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Column A/Column B

Current and former candidates for the Republican nomination for the Office of President of the United States fall into two distinct groups. See if you can guess what distinguishes Column A candidates from those in Column B.

Column A

  • Mitt Romney
  • Newt Gingrich
  • Rick Perry
  • Rick Santorum
  • Michele Bachmann
  • Herman Cain
  • Mitch Daniels
  • Tim Pawlenty
  • Thad McCotter
  • Mike Huckabee

Column B

  • Ron Paul
  • Gary Johnson
  • Donald Trump
  • Buddy Roemer

Column A candidates seem to share a vision: the goal of the 2012 election is to fire the current occupant of the White House and replace him with the best possible candidate. Each of them, if unsuccessful in securing the nomination, will contribute to the success of the ultimate Republican candidate. At a minimum, they will not detract from his or her effort to gain the White House.

All of the Column B candidates have, at one time or another, contemplated a third party run if unsuccessful as a Republican. None of them has a serious chance of being successful in a third party bid. Declaring third party would clearly place their personal goals and/or their ego ahead of the goal of replacing Barack Obama.

The Republican primary/convention process may end up selecting a candidate with warts. Upon entering the voting booth on November 6, 2012, the choice may well be between a “less good” Republican and the horrible incumbent. I pledge to enthusiastically pull the lever for “less good” over “horrible”. That is my responsibility as a grownup.

Furthermore, I resent candidates who would use the Republican selection process, then bolt in an effort to act as a spoiler. A spoiler gave us eight years of Bill Clinton.

Cross-posted at my blog

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