I mean, this is June…June 2011, right? Almost 17 months before the 2012 election? I find that I grow fatigued already with the attention being paid to the early stages of the Republican Party’s presidential contest (I would be fatigued with the attention to the Democratic Party’s contest right now, too, if there was one). There’s too much time before the election, and too much opportunity for things to happen—to change—for me to believe I’ve got to lock in to a candidate right now. Yet the drone of activity continues.
It now seems clear that Rick Perry’s made up his mind to run for president. Fine. (I’ve been fighting off an imagined letter explaining his strategy, but I don’t know if I can fight it forever.) One reason the Perry prospectus is positive is that the Newt Gingrich political brain trust that quit on him earlier this month was a bunch of Perry people, so they’re now available, if asked, to work on the makeover of yet another Texas governor into a national leader. (Wasn’t the last one we sent you enough for a while?) Gingrich says that was just a difference of opinion about how to run a campaign…wonder what his reasoning is today to explain his major fundraisers also calling it quits?
There’s been some consideration lately that perhaps Michele Bachmann is not so out of the mainstream after all; this is disturbing, too, and appears to be true to the extent that the mainstream is no longer where it once was.
But there was some not-disheartening news today in the stories on Jon Huntsman’s announcement of his candidacy for president. He was able to make the point that he believes himself to be the best person for the job without resorting to irrational and hysterical (and untrue) accusations about President Obama. No ominous warnings about socialism, or death panels, or usurpers and traitors, or even accusations that he doesn’t love his own dog.
“He and I have a difference of opinion on how to help a country we both love,” Mr. Huntsman said of Mr. Obama. “But the question each of us wants the voters to answer is who will be the better president, not who’s the better American.”
I don’t really want to be undergoing a presidential election right now, in the same way that I really don’t want to be undergoing a colonoscopy right now. If I must, though, I could get used to one that sounded like that; on the other hand, I’m far too used to the sound of Americans’ religious bigotry showing its resilience, as it did again today.