the Republican presidential debates -- the eleventh in a maxi-series of
22 took place last week on CNN -- is an experience similar to watching a
NASCAR race on TV. The candidates race around the track until they run
out of gas (cash). It's exciting for debate fans. You never know who is
going to crash next.
We have seen Rick Perry go into a wall when he was blindsided by his
own inability to count to three in naming departments on his Things to
Do Today list as president. That deer-in-the-headlights look when asked
puff questions will be missed.
Herman Cain was leading the pack until his attempt to win the women's vote with 999 accusers stepping forward fell flat.
The latest hot candidate, Newt Gingrich, who the polls say is in a
virtual tie with the Romney Victory Cannonball Express, the betting
favorite, had been winning laps with a sneering campaign against the
news media. Withering heights were reached this month when he tore into Maria Bartiromo, the money honey at CNBC: "My colleagues have done a terrific job of answering an absurd question."
King Sneer lost a wheel or two recently with two goofy ideas. The man
who would appeal most to Republicans with a $250,000 credit line at
Tiffany's -- whose flexibility was demonstrated by his record of
attacking Freddie Mae while being on its payroll -- enhanced his
credentials further by coming out for repealing child labor laws, which
he called stupid. He favors jobs, jobs, jobs for non-unionized kids as
school janitors at a time when their elders can't find work, work, work.
Newt also made a winning argument for his election when he told a
Christian Broadcasting Network interviewer that he was a better
candidate than the previous Newt for President vehicle. "I do fewer dumb things."
Still remaining in the race to overtake Mitt Romney are Rick Santorum
and Jon Huntsmen, who represent the beatnik faction of the Republican
Party. But they're nervously studying their gas gauges to see if they
can reach Iowa.
The race will be turning into a demolition derby as the remaining
candidates try desperately to stop the man nobody wants (Mitt Romney).
All of which will be cheered on by audiences who have already hailed 217
executions, along with the idea of letting a man die rather than
subjecting him to socialized medicine, while booing veterans of the gay
persuasion. Somebody ought to check those brewskis at the door.
As a registered Republican still solidly in the undecided column,
watching the dysfunctional candidates limp to the finish line and trying
to decide who is the most rigid, ideological, do-nothing (even if we
destroy the country), least-of-the-bad candidate, I can go out on the
limb here and say the "none of the above" vote is still large.
What can the party do?
Here is what I predict will happen: On the 25th ballot, the race will
still be deadlocked. The players in the smoke-filled backrooms will
turn to a dark horse candidate, the man all Republicans can unite
behind. I am talking about Governor Chris Christie of the great state of
He can't run for office, he told the clamoring masses this election
season, but he can walk for office. The brontosaurus of the party
shrewdly elected to avoid the NASCAR race, and he remains unscathed on
his moral high horse as he examines the battlefield carnage.
Christie is a big man for a big job. While other candidates have been
stripping their gears the last few months, a very low-key, hush-hush
campaign team has been meeting at a Palisades Ihop mapping out the
strategy for 2012, if not 2016. Veterans of the "Rudy in 2008" campaign
are working the phones. "Rupert is on the line for a mil" can be heard
in the war room. Some of the biggest Wall Street givers are lining up
The team is worried the governor will eat his weight at the caucus
food fairs, so the stratagem is to keep him at home until the convention
To those who say he doesn't stand a fat chance, they say, "Eat it."
In all transparency, I should point out that I am a card-carrying
member of the Corpus Christie Party of New Jersey, which is trying to
get our governor kicked upstairs to the White House and out of the
state. But so what? As everybody knows, the Republican Party is the
party of special interest groups.