Ladies and Gentlemen, unless you’ve been living under a particularly dense rock, it’s obvious we’ve got ourselves a serious problem.
I’m not going to say that no one of the three men in the running for the Republican Presidential nomination can beat Barack Obama, but at this point, it’s obvious that whoever we pick, whether it be Romney, Santorum or Gingrich, none of them will face anything short of a sheer vertical climb. It’s not just Obama and his billion $ campaign, Left-Wing SuperPACs and the wholehearted support of the MSM, it’s the fact that the candidates themselves are hideously flawed – the candidate with the most discipline and the ability to raise cash seems determined to run a standard issue risk-averse campaign and is hated beyond reason by the most active segment of the rank-and-file, the candidate with the momentum now cannot seem to avoid getting suckered (in the worst way) into the thicket of social issues when the number one issues are energy, the economy and unemployment, while the candidate with the most ideas and the willingness to take the necessary risks is the least disciplined and (no coincidence) has a personal history that is going to be hard for a lot of voters – especially female voters – to overlook.
Our best hope at this point is for another – better – candidate to leap in before the last of the filing deadlines pass in mid-March to April and get on the ballot of the last seven states. If this candidate can unite all wings of the party, it’s very likely he can win all seven and send the Party into a contested convention in Tampa. This prospect – of a disorganized, disunited and fractious party being televised for the entire world to see – rightfully terrifies a lot of the old guard. But remember also that it is entirely possible that if this late entrant generates enough excitement with Republican voters and Independents, and it reflects in the polls that he’ll be best placed to go toe-to-toe with Obama, one (or two) of the current candidates could – could (because we’re dealing with big egos here) – be convinced to withdraw his candidacy and throw his support and convention delegates behind him even before the Party assembles for the convention.
The only thing left is to identify this guy (preferably someone who’s spent some time in a Governor’s office) and do our best to convince him to put his nation first and get into the ring.
Jeb Bush is mentioned often, but he is not that guy – and he knows it. If his name was John Ellis Smith, we wouldn’t even be in this situation in the first place because he would have wrapped this up by South Carolina – we wouldn’t need to be talking about drafting him in at a brokered convention. The problem is that his last name is Bush, and not some other Bush (like Kate or Reggie). Simply put, the average (superficial, ignorant, gullible, etc.) Independent is not going to vote for another President Bush, no matter how different us political junkies know he is from his father and brother. Nominating him for President at the Convention would be a catastrophic mistake.
If Rick Perry were to jump back in with a revamped (i.e. entirely new) campaign team and a viable plan to rebuild his image after his disastrous initial foray into the race, he may be able to get the GOP Primary electorate to take a second look at him and build the momentum necessary to carry him to Tampa as a viable option in a contested convention. But this would be monstrously tough in this day and age of YouTube and a media that is shameless in its open shilling for the incumbent.
So I’m throwing out one other name; Robert Francis McDonnell. He may be only two years (three years by inauguration day 2013) into his tenure as Governor of Virginia but he seems to meet every other requirement – better yet, it’s still far more executive experience than Barack Obama ever had before he started running for President. Another thing to note is that he is term limited (Virginia does not allow their Governors consecutive terms) so he can’t run for re-election, so it won’t be like he’s abandoning ship – especially given that his approval ratings generally top 60% and that he’s on everyone’s shortlist for Vice-President. If he can resign his office to be VP, why can’t he resign it to be President?
Second, he is a retired Army Lieutenant Colonel – something i.e. military service, that will always be a strong plus with the average GOP Primary voter. Third, academically he’s no slouch – he has degrees in Business (B.B.A. and M.B.A.) and Law – which would make it very difficult for the media to fit him into the same “dumb” narrative they applied to Rick Perry (and George W. Bush and Ronald Reagan before him). Fourth, he looks the part – something that is of very high importance to Independent voters. Fifth, he is the current Chairman of the Republican Governors Association – meaning establishment cred; having both the base and the “establishment” on the same page is always better than when they are at loggerheads.
Sixth, and in my opinion, very important, is that he ran a magnificent campaign in 2009. From his website to his messaging and GOTV operations, his team’s work led to him ruthlessly pounding into the ground (by a 17 point margin) an opponent backed by the Washington Post and the Obama White House’s political muscle. His election emphatically took back a state the pundits all thought Obama’s victory in 2008 had forever shifted to the Left. Bob McDonnell as our candidate puts Virginia firmly back in the GOP column on Election Day and neighboring North Carolina as well.
The only problem is that he has already endorsed Mitt Romney, but like OH Attorney General Mike DeWine, nothing prevents him from withdrawing his endorsement if he sees that Romney is not able to close the sale.
Bob McDonnell for President.