Here we go.
It’s that time in the election cycle when a parade of presidential aspirants visits Iowa, a place several of them probably couldn’t even find on a map a few short years ago.
This year appears to have brought out a record number of presidential posers. You know good and well many of these people have no real intention of running for president, but their public relations handlers suggested that appearing to be running might help them sell books or get their own gig on one of the cable networks. It’s seriously annoying.
The GOP field is getting bigger by the minute which is distracting the public from paying attention to people who might actually have a chance of occupying 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue someday. Instead, the focus is on individuals who don’t have a Juno snowballs chance of getting the nomination much less being elected president.
Let’s start with Sarah Palin.
She’s not running for president. No way. She did the fake out before when she actually had a slim chance of success, and she backed away from the idea then. I’m surprised she has the gall to go out there and pretend again that she’s a possible candidate. For one thing, if she was really serious, she would have given a real speech at the Iowa Freedom Summit this past weekend. Instead, she got up and apparently off the cuff rambled on like an old sorority sister giving a drunken toast at a wedding where all the guests suspect she once slept with the groom. From the crowd reaction and comments reported later, everyone in the audience at the Iowa event was holding their collective breath hoping she didn’t say something that they’d all need to explain later.
Then there is Mike Huckabee who is going back to his preacher’s roots and focusing his entire message on the belief that atheists are ruining the country. While that’s an issue that plays very well in Arkansas and other evangelical enclaves, it can’t possibly be his entire pitch if he’s really serious about becoming president.
I have my sneaking suspicion that his proposed presidential run simply provides an elegant exit from his television show. If his show really was incredibly successful, why leave it now on the extremely small chance that he could get the GOP nomination? I have absolutely no evidence that he’s not telling the whole story. I just have serious questions about that. It’s kind of like the New England Patriots “DeflateGate” affair. If the Patriots really are completely telling the truth and they had absolutely nothing to do with deflating the footballs then how did those eleven footballs lose all that air?
We also have Rick Santorum running once again. Nice guy but let’s get a reality check. When did he last hold elective office? Why isn’t he a United States senator now? Oh yeah, he lost. Well he is from Pennsylvania which isn’t a bastion of conservative thought . . . but wait . . . they did elect Pat Toomey, and he is far from a darling of progressives. Maybe it’s just that Santorum’s time has come and gone and he doesn’t know (or want) to know. Besides, in fairness to him, what else is he going to do? Sell sweater vests?
It’s a free world and anyone can run for anything, but I think people who put the idea out there only to back out later actually hurt themselves by weakening their credibility. In the days before social media you could get away with this act. Now you risk looking like a caricature of yourself in less than twenty-four hours just by suggesting such a run.
This also hurts the GOP because it takes the focus off of actual contenders. Culling through the poser parade makes it that much harder to whittle down to the real candidates. Scott Walker looks good as well as other Republican governors like Mike Pence, John Kasich, and Bobby Jindal. You certainly can’t count Chris Christie out. Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney are clearly a possibility, and Marco Rubio is impressive. Someone is going to emerge with the support of the conservative base. Most likely it will be Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, or even Ben Carson although he’s a long shot.
Then there is Donald Trump who the media portrays as a poser. He’s passionate about the country and has plenty of money. Also, he has nothing left to prove in the business or entertainment world. He may actually jump in for real this time.
So posers, please step aside. Let the truly serious candidates get their opportunity to make their case. Let’s skip the circus and carnival house of mirrors and get down to the real business of nominating a serious candidate who can win in 2016.