Third party rears its head again

There is one sure way to complicate the effort to defeat the incompetent sitting President.  Run a third party candidate.

And that is exactly what a group led by former New Jersey Governor and "Rockefeller Republican" Christie Todd Whitman hopes to accomplish. 

Politico reported last week that Whitman is "encouraging" Republican candidate Jon Huntsman to run as an independent:

Whitman, a Republican, said a third-party effort by Huntsman is the way to go because she believes it's unlikely he has much of shot at the GOP nomination.

Whitman, who headed the EPA under former President George W. Bush, serves on the board of directors of Americans Elect, which is trying to get ballot lines in all 50 states and have delegates take part in an online vote to select a bipartisan presidential ticket.

A Huntsman spokesman said in response "Huntsman is a lifelong Republican and he's going to run for president as a Republican."

On the other hand, Huntsman, like Donald Trump and Ron Paul before him, has "refused to rule out running as an independent candidate."

According to Politico, Americans Elect is now on the ballot in 11 states, and Whitman views the pending approval of California as a "tipping point" to convince the public the group is for real.

Whitman feels the electorate needs a more "centrist" choice, but also acknowledges that promoting a third party candidate is "awkward:"

...there are people who are not happy when they hear a name that they

recognize supporting something that is outside of the mainstream.

Ms. Whitman authored a 2005 book titled It's My Party Too, which denounced the "dominance of her party by the right wing."

The Americans Elect operation, which requires that nominee finalists pick a running mate from the opposite party, is reminiscent of last year's "No Labels" group, with the added gimmick of the on-line Presidential election.  As George Will said of the No Labels group,

If self-approval were butter, they could spread it across America, if it were bread. They might cover the country with sanctimony as they "overthrow the tyranny of hyper-partisanship."

Former Louisiana Governor Buddy Roemer, who has been shut out of the Republican debates, recently announced he "plans to seek the third-party Americans Elect nomination for President," and also recently asked Senator Joe Lieberman (D-Conn.) to be his running mate.  Lieberman's office replied no thanks, "been there, done that."

According to a lengthy analysis at the Huffington Post, which paints a less-than-flattering picture of Americans Elect and the "hedge fund managers and lobbyists" behind it, Mr. Roemer is a) focused on the corrupting influence of money in politics, b) adamant in his support of Occupy Wall Street, and c) using Americans Elect as his path to the national ballot.

A third party candidate, whether Trump or Paul, Huntsman or Roemer, can only heighten the risk of facing a second Obama term.

The country as founded is in great peril under the continued Presidency of Barack Obama, and it behooves any Republican, whether in-name-only or conservative, to put defeating the sitting President ahead of his or her own personal agenda.

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