Have Republicans Already Lost the 2012 Presidential Election?

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I was already thinking along the lines of the title when I got word via “The Hill” that one of Tim Pawlenty’s hometown Minnesota newspapers put the news of Pawlenty entering the Presidential race on its obituaries page. To me, that is the quintessential metaphor for the actions and chances of the Republicans vying to unseat President Obama.

Most of what would have been serious contenders for the Republican nomination have declined to run. On that list is Mike Huckabee, Chris Christie and Mitch Daniels, among others. They seem to understand that beating Obama will be difficult if not impossible, and that the chances would be much better to run in 2016 against a non-incumbent. Every single person currently running for the Republican nomination is unelectable. They are so far from what it would take to be electable that one wonders why they are even bothering or why anyone would donate money to their cause. Let’s run down the list:

Newt Gingrich

You could write a book on all the mistakes Newt Gingrich has made and problems he has had since declaring his candidacy. I’ll concentrate on some of the worst ones.

Recently it came out that Gingrich at one time owed half a million dollars to Tiffany’s for jewelry purchases. The issues that raises are pretty obvious. How does someone like that relate to everyday Americans? Isn’t someone who would spend that amount on jewelry superficial? Et cetera. The impact of all of that could have been blunted by a good explanation or dealt with by a good apology, but instead Gingrich gave a non-explanation, calling it a “regular revolving account” when asked about it, and giving no other details. If he cannot deal with an issue like that in a straightforward way, how is he going to deal with difficult decisions he makes as President?

Last week, Gingrich criticized the Ryan plan, the budget plan the entire Republican Party has gotten behind to oppose President Obama’s budget. The Wall Street Journal followed with an article accusing Gingrich of throwing fellow Republicans “off a Grand Canyon rim” and then there was video of Newt being chewed out by an Iowa Republican voter for attacking Ryan’s plan.

Gingrich’s flip-flopping on intervention in Libya is mind-numbing. This video by TPMTV shows about twelve separate changes of direction by Newt in a four-week period on what he believes regarding how we should handle Libya. With this kind of a track record, can anyone imagine Gingrich acting decisively as commander-in-chief?

All of the above regarding Gingrich is bad, but it is worse considering where he starts the nomination process, and that is with the reputation of excoriating Bill Clinton for having an affair while simultaneously carrying on an affair of his own and having two marriages end because Newt started affairs with other women. That kind of hypocrisy is serious and would be an obstacle all by itself to getting a party’s nomination, let alone winning a general election. Combine that with the rest of his issues and Gingrich is going nowhere.

Michele Bachmann

Michele Bachmann’s chances for the nomination and general election can be summed up in two words: “Tea Party”. She has aligned herself very tightly with the Tea Party. She proclaimed herself chairperson of the House Tea Party Caucus and delivered the “Tea Party Response” to the President’s State of the Union address. While that could be seen to be a positive thing 18 months ago, the Tea Party is now very unpopular in the country and seen by the Republican establishment as an annoyance at best and the reason they didn’t win back the Senate in 2010 at worst. The bad news for Bachmann is that the Republican establishment has a stranglehold on the GOP Presidential nomination process. Nationwide, opinion polls regarding the Tea Party show that the Tea Party is viewed negatively by anywhere from 15-50% more people than view it positively. Anyone tied to the Tea Party is unelectable. Continue reading Have Republicans Already Lost the 2012 Presidential Election?

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Take Five (Who'da Thunk It edition)

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ONE: Scumhog Millionaire et al.

Donald Trump wrapped up his latest and most Rococo exercise in crass, self-aggrandizing buffoonery on Monday with the altogether unsurprising announcement that he has decided not to vie for the GOP Presidential nomination after all.

Trump used the opportunity both to pat himself vigorously on the back and to indulge in some rank untruths, all of which was also altogether unsurprising:

“This decision does not come easily or without regret, especially when my potential candidacy continues to be validated by ranking at the top of the Republican contenders in polls across the country.”

What Trump should have said is “ranking down there with ditch water,” since his Icarus-like fall from political favor has been swift, despite most Republican voters being unable to distinguish Shineola from, let’s say, um, Santorum:

Trump’s support for the Republican nomination fell from 26 percent in April to just eight percent in early May in surveys done by Public Policy Polling.

The announcement came hot on the heels of Mike Huckabee’s admission a couple of days earlier that he doesn’t particularly feel like getting his ass kicked by Barack Obama next year either:

“All the factors say go, but my heart says no.”

Trump was quick to offer up this ludicrous tidbit of congratulation and commentary on the Huckabee announcement:

“Mike Huckabee is not going to be running for president. This might be considered by some people, not necessarily me, bad news because he is a terrific guy — and frankly I think he would be a terrific president. But a lot of people are very happy that he will not be running, especially other candidates. So, Mike, enjoy the show. Your ratings are terrific. You’re making a lot of money. You’re building a beautiful house in Florida. Good luck.”

Now, you might be thinking at this point that the race for the Republican nomination just got a little more rational. And you would be dead wrong:

Rep. Michele Bachmann said Tuesday she’s close to deciding whether to jump into the 2012 presidential race, and she suggested that Mike Huckabee’s and Donald Trump’s exits from the field make it more likely she’ll get in.

Huckabee’s and Trump’s decisions have “changed the grass roots and what they’re looking for,” the Minnesota congresswoman said on Fox News Channel on Tuesday. “Our phones have been ringing off the hook, our Facebook has been lit up, our donations are pouring in. People are saying ‘Michele jump in, we want you to run.’’

Bachmann has decided to utilize a two-tier approach to campaign fundraising:

… asking supporters to choose to donate small amounts if they want her to stay in the House, or larger amounts if they want her to pursue the presidency.

No word yet on how big a donation is required if one simply wants her to shut up and disappear, but I have my checkbook handy. Continue reading Take Five (Who’da Thunk It edition)

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Black Swan versus White Dodo

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A successful 29-year old woman decides to have a child and that is what Mike Huckabee finds “troubling”.

He expresses concern for the young teen mom who will find herself in poverty and living on the “dreaded government handout,” but doesn’t draw the obvious parallel to Natalie Portman, which is that she is a shining example of dedication and perseverance. This is a woman every young girl should emulate: a girl who has modeled and acted since the age of 11, graduated with honors from her high school, earned admission to Harvard University and earned her bachelor’s degree while she was working on the Star Wars films.

If that’s not enough, she has studied French, Japanese, German, and Arabic since childhood, was Alan Dershowitz’s research assistant in a psychology lab, and co-authored a research paper that earned her a semifinalist position in the Intel Science Talent Search.

This is “troubling”?

While I don’t doubt Mr. Huckabee ‘s concern with the plight of the single teen mom, what I found ironic is his total disregard of how Arkansas reduced its teen pregnancy rate in the first place. In fact, you would think Mr. Huckabee would find the Republicans’ attack on the family “troubling” and call out Boehner and other House Republicans on the elimination of the Title X family planning program. You see, Title X programs in conjunction with waivers are the exact programs that made significant contribution to the reduction of teen births in Arkansas. Continue reading Black Swan versus White Dodo

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Daily News Roundup

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“Mike Huckabee in no hurry to decide on presidential bid”

By James Oliphant, Washington Bureau

February 21, 2011, 3:06 p.m.

If Mike Huckabee does decide to jump into the 2012 presidential race, it may not . . . → Read More: Daily News Roundup