That is, unless we jettison this freak show of Republican so-called candidates.
Newt Gingrich? Newt Gingrich????? The guy peaked nearly 20 years ago. Compromised, corrupt, amoral. He has about as much chance of winning the general election as do Calvin Coolidge’s decomposing remains.
Ron F-ing PAUL?????????????? The most charitable thing I can say about him is: Joke candidate. Wrong, wrong, wrong. If he gets the Republican nomination, I would actually stay home on election day, as would most voters forced to choose between a communist and a madman.
Michele Bachmann’s vaccine conspiracies have doomed her as a viable mainstream nominee, unfortunately, even though she is the most likeable of all the candidates and I would have gladly voted for her, “crazy eyes” notwithstanding.
Rick Perry has already made far too many unforced errors, and his extreme social conservative activism has turned off many Constitutionally-minded voters like myself who worry that if he wins he’ll use his power not to shrink government but to meddle in Americans’ private lives. No thank you.
Herman Cain: Toast.
Rick Santorum: If we were all in hell, I’d put my money on the snowball.
Huntsman, Johnson and the rest: Who?
Which leaves us only with Mitt Romney. He’s the sole Republican in the current field who even has a ghost of a chance at beating Obama, but as many have noted, he’s an old-school-checked-pant-double-talking-insider-flip-flopping pseudo-Republican who looks, talks and acts like a phony. I’d still vote for him over Obama, but only out of desperation; I’d rather have a president with magic underwear than an emperor with no clothes. But the growing tide of anti-Mormon bigotry in this country means that I fear few would join me in this protest vote.
And that, to my (and everyone else’s) great chagrin, is it. The pitiable pantheon of declared Republican candidates ends there. I keep reaching around in the bottom of the bag, asking “Any more in there? That can’t be all of you.” But my hand comes back empty. And my heart sinks.
Unless something changes drastically, Obama will beat any of these people handily. Which means, as my title reminded everyone, that he’ll be president for the term between 2012 and 2016 — which actually lasts until January 20, 2017. Think about that: 2017. It’s still 2011, people, and if things keep going as they are, Obama will be in charge until 2017.