Help us Obi Wan Kenobi, you’re our only hope! As the campaign season has dragged on and after about the 18th debate, I’ve finally decided that I’m just really not excited about any of our Presidential candidates. In fact, it’s almost painful watching this rather lackluster group of candidates slog it out just because they all have significant flaws. I know it’s not possible to have a perfect candidate (even Reagan had some significant problems that we forget about now), but is this really the best the GOP can do? Even the guy with the best shot of beating Obama is seen as so unpalatable by most of the party that he can barely get over 25% of the vote anywhere. So, the question is, is it too late for a White Knight to ride to the rescue?
Bill Kristol has an interesting article out where he subtly (or not so subtly) hints that now might be a good time for another candidate to try a last minute Hail Mary to excite the base. Here is the relevant quote from Kristol:
And it is a moment, as you prepare to cast your vote, for others to reflect on whether they don’t owe it to their country to step forward. As this is no time for voters to choose fecklessly, it is no time for leaders to duck responsibility. Those who have stood aside—and who now may have concluded, as they may not have when they announced their original decision, that the current field is lacking—will surely hear the words of Thomas Paine echoing down the centuries: “The summer soldier and the sunshine patriot will, in this crisis, shrink from the service of their country; but he that stands by it now, deserves the love and thanks of man and woman.” Now is not a time for leaders to engage in clever calculations of the odds of success, or to succumb to concerns about how they will look if they enter the fray and fall short. Now is a time to come to the aid of our country.
I’m not quite sure who Kristol has in mind, but there are only a couple of possible candidates who could come in at this late date who could raise the money and who would have the name recognition to possibly make it close and/or force a brokered convention. The first obvious name that comes to mind is Sarah Palin. She can certainly get her fans fired up and I imagine she could raise some serious cash pretty quick. She would also garner a lot of free media (remember there is no such thing as bad press) that could make her a possible game-changer. Of course, the main problem with Palin is that a majority of the GOP doesn’t want her to run, according to many polls, and she might generate some excitement, it could easily backfire. Additionally, even if she did force a brokered convention or somehow won the nomination, I still think she get’s crushed by Obama in the fall.
The only other name that could possibly generate some buzz, rally the establishment and the money needed to make a run would be Jeb Bush. The main problem with Bush is that he’s as much as an establishment guy as the rest of the field, so I’m not sure what he would really bring to the table, he’s certainly not the “true conservative” that we’ve all been looking for. Also, the name Bush is probably tarnished and I can’t imagine the country would elect him, especially so soon after his brother left office.
Does anyone else have any other names that could pull the miracle off? Christie? Jindal? Is Pawlenty on any ballots anywhere? It’s too bad Pawlenty dropped out when he did. He wasn’t the most exciting guy, but he must be kicking himself somewhere for not sticking it out. Maybe we really need Obi Wan, it would take the power of the force to excite me this election cycle.