Even a non-partisan observer of the Republican efforts to find a challenger for the 2012 presidential election would be more than baffled at the clownish cavorting that has taken place during the past year. The entire process seems that it has been produced and directed by Barnum & Bailey.
The American public has been subjected to the spectacle of a so-called “Grizzly Mom” who used to be governor of Alaska acting as if she knew something about anything. That Sarah Palin, a person so obviously allergic to knowledge and a stranger to original thought could have ever been seriously considered as a presidential candidate is a stunning commentary on the poverty of the Republican field of potential candidates.
And then Ms. Palin went from “grizzly” to just plain grisly when she made her unfortunate and incredibly self-centered comments after the Tucson Massacre. Since then she has continued to happily pocket millions of dollars from television shows and speeches, but even the G.O.Tea Party stalwarts don’t take her as a serious contender.
Last weekend Mike Huckabee, the former 300 pound governor of Arkansas and unsuccessful presidential candidate in the 2008 cycle announced that he would not run for president in 2012. I have to presume that Mr. Huckabee thought that most of America was waiting with bated breath for his Decision 2011.
In point of fact his decision not to run may have been the most eloquent expression of his intelligence in recent memory. After all, this is the same Mike Huckabee who has stated repeatedly that he does not believe in evolution and believes that Adam and Eve walked with the dinosaurs (seriously). This is also the same Mike Huckabee who carried the soiled and discredited banner of the now discredited racist birther zealots.
In the end, Mr. Huckabee clearly decided that he would rather continue to make millions of dollars as a part of the Fox News Empire. Certainly he can at least make money spreading lies and mistruths. It is pretty clear that it was never going to get him elected president.
At the beginning of this week Doubting Donald Trump announced that he is has made his “Decision” and he will not be a candidate for the Republican nomination for president in 2012. Doubting Donald’s announcement could not have been a surprise for anyone who watched him being barbecued and French fried at the White House Correspondents Dinner on the eve of the announcement by President Obama of the killing of Osama bin Laden.
It is presumed that he is still applying salve to his scorched and bruised ego as he scuttles back to his personal Trump World where he is still the center of the universe. He will not be scuttling for free, however, as it has also been announced that his faux reality show “The Apprentice” will be renewed for another season, bringing more unearned and undeserved dollars into the Trump coffers.
I have to wonder if and when the G.O.Tea Party adherents will recognize that they are being played in such an obvious and sleazy fashion. The most humble of hookers recognizes a pimp, what happened to the Republicans?
It is clear that Palin, Huckabee and Trump have all used and abused the platform that was provided to them by G.O.Tea Party stalwarts who believed that these individuals were providing some kind of answer to their call for an alternative to Barack Obama.
Palin, Huckabee and others have used this legitimate political interest to burnish their “brands” and make untold sums of money in the process.
I don’t believe for a minute that the recent announcement by Newt Gingrich (Newt Gingrich???) that he is running for president is legitimate. Newt Gingrich knows that he hasn’t had an original thought since his ill-fated Contract with America” almost two decades ago.
Newt knows that he is still tarred with the brush of responsibility when it comes to the shutdown of the federal government during his otherwise undistinguished tenure as Speaker of the House.
Newt also knows that the American public (especially American women) will not react favorably when they learn that he served divorce papers on his first (of three wives) wife as she was coming out of cancer surgery.
While most people are able to accept a dollop of hypocrisy with their political brew, it will be hard for Newt to explain how he could seek to impeach President Bill Clinton for his indiscretions at the exact same time that he was having an extramarital affair with one of his staff members.
What Newt also knows is that in building a “brand” it only matters that his name is spelled right. Newt will, at some point in the next 6-8 months withdraw as a candidate and go on to reap more revenues from his impressive array of corporate entities.
And the G.O.Tea Party will have been pimped again.