Sunday, May 15, 2011

GOP presidential: Three on base, two out

THE REPUBLICAN presidential field? Let me guess. The number running: 3. The number running away: 2. The number of mentionables: roughly 6. The number of unmentionables: How many bananas are there in a bunch?

So far, it hasn't been a good year for the political pundits trying to tout a mock draft. Two of the potential candidates have now explained their departures in biological terms. Haley Barbour, the Mississippi governor, said he just didn't have fire in his belly. And now Mike Huckabee says it was his heart who told him not to run. In his heart he also knew he would have to give up his Fox TV show.

All this b0dy talk has become the new X-factor for the politicos trying to figure out one party's presidential race in which people are gasping, None of the Above. Will Sunday morning panelists begin to take a more serious look at Donald Trump's hair, not as a helicopter pad, but as a much more decisive element in his final decision? Peoria wants to know.

The official GOP field as we speak includes Rick Santorum, the former senator from Pennsylvania who was routed in this bid for reelection; Newt Gingrich, who said he has overcome his past sins with help from God; and Rep. Ron Paul, who has just likened Medicare and Social Security to slavery. Should we remind them that they might find their next line of work on craigslist?

Among the unmentionables that leaves us with Michelle Bachmann, who is already said to benefit from Huckabee's heart-felt decision since both are the sort of conservatives who function out of the same shell; Mitt Romney, who was boasting about his health care reforms as Governor of Massachusetts when it was still socially acceptable for Republicans to say so; Sarah Palin, who appears to have peaked in 2008; Tim Pawlenty, who doesn't make a shadow on the sunniest day, and Gov. Mitch Daniels, former director of George Bush's Office of Management and Budget.

Oh, and Herman Cain, too. He's the founder of Godfather's Pizza who will soon make his candidacy official. . There are others, but why bother? I think I'll just hang around until the helicopter lands safely on Trump's unique coiffure.

UPDATE: Saying that his business was his greatest passion in life, Trump today declared his un-candidacy. Fortunately he didn't mention his hair as a factor in his decision. That leaves three who are running and three who are running away.

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