I am a liberal Democrat and always have been. I want President Obama to win re-election. So why on earth am I pulling for Jon Huntsman to win today in New Hampshire? He has the best chance of beating the president. And yet, here I am, hoping he pulls it out. Intellectually, it makes so sense.
Even if Huntsman didn’t have the best chance of beating the president, I shouldn’t like him. He is really a conservative guy — ‘pro-life,’ supports the horrible Paul Ryan plan to dismantle Medicare, is all about the Second Amendment, you know, my type of person. So what the hell am I thinking?
Running for president is serious business. It’s a serious job. I write political satire so the whole circus that has been the GOP presidential nomination process has been like a gift from God. Come on, I was all about the Cain Train. But as a citizen, the idea of a President Cain, Santorum, Gingrich or Bachmann scares the crap out of me. Whenever I want to bring up Ronald Reagan as a positive an angel loses its wings but one thing he had in his arsenal when negotiating with the Soviets was intelligence. (Oh, and hell just froze over a little bit.) Can you imagine a Herman Cain in that kind of situation? No? That’s because we all probably wouldn’t be here now to think about it.
When did we go from picking the best candidate to picking the least insane?
That is why I like Jon Huntsman. I like that he is sane and reasonable. I like that Pew called Utah the best run state in the country when he was governor. And to me, it is a plus that he served in the Obama administration. What happened to politics ending at the coasts? When I travel overseas, I am am American first and a Democrat second. That is what I like about Jon Huntsman.
“As you know, from my repeated and vociferous denials of every doing anything wrong, inappropriate or even less than brilliant — at any point, ever — that my candidacy for president has rattled some people. They remain desperately afraid of a black, businessman moving into the White House. They know I can win, and neither the Democratic machine, nor some of the other GOP campaign, can let that happen.
“Both my wife, Gloria, and I remain convinced that Herman Cain is exactly what the doctor ordered to lead this great country at this time in history. While the persistent rumors and allegations about me don’t bother me at all, as I know they are not true, the toll they are taking on my wife is another story. I don’t want to give in to these fear mongerers and mud slingers but after meeting with the joint chiefs of my campaign, we determined these attacks will keep coming so I am ending my current campaign for the GOP nomination.
“Herman Cain will be back. Maybe as soon as next year — I will base my decision to run as an Independent on whether I can get Donald Trump to run with me. If that doesn’t work out, he is unpredictable and not nearly the handsome rascal Rick Perry is — or that I am — this is not the last presidential run for the Cain Train.
“Thank you for your support, God bless you, God bless America and God bless Godfather’s Pizza.”
To give him his due, the Cain campaign has bought a lot of his books so he is definitely selling a ton while running for president. And Governor Sarah Palin would tell you her VP run and the speculation about her possible 2012 run did not hurt her book sales but just because you can do something, does not mean you should.
This is not an anti-capitalist view I am trying to promote. Sell as many books as want but it seems a little unseemly to use a presidential run to do it. Any presidential campaign is really a multi-month (or year) job interview for the most (or one of) important jobs in the country. Nothing a candidate does will really prepare anyone to be president (and it’s not supposed to, you should be qualified to run before you make that decision) but it does give the nation a chance to get to know the would be candidates. This is not a time to bring anything but your A game. When you think about that, is this really the time to split your energy between running and doing anything else?
Running for president is hard. Not has hard as being the leader of the free world but it is hard. That’s why I criticized Cenk Uygar when he said that Mike Huckabee was “too fat and happy” to run. I have a lot of respect for people who admit that it takes a lot of time and energy to run and there are no guarantees. Good for you, Governor.
Governor Rick Perry has learned how much harder it is to run for national office (I believe he thought that his track record in Texas would prepare him better for the presidential race) than any state-wide. That’s one of the reasons he has said he may not take part in upcoming debates (not that his underwhelming performances have had any role, seriously, if you cannot stay awake past 8:00 pm, how can you be president?).
Congresswomen Michele Bachmann has learned this, too. Maybe that’s why her New Hampshire staff all quit in a huff. Maybe she thought she could make up facts as she goes along in this campaign the way she does every other time she opens her mouth but it doesn’t seem to be working as well as she thought.
So we come back to the current front-runner (in national polls, though, not the state polls, where it matters more), Herman Cain. It is worth noting that the title of this post could also refer to Godfather’s pizza. With all due respect to Chicago deep dish pizza lovers, you can theoretically make pizza outside of New York, but why would you?
Full disclosure, which is pretty obvious to anyone who has met me or read what I write, I am a liberal Democrat and have every intention of voting for President Obama. Having said that, I think having two robust parties and a vigorous discussion about where we want the country to go, is in everyone’s best interest. I was really impressed when Governor Chris Christie said that he believes in “small government, lower taxes and less regulation,” not because I agree with ANY of that, in fact I do NOT, but that’s where our conversation should be.
Herman Cain is not advancing our political discourse at all. His economic plan (the “9/9/9” or “9/0/9”) would be disastrous. His ignorance of foreign policy is scary. It is his lack of interest in running for office, while he runs, that bothers me the most. With little or no campaign infrastructure, few details on his policy proposals and a general laissez-faire attitude towards the process, I am left with the thought that if he doesn’t care about his campaign, why should anyone?