Burnard: Revolving front-runnersWritten by Don Burnard | | firstname.lastname@example.org
I find it a little amusing that after 4,568 GOP debates, there is still a new front-runner every week. And after all those lead changes, none have polled higher than the low 20s. Each seems to revel in making absurd statements, hoping that the more ridiculous the statement, the more likely they will be to “vault” into the lead. It’s obvious that the presumed crown prince of the GOP, Mitt Romney, is having trouble gaining traction. He’s flip-flopped on so many issues that he is beginning to resemble a frog tossed into a hot frying pan.
Not content to do a mere 180 on virtually any position, he’s shown that — if need be — he’s willing to do a complete 360 if someone doesn’t like what he said yesterday. He doesn’t seem to think that the possibility of his having every position on any given subject might be part of the problem he has getting traction. His only recourse now seems to be to bash Obama in generic ways and tailor his messages and positions to please whatever he thinks the audience du jour wants to hear. He seems to have no strong positions on anything that he’s not willing to change. Kind of makes you wonder how he’d deal with the international community if he had to negotiate as president.
Herman Cain spent a couple of weeks as the front-runner. With a mix of half-evangelist, half-huckster panache, he seems to have finally played out his hand as the sexual misconduct allegations continue to pile up. Then add in his complete lack of knowledge on such presidential prerequisites as foreign policy, for example. His bizarre campaign Web posts became YouTube hits, but really didn’t show much that anyone other than the hard-core tea drinkers would deem presidential caliber. His simplistic 9-9-9 plan sounded great in sound bites, but on closer examination by persons having actual knowledge of economic matters was shown to be just another sales pitch that would only help the rich if enacted. It did provide a handy answer if he was asked a question he didn’t know the answer to or didn’t want to answer.
Before the Hermanator, the Guv of Texas, Rick Perry, had his 15 minutes of fame. I thought the last
governor of Texas who won the presidency was, shall we say, intellectually challenged. It didn’t take good ol’ boy Rick long to make W. look good in the thinkin’ department. He just kept going from bad to worse in debate to debate, appearing to even be somewhat inebriated in one of them, and forgetting his own plans and asking the other candidates to help him out in the memory department. His excuse was he was worn out from all this debatin’ stuff. I guess being president would be a lot less stressful. He did have some nice-looking boots, though. Hopefully, one of his assistants wrote clear instructions on the heel for pouring water out of them.
Before Rick came along, Michele Bachmann had her brief moment in the sun, regaling one and all with her staggering lack of knowledge of history and a stunning array of made-up facts. How she was ever taken seriously for even a moment as the possible leader of the free world is beyond me, and apparently, finally, for all but the most hardcore TPers.
Ron Paul has flirted with front-runner status, and even shown some popularity with younger voters, who for the most part have glommed on to his war positions and studiously ignored some of his more radical ideas. Evidently, he even scares the mainstream media moguls, as they seem to studiously ignore him as well.
Now, rising like a phoenix from the ashes, we have the Second (Third? Fourth?) Coming of Newt Gingrich. Newt is sure that he is the smartest guy in any room, and is willing to pontificate at length on any subject in a stream of consciousness way that often gets him accolades or condemnation. To me, he is the quintessential example of mouth in motion before mind is in gear. Just last week, his latest brilliant idea was to do away with child labor laws and turn poor kids into school janitors.
Never mind that they would possibly have to work with dangerous chemicals and be up all night cleaning the school they should be attending the next day.
I have an idea, Newt. Why don’t they run for the GOP nomination for president? They’re sure to be as good as any of the front-runners so far.
What a sad state the GOP has devolved into, when these top GOP contenders for the highest office in the land are the best it has to offer.