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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

GOP candidates unimpressive

The Republican Party has been threatening to “”take the country back”” for nearly four years now, yet it seems incapable of assembling a field of viable presidential contenders. They include, among others, an ex-CEO of a mob-themed pizza chain and a disgraced former speaker of the House. If this is the best the GOP has to the offer, Obama’s re-election is all but guaranteed.

Tim Pawlenty, who trails Obama by nearly 15 percent in the latest NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, has gained no traction whatsoever since announcing his candidacy for the presidency. Given his unimpressive track record as governor of Minnesota, this isn’t surprising. According to White House spokesman Robert Gibbs in an interview with MSNBC last week, when “”T-Paw”” left office at the beginning of 2011, Minnesota had added only 6,000 jobs and was mired in a $6.2 billion budget deficit. His performance at last week’s presidential debate only tarnished his reputation further. Too cowardly to defend his own convictions, Pawlenty turned tail when given the opportunity to call former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney out on his state health care reform plan. A day earlier, Pawlenty referred to it as “”Obamaneycare.”” This display of impotence has cost him “”Paw-lenty.””

If Pawlenty’s candidacy has been the most disheartening, former Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich’s has been the most dysfunctional. After incurring the wrath of his party for questioning Paul Ryan’s Medicare plan and then being doused with glitter by a gay rights activist, Gingrich decided to embark on a short vacation. When he returned, 16 of his senior campaign staffers resigned. They had the sense to jump ship before it hit rock bottom.

By contrast, the ex-CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, Herman Cain, has gained popularity, but his lack of foreign policy expertise makes him virtually unelectable. It became apparent on Fox News on Sunday that Cain had been too busy to be concerned with the Arab-Israeli conflict. Cain was dumbfounded when Chris Wallace asked him where he stood on the issue of the Palestinian right of return. He then appeared on “”The Sean Hannity Show”” and admitted he had no idea what Wallace was talking about. Nonetheless, his incompetence is nothing compared to his intolerance. If elected, he has vowed to “”test the loyalty”” of all Muslims he appoints to his cabinet, if any.

Despite his awkwardness and plastic smile, Romney has emerged as the GOP’s front-runner.  Whether or not Romney will be able to maintain his No. 1 spot has yet to be determined. Romney will undoubtedly be haunted by Al Gore’s endorsement of his stance on global warming. The fact that the Obama administration used his Massachusetts health care plan as the template for “”Obamacare”” has already cost him. With all that, Tea-bagger Michele Bachmann and Texas secessionist Rick Perry might be able to snatch away the nomination.

Keeping in mind that the primaries and caucuses are but the first hurdle, there is a long way to go. If Republicans fail to put forward a viable candidate, they will hand Obama a second term on a silver platter.

Nyles Kendall is a political science senior. He can be contacted at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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