While there is still no clear frontrunner from the Republican party to challenge Obama in 2012, there are murmurings aplenty concerning potential candidates. Bloggers all over the map have been weighing the merits of rumored campaigns.
Process Story, a South Carolina political blog, speculated yesterday that Mike Huckabee might be newly out of the running. The former Arkansas governor allegedly dismissed his South Carolina campaign staffers, leading to rumors that he may not be pursuing a presidential nomination. However, one of Huckabee’s spokesmen called the speculation “absolutely ridiculous.” Hogan Gidley, the director of Huckabee’s political action committee, added that the new rumors of his dropping out were “getting comical” and that Huckabee was “the front runner” for the nomination. It’s possible that Huckabee is shedding some weight on his campaign machine, dropping old staffers and reloading with better ones.
Huckabee has done well in polls so far, but he’s got some steady competition within the party. Donald Trump and Rick Santorum both seem to be gearing up for a presidential run. Trump’s got the media hooked at the moment with his “birther” shenanigans and outspoken criticisms of the president. While the president’s recent release of his long-form birth certificate may technically further prove Trump and his followers wrong, the whole fiasco does lend a lot of power to Trump as a contender for the White House. He was the loudmouthed straw that broke the camel’s back, finally prompting an official statement from the President. He made Obama give in to the absurd rumors, and probably stirred even more dissent from those who doubt the validity of the certificate (his mother’s name is Stanley! Hawaii wasn’t even a state in 1961!).
Trump’s running on the steam train of celebrity, which is unfortunately a big plus. Santorum’s been making the headline rounds with his criticisms of Obama’s foreign policy. He claimed that Obama has been weak in promoting “America’s exceptionalism,” but did not propose an alternative to the recent actions taken in the Middle East. Santorum also carries the weight of having his good name slandered by Dan Savage in response to the senator’s anti-gay stance. Google “santorum” and you’ll find he’s become a synonym for a nasty substance thanks to the Google-bombing efforts of Savage Love readers. Not sure if the association is strong enough to put a dent in Santorum’s campaign, but I know that's the first thing I think of when I hear his name.
We’ve also got Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann as possible candidates. Neither are white dudes themselves, but both are pretty sympathetic to the image of America as conservative white dudes want it. Both are standard Tea Party nuts, prone to popular sound bites and media attention. Bachmann’s probably the nuttier of the two, prone to spewing bile about how homosexuality is a “disorder” and how the gays are “targeting our children.” She opposes abortion except in cases of rape and incest. She’s stated that intelligent design should be taught in science classes because evolution is just an unproven theory. And Huckabee, our “frontrunner,” agrees with her on all those counts—except abortion, which he opposes even in rape and incest situations.
So Obama’s opposition is getting crazier, full of people who proudly proclaim that homosexuality is sin, evolution is false, and abortion is murder. These are not good people to trust with our country. Say what you will about Obama and his policies, but at least he’s a rational enough human. I shudder to think that enough Americans will take the alternatives seriously enough to vote one into office next year.