Sunday, January 11, 2015

The Latest GOP Swimsuit Competition

My apologies if the image of Chris Christie in a swimsuit finds you eating a meal while reading this. It's one of the hardships of the blogging trade, I know.

As mid-January hurries into late-January (a month of Mondays if there ever was one), we find ourselves confronted with news from the right side of the political spectrum as Hillary Clinton and any other would-be Democrats are seemingly taking the month off.

The big news, as usual, comes from New Jersey where the main question revolves around whether the Governor's actions in Dallas last weekend dealt a fatal blow to his presidential hopes. The thinking is that Christie's awkward embrace of Cowboy's owner Jerry Jones while wearing an orange sweater, was akin to Michael Dukakis in a tank or Howard Dean screaming. That is, an unpresidential image so egregious that it renders a candidate unelectable. My sense is that, no, this did not end Christie's run before it began (and it will begin later this month), but it did project Christie as the wanna-be he clearly is. And it also reinforces the notion that the man just doesn't think before he acts sometimes. He believes that he is always right and his aides reinforce that daily. The Dallas escapade might not be the end, but it presages another event that will hurt him sometime down the road. Bank on that.

More bigger than Christie, though, is the news that Mitt Romney is strongly considering a third run for the White House. This would be a very bad idea because third time candidates tend to become parodies and, then, national jokes.

William Jennings Bryan ran for the Democratic nomination four times in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, matching the Buffalo Bills for important national losses. Bryan, though, will always be remembered for his Cross of Gold speech, where he attempted to tie the business-friendly Republicans to a policy that would increase the suffering of the lower classes at the expense of the wealthy. Sound familiar? Today, Romney would more likely make a speech saying that a Cross of Gold would be a sound investment.

Even Teddy Roosevelt lost some luster when he ran for a third time in 1912, but he had the extra added legitimacy of having previously been president for almost eight years, and for being a firm advocate for responsible corporate behavior and for his solid conservation record. You know those national parks that Romney wants to open for drilling, exploration and timber? Roosevelt made them happen. Romney can only dream of that kind of influence, even if he does manage to get out of the primaries. Which he won't.

And finally, there's Jeb Bush, who apparently is evolving as we speak. And for someone whose view on evolution is somewhat suspect, it's refreshing to read that:
“There is an evolution in temperament and an evolution in judgment and an evolution in wisdom — and there is an evolution in his respect for others’ point of view,” said Al Cardenas, a longtime friend who insisted that Mr. Bush had “not changed his conservative values.”
Perhaps by the end of the campaign, Mr. Bush will evolve into a Democrat. OK, OK, I know, but a fella can dream, can't he?

So there you have it: the early mid-January political report. By the end of the month I would suspect that Mitt and Chris will join Jeb in the money-raising competition and then they'll all jump head first into the campaign sometime after the Supreme Court affirms the Affordable Care Act.

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  1. Orange is the new black. Perhaps CC is really a Broncos fan?

  2. I feel like this is a re-run. Haven't we seen this GOP presidential candidate dysfunctional family show before? Wait until Rick Santorum, Rand Paul, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz get into the act. Michele Bachmann and Rick Perry too. And don't forget Ben Carson. Republican mosh pit!

    1. It's just a more compelling story no matter how many times you see it. Yes--when the far righties enter the race things will become far more interesting.

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