Saturday, August 20, 2011

Who's Next

Just when you thought it was safe to pick a GOP candidate, into the race jumped Texas Gov. Rick Perry. The 3-term governor's entry, combined with the departure of America's insomnia cure Tim Pawlenty has added another twist to a nomination battle that has seen more plot twists and turns than Days of Our Lives during sweeps. Whether Perry turns out to be the next Ronald Reagan, the next Fred Thompson, or something in between remains to be seen. Nevertheless his entry has had the undeniable effect of opening the floodgates for others still looking at joining the field. Each has his or her own strengths and weaknesses.

-Sarah Palin: Governor Palin has been the great cloud hanging over the field for months. She brings universal name identification, a passionate supporting base, and strong fundraising prowess. Still, one can't help but feel her chance has passed. With Perry and Bachmann leading the Tea Party vote plus Cain and Santorum carving their own smaller shares, there does not seem to be enough oxygen in that wing of the party for another high profile candidate.
Palin also suffers from questions about her own resume. Does less than 1 term as Governor of the 49th most populous state (in your face Wyoming!) qualify Palin to be President? Does knowledge of how to kill a caribou from a helicopter translate to negotiating a trade agreement with Egypt? (If the agreement is regarding the exportation of tasty caribou meat, then absolutely.)
Still, one person is up at night hoping in the name of all things Joseph Smith that Palin runs: Mitt Romney. Yes, a Palin candidacy to further carve up the more evangelical, social issues driven voter would only add to the chances The Mitten would fit like a glove to more establishment voters and secure the nomination. However, Sarah Palin has proven before that she's never one to count out.

-Paul Ryan: In the past few days Congressman Ryan's name has popped up as one seriously considering a run for the Presidency. Rumors abound that Speaker Boehner, Governor Daniels of Indiana and others are urging the Wisconsin Congressman into the race. Ryan is the House Budget Committee Chairman, young, undeniably brilliant and a graduate of the greatest university known to man. In many ways, the total package.
But questions remain about this Doogie Howser MD of the GOP. Ryan has never run a race larger than 1/8 of Wisconsin and has almost no national media vetting under his belt. He lacks name recognition with many and has never endured the grueling level of campaigning one must engage in to win a Presidential nomination.
Still, Ryan's insider credentials would appeal to many more establishment minded GOP voters. For Willard "The Mitten" Romney a Paul Ryan bid would threaten to take a considerable chunk of his base in the party, further opening the door for a Perry or even Bachmann nomination. But if the econ guru from the land of cheese can answer the questions and doubts there's no telling how far he could go.

-Donald Trump: Ok, I'm largely kidding here, but Trump won't stop teasing a run. Trump has said if Trump doesn't like what Trump sees in the race, then Trump will something something, lots of noise Trump! Maybe he is exactly what America needs: after all, who better to lead a national drowning in debt than a man with more bankruptcies and failed businesses than there were seasons of Gunsmoke who still gets to walk around pretending to be a titan of industry? Yes, the Donald truly is the master of the 'I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today' school of economics. But J. Wellington Wimpy would have to find a way to expand his appeal beyond the Let's Turn America into a Reality Show segment of voters to ever have a chance.

Those are just three of the names still sitting in the wings. Others (Christie, Giuliani) are out there as well. For now it seems we still don't know who else might be itching to join Mitten and the rest in the fight for the GOP nomination.


  1. After reading this post, I was displeased to see a viewpoint to which I subscribe disparaged in such an underanded way. There are many reasons why paying a firm or individual Tuesday for a hambuger, while consuming it today, could be advantageous to both parties. For example, let's presume this burger contains E-coli. The seller, not knowing this, agrees to accept future payment for the infected beef. The buyer, also not knowing this, consumes the burger today, but not before recieving his annual e-coli vaccince on the way to the hamburger store. She eats the burger but is still willing to pay on Tuesday, given it did not make her violently ill. The result on the following Tuesday is a paid vendor, and a happy consumer. Given complete information, the transaction would not have taken place, and both parties worse off.

    If any of this seems confusing, or even illogical to you, I would just ask: do you sir, have a degree in economics?

  2. So what you're saying is you've infected the hamburger I am currently eating with E-coli, which I will pay for on Tuesday?

  3. Well I wasn't going to get into the sematics of "who", "what burger", or "which person may die", etc, etc... but, yes. You have the idea. Whether or not you live long enough to ever pay for it depends on if you've had your e-coli vaccine, which I'm relatively certain does not exist. That part of my argument was hypothetical I suppose.