“Too many cooks spoil the broth”, or so the saying goes. And right now the Republican political party has far too many “cooks” spoiling everything. Thursday night’s hammer throwing contest, disguised as a political debate, did more to drive the electorate to drink, rather than be even remotely interested in anything more the presidential wannabes have to say from here on out.
There was former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney and current Texas Governor Rick Perry taking turns slamming each other to the mat over what they feel are important issues and the voting public yawned and changed the channel.
There were seven other Republican challengers involved, including Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann, Texas Representative Ron Paul, Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, businessman Herman Cain, former Utah Governor John Huntsman and former New Mexico Governor Gary Johnson.
Nine candidates to listen to and from my little corner of the world, not ONE of them could walk away from that debacle without knowing that each time they tee it up and hammer each other into oblivion they supply Barack Obama with more than enough ammunition to bury them all at the polls next November.
Nine candidates (and it would be ten if former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin jumps in) is far and away too many. At least six too many! It makes me think that with the exception of three, everyone else is running for the second spot on the Republican ticket.
Bachman, Paul, Huntsman, Gingrich, Cain and Johnson have no chance of securing the nomination. Each has his or her own good points, but each has his or her own seriously bad points and it’s time for them to step aside and throw their support wherever it is they so choose. Thank you for playing; we have lovely parting gifts for you. (For the record; of this group I like Herman Cain over the other five. His honesty is infectious.)
That leaves Santorum, Romney and Perry left to duke it out for all the marbles, and among that trio, only Romney has the millions it would take to defeat Obama next November. There’s no question that the US Presidency is “purchased” and it will take upwards of $600 million to even stay in the race. Obama is said to have raised at least that much in the 2008 campaign, so it wouldn’t be surprising to see that number climb even higher.
Perry came out of the chute with both spurs digging deep, but his anticipated problems with the Gardisil question, along with his honesty in declaring Social Security as a Ponzi scheme, have thrown a monkey wrench into his quick start out of the blocks. The cold hard truth and political rhetoric often make strange bed fellows.
Probably Santorum’s major strength lies in the fact that he hasn’t made any major mistakes thus far and he’s been fairly well-received by the public following each of the debates. And unlike Gingrich, for instance, he’s not hauling ugly baggage.
Sarah Palin may be the smartest non-candidate/candidate of them all. At great political risk, she’s stated a willingness to wait until this November before making a decision on a possible candidacy, thus by-passing this mind numbing debate madness and the pitfalls that each of the current candidates seem to be falling into each passing day. On the negative side of that coin, many Republicans have become extremely irate that she continues to tease from the sidelines, refusing to make a decision one way or the other.
She has three options, basically. Jump in at the eleventh hour because none of the above is a strong enough Conservative, or throw her support behind one of them and lead her Tea Party faithful to pull the lever for her choice come next November. The third option would be to throw her hands in the air, declare no strong favorite and go back to making major dollars as a political analyst on TV.
We can only hope that in the weeks ahead this field gets narrowed down to the point where substantive debate produces the strongest candidate possible, even if that candidate is NOT one of the above mentioned ten.