Placing bets at the elephant races

Ilustrated by Jhosef Hern

Wayne Neal
November 23, 2011
Filed under Opinion

The Republicans presidential hopefuls, a very mixed bag

Who is their best chance? That’s the great debate in the Republican Party.

The Presidential election is fast approaching, and President Barack Obama is concluding his first term in the office.

The Republicans are trying to sort through their mess of candidates but seem to have hit a snag. If you have not heard by now, their party has been a magnet for the media and not in a good way.

Between Michele Bachmann’s extreme comments, Rick Perry’s forgetfulness, and Herman Cain’s sexual harassment allegations, the Republicans’ chances of reaching the White House are in good hands – from a Democratic perspective.

But do not be discouraged, they are not the only Republicans running, you also have Mitt Romney.

Romney either led or held steady in the polls since his campaign started, but he has been unable to capture the hearts and minds of the truly Conservative Republican voters.

Maybe that’s due to his flip-flopping on many of their core issues. He has a tendency of trying to please everybody at once, the same tactic that won him Massachusetts Governor.

Then you have Newt Gingrich who has been creeping up in the polls but he’s had a lot of controversy surrounding his private life and his finances.

Most recently he’s been in the spotlight for his role as a consultant earning a $1.6 million paycheck from Freddy Mac during their fundraising scandal in early 2000, in which Freddy Mac ultimately paid $3.8 million in fines for illegal contributions.

Interesting considering Gingrich himself paid a hefty fine back in 1997 for lying to the House ethics committee.

This was the first time in the House’s 208-year history it had to discipline a speaker for ethical wrong doing, and at the time this appeared to be a career ender but look at him now, in the race for president; how quickly we forget.

Gingrich’s complex personal life leaves him the least attractive to the more traditional voter, and his financial choices paired with his checkered political past paint him as a liability, but he is the intellectual one of the bunch, having a firmer grasp of the core issues.

Newcomer Michele Bachmann has showed her inexperience, lack of historical knowledge and extreme opinions during the race thus far.

First saying how she would build a “double fence” along Southern California’s border to protect us from illegal immigrants. Then appearing on ABC’s “Good Morning America,” she referred to John Quincy Adams as one of our Founding Fathers, which is incorrect, Michele, but thanks for playing.

She did this not only once, but twice, when she addressed a group of New Hampshire Republicans, saying, “You’re the state where the shot was heard around the world in Lexington and Concord,” however the first shots of the Revolutionary War were fired in Massachusetts. I’m guessing she wasn’t a history major.

Cain, who was the darling of October, is in the spotlight with sexual harassment allegations, his comments on Libya, and wearing his “pimp hat” strong.

When Cain was asked how he felt about the tactics used in Libya, he managed little more than reiterating the question, and then disagreeing with Obama’s response. But with his everyman outbursts, his businesslike attitude and right-wing approach, he has picked up a lot of support along the campaign trail.

Then you have the infamous Perry, who seems to be lacking in memorization skills or a grasp of his own platform, take your pick. In a recent Republican debate, he forgot the third government agency that he wanted to cut. The first two were commerce, education, and, ugh… oops!

Whatever that third one was, I didn’t find this very funny. I did find it funny that he chose to get rid of those two in particular. He wants to cut education?

So we can all ‘struggle to recall’ – like you, Rick? No, I’m OK. He also plans on cutting the Department of Commerce, which deals with economic growth and job creation, because we obviously don’t need that right now.

Over the past few months, I have learned that most of, if not all of the Republican Party candidates have overly apparent flaws, be it incompetence, dishonesty, ignorance, or struggling with simple logical thought.

They have dressed themselves up as contenders, but they’re simply pretenders trying to become the next President of the United States.

Even though the Republican Party has put their best people on the job, I’m not so sure these shadow representatives will have the mental capacity to handle the job.

They all might want to take classes in English comprehension, American history, and political science before they run again, though.

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