The holiday is behind us, but that Republican presidential circus rages on. I've said many times here that I hate the length of the modern election season. In recent years, that season has increased to at least two years and in some cases four or more.
I have said that I wouldn't comment on elections until at least the end of the summer before they take place. That would put off my discussion until the end of summer 2012. But this Republican cycle has been in full swing since the last election in 2008. What have we learned so far? Simple. Nothing. Do you realize there are, as of last night anyway, seventeen announced candidates for the party's presidential nomination? Seventeen already announced. And there are another nine biding their time teasing us from the sidelines.
If they all should eventually decide to enter the race, that would make it 26 vying for spots in the caucuses and primaries. We should also point out that another 13 others have indicated they are not candidates.
The good part of all this activity is that we have a very long time to study the candidates to decide our choice to represent the party in November, 2012. I'm among the many who won't spend all that time thinking about that election. I'll probably wait until, oh, say, perhaps, next summer before I start getting curious. Probably by then the field of 17, or 26 if you include the potential ones, or 39 if any of the decliners change their minds, will have wittled itself down to a managable number, especially since both the caucuses and primaries around the country will have already been held.
Here's a little quiz for you. Name without looking them up now the 17 announced candidates. How far did you get? Now name the nine on the fence. I won't ask you for the 13 non-candidates, but many of those names are whole lot more familiar.
I can honestly say at this point there is not one candidate that has even upped my excitement level. As I look over the list, all I can think is, "Who are these guys/gals?" There are at least four, probably more, announced candidates that would cause me to write in my own name before I'd color in the box next to theirs.
Right now I'd say if the Republican goal is to cut President Obama's presidency to one term, the party had better start searching the woodwork for someone who has a chance to beat him. Yes, I know I shouldn't be critical unless I can offer a solution. I can't make such an offer, but perhaps a couple of the announced non-candidates should be pushed a little. The list currently available to us is just a wee bit discouraging.
Oh, the answers: The 17 announced candidates are: Michele Backman, Herman Cain, Newt Gingrich, Jon Huntsman, Gary Johnson, Fred Karger, Andy Martin, Thad McCotter, Jimmy McMillan, Tom Miller, Roy Moore, Ron Paul, Tim Pawlenty, Buddy Roemer, Mitt Romney, Rick Santorum, and Vern Weunsche. Now, how many of them can you tell what their "claim to fame" is? Yes, I knew some of them.
And those potential candidates are: John Bolton, Scott Brown, Rudy Giuliani, Lindsey Graham, Sarah Palin, Rick Perry, Paul Ryan, Joe Scarborough, and Allen West.
If you'd like the background on any you don't know or the list of the denials, you can visit this website which is, of course, where I got my list.