Republicans, we've got a problem. Or better said, boy, do we have an opportunity!
All our putative frontrunners (ever narrowing) are either retreads, dull, old, polarizing, odd, not trustworthy, not ready, or not telegenic. They have excess baggage, brain deficits, name recognition challenges, peculiar wives, policy mistakes, even less experience than Obama had in 2008, and/or shortages of charisma. Even so, many people -- if not all Republicans and the majority of independents -- gladly would vote for these candidates over the unpopular Obama any day of the week; yet, despite the fact that this current president is eminently beatable, no new, exciting face has yet stepped forward to claim the crown, or to electrify the crowd.
And why ever not? Two recent polls show Obama to be nearly dead in the water. The numbers from these polls, for an incumbent, are devastatingly ominous. The Hill newspaper's recent poll shows that nearly half of American voters (46 percent) say they feel worse off than they did a year ago. And then the Fox News poll revealed that enormous numbers of Republicans (82 percent) and independents (71 percent) think the country is now weaker than it was five years ago.
What opposition candidate would not want to jump into this slam dunk? America is crying out for a candidate to bring true (as my friend Ruth King says)...change and hope.
Republicans are disappointed too. A pollster said recently that 75% of the GOP base is unhappy with its candidate selection for 2012. But what should Republicans do? First, we'll have to get over our pesky habit of choosing the "next guy in line," journeymen who masquerade as stars. Folks like lukewarm Bob Dole in 1996 and lukecold John McCain in 2008, who naturally enough went down to defeat to electoral steamrollers like Bubba the Philanderer and The Stranger With No Background -- candidates who, in their own right, would otherwise have been truly lousy choices. We can't afford to repeat this senseless pattern.
Obama circa 2012 is unquestionably defeatable. Talk about baggage! He has turned the country upside-down with his ultra-left-wing policies, from ObamaCare to literally bowing to foreign dictators, from creating trillions in deficits to bailing out the unions. He has polarized America along racial and class lines, citing Tea Partiers as bigots, police as profilers, anti-illegal immigration advocates as potential murderers (remember the alligators in the moat reference?) and Black Panthers as undeserving of prosecution. He has divided us along ideological lines, too, inciting his followers to rhetorical and actual violence -- "get in their faces," and "knife to a gunfight." Hardly presidential banter.
He has killed our economy with his new regulations, his idiotic anti-drilling policies, and his inflation of the currency -- and celebrated that murder as a victory for the economy.
His foreign policy has been disastrous on every level, destabilizing the Middle East while tossing Israel to the dogs, promoting the Iranian regime while toppling the Egyptian one, getting us involved in a nonsensical conflict in Libya without any discernible goals, insulting the British while cultivating the Chinese.
He has trampled on the Constitution repeatedly; his promise of transparency has been transparently false. He refuses to release the full list of White House invitees; he refuses to allow the press to ask him questions; he refuses to allow Americans to see pictures of bin Laden's body; he refuses to release not only his college transcripts but virtually all other life records, and waits years to release his birth certificate; he refuses, he refuses, he refuses. He has attempted to control our family decisions, our right to be healthy, and our spending choices through ObamaCare, and he has refused to let the Justice Department fight in favor of the Defense of Marriage Act. What would America be like if we all decided not to pay attention to the law? He has nominated Supreme Court justices based on "empathy" and derided the Constitution's failure to allow redistribution of wealth. He has named more czars than Jimmy Carter has liver pills. Now we sit, awaiting his latest dictate on illegal immigration -- will he issue an executive order, circumventing the legislative process (i.e., the voters), essentially allowing illegals to roam free without harassment from law enforcement? Isn't that what dictators do?
Obama is in big trouble in 2012. A look at the state-by-state approval ratings demonstrates that it will be a very high hill to climb for Obama to repeat his success of 2008, when he could run on his lack of record. Even his tiny bounce from the bin Laden kill proved flaccid; it wore away within a week. Being president means not voting present -- but Obama has voted either present, or voted wrong, on everything. One thing we do know about him now that we didn't in '08: he is a loser.
But we still need a candidate. And we need to wait for the right one.
Consultants: don't take jobs with any particular candidate yet. Politicians: don't endorse anyone yet. Kingmakers: zip it, you've been wrong before about candidates and the Tea Party's influence. Donors: don't spend all your money in one place yet. Candidates: don't be afraid of Obama's supposedly insurmountable money lead -- the American people can see through ad campaigns. And don't be afraid of Obama's incumbency -- LBJ, Ford, Carter, and George H.W. Bush all lost their re-election campaigns. In fact, in my lifetime, that record is about 50% for incumbents winning re-election -- hardly a "given" that incumbency is insurmountable. History has proven that, when Americans are fed up -- like Donald Trump -- they are not afraid to fire anyone. It can happen here, too.
So what are we looking for?
Ideally, a governor -- somebody who has governed and (novel idea) actually run things. An adult who will restore America to the greatness that these radical, foolish nincompoops have squandered and undermined. A patriotic American who will challenge Obama on his ill intent for America and his belief that America is too big, too strong, too powerful, too rich, too happy, and too influential.
Who's out there?
There are the potential candidates we've known but there are unknowns too. Think about it -- there are ways to assess who is not well known but would capture the imagination of the national stage: Palin was discovered that way, for heaven's sake. Reagan was a draft choice. There are candidates we haven't even heard from yet who will -- and are obliged to -- step up. In the meantime, we must be patient and keep our powder dry. Anything less will hand a second term to a president who will surely and finally destroy our nation if he is granted it.
Come out, come out, wherever you are. You'll be welcomed with open arms -- and you'll win!