After 600 debates and seemingly 100 front runners the Republicans have finally settled on a standard-bearer for the 2012 presidential election. He has to mop up a few primaries to officially collect the nomination, but for all intents and purposes Mitt Romney is guy. In truth he’s always been the guy but the comedic path Mitt took to get to this point should make Republicans very nervous.
During this long and comical candidate selection process it seemed like every candidate in the race spent some time as the front runner. First, they flirted with avowed Obama hater Rep. Michele Bachmann. When they realized she wasn’t as crazy as they hoped they moved on to Texas governor, Rick Perry. Rick shot himself if the foot. Repeatedly. Really it wasn’t pretty. All the while Mitt lurked in the background raising cash and popping up throughout the race to say to the Republican faithful, “hey, look I’m here if you want me. If you need me just, you know, give me a call. Okay? Hello?”
At one point Republicans decided Crazy Uncle Herman Cain was the best candidate. Crazy Uncle Herm had a penchant for speaking before thinking and created possibly the worst tax plan in the history of tax plans. Really the plan didn’t make sense, wouldn’t work and couldn’t pass through Congress even if Republicans held super majorities in both houses. Then came a barrage of accusations that Crazy Uncle Herm was a little, shall we say, to into the ladies. Especially the ladies that weren’t his wife. Meanwhile Mitt sat by the phone waiting for the cool Republicans to invite him to the prom.
Once the primaries started Mitt was looking pretty good. That is until they discovered Rick Santorum actually won the Iowa primary. Then Newton Leroy’s giant head appeared on the landscape and he won the South Carolina primary. With the political winds at his back Newton Leroy preceded to self-destruct. Newt faded miserably because he really didn’t want to be president. He wants to sell books, yell at the media, share his “big ideas”, and everybody remembers the bad experience that was his leadership.
Mitt played his one advantage and played it well. Using his hoard of cash and rich friends, he buried his competition with negative ads in just about every state. While Newt shrunk to nothingness in every primary, The Ricker fought hard. To my shock and dismay he actually won several primaries (seriously who was voting for The Ricker? Let me know so I don’t ever invite you to my house.) Eventually Rick dropped out when it appeared he was going to lose Pennsylvania, his home state. Newton Leroy quit the race after the Georgia primary but his ego kept right on running and threatening to take the campaign right up to the convention. But all comedy comes to an end and Newt’s ego announced yesterday in a rambling speech that it was also dropping out of the race but declared that it’s still a citizen.
Wait, Ron Paul still hasn’t dropped out yet? Like most voters, I forgot all about him. Did he fall asleep at a campaign stop and his staff didn’t want him to be cranky so they let him sleep? Is he still asleep? Somebody call Ron Paul’s campaign headquarters.
Given this motley crew of candidates I can only conclude Republicans were so afraid to nominate Mitt that they were willing to throw their support behind anybody but Mitt. He must have spent months looking at his competition and the fact that he couldn’t put these losers out of their electoral misery and wonder if he, in some way, insulted the general Republican population.