Opinion

The race for the top elephant in the room

At some point during the current Republican vetting process, eight different candidates challenged for the position of top-elephant-in-the-room: Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Michelle Bachman, Herman Cain, Ron Paul, John Huntsman and Rick Perry.

That list doesn’t even include the sideshow-turned-center ring-turned-sideshow again candidacy of Donald Trump, Sarah Palin playing her ubiquitous game of ‘footsie’ and the most recent story of Stephen Colbert outpolling Huntsman in South Carolina. Apparently, being on television often enough qualifies as credible amongst this ragtag cast of castoffs.

For those short on history and ignorant to what the country’s voting populace is like, we Americans like our politics in twos – parties and candidates. The last go-round for the Dems was Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton in 2004, a race between the two Johns of Kerry and Edwards. By this time in each primary the nation had figured out who was going to get their party’s bid, and even though Romney should be that man at this point, there’s a handful of Republicans with varying niche-appeals keeping his championship belt from being unified.

Sadly, the sane one of the bunch has yet to be fully embraced by his own kind. The Southern social conservatives can’t stop smelling the “Massachusetts” on him and fiscal conservatives are none too happy with the state-funded health insurance he implemented as governor, and really, what’s his hook? Obama’s was hope and change, W. Bush’s was the War on Terror and Romney is the rich moderate who immensely enjoyed firing people at his old job?

What would be best for the Grand Ole’s chances in November would be a Romney sweep of South Carolina and Florida, solidifying his place as the reluctant fallback that Republican voters get comfortable with like many a late-night booty call. He may not be everything you want but he’s there for you, and hey, he’s got a great head of hair.

And what, pray tell, is the reward for the eventual nominee? He has to oust the guy who killed Osama bin Laden. You think the Obama campaign will be hesitant to pull that card? At this point I wouldn’t be shocked to learn that the offed-Osama was buried at sea solely as a means to preserve the bullet entry wounds, reminding everyone how this yellow-bellied ‘soft on terror’ liberal does the deed – no shock, no awe, just SEAL Team 6 and their M4s doing in one night what the previous war administration couldn’t do in seven years.

Winning elections is not about ideas. The one who creates the most buzz on the cable news network du jour usually gets the bid, and this time around there just isn’t a conservative who creates anything greater than a solid grumble from either side of the aisle. Romney is too moderate, Huntsman is too good for us, and Gingrich always seems like a douche.

Better luck in 2016.

January 17, 2012

Reporters

Austen Gregerson

Staff Columnist


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