With Barack Obama's popularity plummeting, his confidence polls tanking, his foreign policy acumen doubted by the entire planet, and his general incompetence in full view for all to see, the GOP could literally field the Howdy Doody/Bozo the Clown ticket and win in a landslide in 2012. We'll see.
Since the bar is now set so low, let's handicap the front running contenders for the Republican nod, shall we?
1. Donald Trump: 2 to 1 odds that he's our guy at the end of the nomination process. 'The Donald' seems to have a leg up at this moment in time, and for good reason: he's an extremely deep pocketed populist, who will say anything that gets him noticed. Like getting tough with China. Or OPEC. And I like this one: just take $1.5 Trillion dollars worth of oil from Iraq to cover our costs of emancipating them from the hated Saddam Hussein. Just take it. And when I say extremely deep pocketed, I mean that The Donald makes a filthy rich Ross Perot look like a hot dog stand vendor in downtown Manhattan (and those guys make 6-figures-trust me on that one). With the big, greasy gobs of money he has at his disposal to throw into his campaign, he should be an exceptionally formidable candidate, and all of that tsunami of money will be spent to muddy and obscure his squishy, wishy-washy ever changing social positions that will curdle any social conservative voter's views of him.
2. Sara Palin: Give Sara about 3 to 1 odds to head up the ticket. On the positive side, Sara Palin has all of the red meat issues down with her conservative base: pro-life, pro-business, pro-capitalism, pro-religion, etc. She's got all the bases covered, and preaches them from the confines of principled core values that are unshakable. With Sara, you get what you see. On the negative side, her voice is an octave or two too high (shrill, some say) and she without a doubt has got to be the most hated, despised and loathed figure that the left has ever witnessed, even more hated than Nixon, Bush 43 or Reagan, and I didn't think that was even possible. Again, to the positive: all three guys, Nixon, Bush and Reagan were two term presidents. Despite the hate and loathing from the left.
3. Chris Christie. What's not to like about this guy? Well, if you are a conservative, that is. Like Palin, he is an unapologetic conservative to the bone, and is chalking up a great track record in New Jersey in standing up to big government lefties, teachers unions and other socialist interests. He swears he is not running, but don't they all. Give the Big Guy about 4 to 1 odds of grabbing the nod.
4. Mike Huckabee. Like 'The Donald,' Huckabee loves to present his politics via populism. And it works, to a point. He has a bit of baggage to shake off, namely pardoning that murderer who ultimately walked into a coffee shop in Seattle and executed several off-duty policemen and women. That, and his tax record as governor gives some fiscal conservatives the heebie jeebies. Other than that, Mike is a solid, God fearing capitalist who could go all the way. Give him 5 to 1 odds to be the last man standing at the GOP convention.
5. Mitt Romney. Mitt has got lots going for him: the chiseled features, the Hollywood hair, the smooth and confident manner and a great political pedigree. All of that counts, but as we all recall in 2008, he didn't exactly put the Mormon haters out to pasture like he could have. And his biggest challenge: he has to explain away his mini-Obamacare health care plan enacted under his tenure as Massachusetts governor, and which is now floundering in red ink. Six to 1 odds to prevail at the convention, at best for Mitt.
OUT OF THE RUNNING:
6. Newt Gingrich. Ah, Newt, Newt, Newt. The smartest guy in the room. The guy with all the answers. The architect of the 1994 Republican Revolution. All of that said, what has he done for us lately? Write about 10 or 20 books about principled reform of an out of control socialist government, and then immediately throw his support behind Dede Scazofavva in New York (a documented liberal). Marry and discard two or three wives, give or take a few, and irritate the social conservatives to no end. Newt is also a populist, who is right up there with Reagan, Dubya, Nixon and Sara Palin as the most loathed and despised by the left. In any event, Newt has virtually no chance. Almost none whatsoever. Give him 100 to 1, since I am inclined to hedge my bets on his spirit of competition: he is still the fiery back bencher that he always was.
7. Tim Pawlenty. Enough said. A million to one odds, and I am being generous here.
8. Pat Paulsen. Even though he's dead, Tim Pawlenty and perennial presidential candidate Pat Paulsen have the exact same odds of getting the GOP nomination. Don't make me do the math, here....
9, 10 and on and on.... The rest of the gang, I won't bother mentioning their names, none of them have a chance. A gazillion to one chance for any of the rest.
Cruising - Winslow, Arizona *Standing on the Corner* You've got to take it easy in Winslow. Tourists arrive in Winslow, get their picture taken standing on the corne...
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