag bona fides by rejecting billions of dollars in federal transportation money for infrastructure construction, but that's not enough to convince the hardcore Republicans that he's one of them. Christie is less religious than a bearded hipster in Brooklyn getting a blow job in the bathroom of bar while snorting a line of coke off a tattooed chick's bosom. So why doesn't he end the charade now? Well, with Ann Coulter stumping for him and all this free publicity, why not? He's not running anyway. Obama's lucky. Christie, on a national stage, could be a serious contender to Obama, and the race would be close, though Christie would have a lot of esplainin to do.
Mike Huckabee Odds of Running: 3-1 Odds of Winning Nomination: 11-1 Odds of Winning Presidency: 23-1
Doesn't that cliché goes something like "Fool me once, you fault, fool me twice, my fault"? Looking at Huckabee's psychotic media ramblings—Natalie Portman is Sister Soulja, Obama grew up in Kenya—it's pretty clear the Huck is running: Time to go all crazytown for the extremist party dictators. And why shouldn't he run? Look how well he did in 2008, when he quickly dropped out of the race. Does Huckabee think that GOP voters in the past four years are going to forget that he's a loose cannon? A John McCain without the war injuries? What does Huckabee stand for? Even he's not sure. He's conservative, but doesn't have the tea-party fight to slam Michele Obama? Huckabee brings exactly nothing to the table. He should stick with his bad guitar playing on his Fox News show. In a general election, who'd vote for that guy over Obama other than the white conservative Americans?
Donald Trump Odds of Running: 7-2 Odds of Winning Nomination: 319-1 Odds of Winning Presidency: 32-1
Wow. Of all the fringe groups to latch onto, it's surprising Trump chose the birthers. I mean the birthers are even ridiculed by hardcore conservatives. Nonetheless, Trump thinks that supporting the Neanderthals who claim Obama wasn't born in the U.S. is a good way to shore up his fledgeling conservative bona fides. Though Republicans have a history of selling out their beliefs to curry favor with the fringe elements of the party. John McCain bowed in front of Jerry Falwell in 2006; just years earlier McCain (rightly) viewed the guy as an extremist nutjob. So Trump is simply pandering. But being a birther isn't going to fool Republican voters. They'll remember Trump for supporting gay rights; for bashing President Bush; for being, well, a Democrat; for being a socially liberal New Yorker from a "godless" town. Trump is just being Trump: That is, he's generating publicity. Maybe he's trying to close on some massive real estate deal and maybe this round of publicity is just what's needed to seal the deal? Whatever the reasons, Trump's candidacy is a joke. The guy is a joke. His gold-caked ugly buildings are a joke. His swagger and bluster and lack of taste have made New York worse. So maybe him winning the presidency isn't a bad thing. At least he'd move out of New York City.
The rest of the field: There's Jon Huntsman (Running: 23-1, Nomination, 46-1, Presidency, 17-1), who worked for the Obama administration as the ambassador to China. Yeah, he'd really win over the anti-Obama GOP. If he runs, he'll drop out quickly. There's Mitch Daniels (Running: 14-1, Nomination, 16-1, Presidency, 21-1), the current governor of Indiana. Now he'd be a breath of fresh air: He only served as President George W. Bush's director of the Office of Management and Budget. Just what we all need, a return to 2006. John Thune (Running: 12-1, Nomination, 12-1, Presidency, 19-1), South Dakota Senator, has zero personality and little support among the stalwarts. Why didn't I include Sarah Palin above? Seriously? With her reality-TV show and her obscene speaking fees, is she really going to toss all that aside to run for an office she, herself, knows she stands little chance of winning? Of course not. Money rules her universe, and there's no way she'll give up her lifestyle unless she could continue the Palin-family sideshow from the White House and only tweet policy directives.