A HERO IN A LONG LINE OF HEROES…

Posted in Election 2012 on October 5th, 2011 by Ed

(Bonus points for identifying the song and artist from the title without resorting to Google. Amazingly, she once put out a good album. It was a long time ago.)

After the first two Knights in Shining Armor charged over the hill but somehow failed to save the day – their knightly skills having been somewhat overrated in the telling – the Republican Party found itself in need of yet another savior. The search for someone young, hip, and exciting led them, naturally, to first-term New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. His main qualifications appear to be speaking like an extra in The Sopranos and having that unusually aggressive personality type usually found among people who kill animals for fun. Alas, Gov. Christie has definitively – or at least apparently definitively – excluded himself from the field.

In realityland, Christie would have been hard pressed to declare at this point. The first primaries and caucuses are in about 90 days. Due to the condensed, front-loaded primary calendar, he would have needed to put a complete campaign team on the ground in about 30 different states in just a few weeks. That's just not possible, even assuming (irrationally) an unlimited amount of money. Additionally, there's no way that his statements about extremism and stupidity among Teabaggers – he is the governor of a liberal northern state, after all – would have had most of the party base whining about him in short order. Like so many Wesley Clarks and Fred Thompsons from the past, the idea of Christie running has more appeal than Christie actually running.

The problem, of course, is that the appeal of his candidacy was driven by dissatisfaction with the current field. So the GOP now finds itself in need of a new Savior – and fast. As much as I like to think of myself as being abreast of electoral politics, I cannot fathom who that might be. Paul Ryan has already been the Savior, albeit briefly, before declining to run. Rick Scott is as popular as dick cancer. Scott Walker wishes he had dick cancer's popularity. Mitch Daniels is out. Every candidate with an ounce of name recognition from past elections – Gingrich, Santorum, etc. – is already running. Recruiting any GOP Senator to run given the current popularity of Congress (and Congressional Republicans in particular) at the moment seems beyond futile. There does not appear to be anyone left, at least among people who would even remotely consider running.

In the next few weeks I am betting that we will see some truly bizarre Draft So-and-So campaigns on the internet and in the media. David Petraeus. Dick Cheney. George Bush the Elder. Jeb (again). Sarah Palin (again). Rudy Giuliani. Katherine Harris. Mike Gravel. Ross Perot. John Anderson. Oliver North. Ted Nugent. Baltimore Orioles OF Luke Scott. Sideshow Bob. Gennifer Flowers. WWE superstar John Cena. This inanimate carbon rod.

Desperation does terrible things to one's judgment. But no matter how many names are floated in the upcoming weeks it is becoming increasingly likely that the Republicans are stuck, for better or worse, with the current field.

God have mercy on us all.