2012 Tuesday: A (light-hearted) look at why each GOP candidate is thankful this year

The Republican candidates will have their last “national” debate tonight, before a string of debates in Iowa begins in mid-December. The topic is an important one, foreign policy, and tomorrow we’ll rehash what the various contenders say.

Until then, and in the spirit of this week’s holiday, let’s visit the lighter side of politics and review what each of the candidates has to be thankful for — including which of their rivals they ought to mention while giving thanks.

Just to be clear, this is not Jon Huntsman (Source: Screen shot from Huntsman campaign video)

Just to be clear, this is not Jon Huntsman (Source: Screen shot from Huntsman campaign video)

JON HUNTSMAN: The former Utah governor can be thankful the threshold for participating in most GOP debates hasn’t been higher than 2 percent. In more than 80 national polls taken since February, Huntsman has risen above 2 percent exactly 10 times; he’s recorded zero percent, or been left off the survey, 15 times since then. But hey, four of his 3 percent showings have occurred this month — Jonmentum! ** The candidate Huntsman is most thankful for: Actually, it’s Herman Cain’s campaign manager, Mark Block, who famously took a drag of a cigarette at the end of a Cain ad — sparking a parody ad by Hunstman’s daughters, a.k.a. the Jon 2012 Girls, that got as much attention as anything the Huntsman campaign has done. (The fact that most of you probably didn’t even see that parody should tell you something.)

RICK SANTORUM: The erstwhile senator from Pennsylvania has spent the most time of any candidate, perhaps save Michele Bachmann, courting the social-conservative vote. And he’s actually been quite eloquent on that topic from time to time. So, he can be thankful the rest of the field has more or less ceded that issue to him. On the other hand, the fact that his courtship of the soc-cons hasn’t translated into much opinion-poll or fund-raising support suggests that he picked the wrong year to run such a campaign. ** The candidate Santorum is most thankful for: Whoever happens to say something in a debate with which he can violently disagree, allowing him to snatch more speaking time without having to complain about how little speaking time he’s getting.

"No, I can't take your bags to your room. I'm talking about Obamacare." (Source: AP)

"No, I can't take your bags to your room. I'm talking about Obamacare." (Source: AP)

MICHELE BACHMANN: The Minnesota congresswoman rose as high as second in the polls for 25 glorious/frightening days (depending on your perspective) from mid-July to early August. Her rise pretty much ended as soon as it became clear Rick Perry was getting in the race, and her attempts to bring him down — particularly over the issue of HPV vaccinations in Texas — undid her campaign more than his. In fact, she’s never really recovered, and probably isn’t in line for the “second look” other candidates have gotten, even if someone falls out of the top tier. That would seem to leave her with a lump of coal in her cornucopia, to mix metaphors. Ah, but she can join the rest of us in being thankful that she realized she needed only one debate appearance wearing a get-up reminiscent of a bellboy/naval officer/third-world dictator/Michael Jackson in the early ’90s. ** The candidate Bachmann is most thankful for: Ex-candidate Tim Pawlenty, the sparring partner whose ease of being beaten up allowed Bachmann to go as far as she did.

RICK PERRY: The Texas governor shall, barring a Gingrich-esque renaissance, be known henceforth as the March Candidate: In like a lion, out like a lamb. He had a Texas-size rise and a Texas-size fall, and a Texas-size stumble with his infamous “oops” moment in a debate a couple of weeks ago. But Perry can be thankful that, unlike some other candidates who faltered badly in a debate or interview, he had a staff with the wherewithal to help him make Letterman lemonade out of his verbal lemons. Probably not enough lemonade to save his campaign, mind you, but at least it was something. ** The candidate Perry is most thankful for: Bachmann, for making him look good by comparison in the early going.

RON PAUL: The longtime Texas congressman probably isn’t going any farther in 2012 than he did in 2008. But he can be thankful — “grateful” might be a better word — that Democrats and big-government Republicans in Washington have so fouled up our nation’s finances that Paul’s relatively radical, small-government liber-conservatism has continued to attract fans as a comparatively sane alternative. ** The candidate Paul is most thankful for: Rand Paul 2016! (if Barack Obama is re-elected) or 2020! (if not).

HERMAN CAIN: We’ve finally reached a candidate in the “top tier” — although we can’t be sure how much longer that’ll be an accurate description of the Georgia businessman. Cain has run a highly unorthodox campaign, and it didn’t hurt him until his fumbling responses to sexual-harassment allegations and routine questions about foreign-policy matters revealed the reason for some of the orthodoxy. He can be most thankful that a used-car salesman in Toledo, or someone, came up with a catchy tax-reform plan that sounds a lot better than it would probably be. ** The candidate Cain is most thankful for: Newt Gingrich, for playing nice with Cain while walking him toward the political trap door.

"Just one more month, Herman ..." (Source: AP)

"Just one more month, Herman ..." (Source: AP)

NEWT GINGRICH: The former speaker of the House, like John McCain before him, can be thankful that modern presidential campaigns run so long that a perennial candidate has the better part of a year to recover from a disastrous early campaign. That, and for a field of competitors that left him the opportunity to do just that. Oh, and for the debate moderators and formats that result in exactly the kind of preposterous questions (”In 30 seconds, tell us how you’d reform the health-care sector, which makes up one-sixth of our $15 trillion economy.”) that Gingrich swats down with winsome disdain. ** The candidate Gingrich is most thankful for: Mitt Romney circa 2008, whose poor primary campaign is one reason Obama got to run against the economically clumsy McCain in the middle of a financial meltdown, thus leaving the door open to a Republican challenger in 2012.

MITT ROMNEY: Are you kidding? Just read the foregoing litany of mistakes other campaigns have made, consider that such formidable opponents as Mitch Daniels and Jeb Bush and Chris Christie didn’t run, add the inability of anyone so far to make Romney really pay politically for his history of flip-flopping, and you need only ask: What doesn’t the former Massachusetts governor have to be thankful for? ** The candidate Romney is most thankful for: Barack Obama, the only man running for president who can make Republicans passionate about Mitt Romney.

– By Kyle Wingfield

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[...] via 2012 Tuesday: A (light-hearted) look at why each GOP candidate is thankful this year | Kyle Wingfiel…. [...]

Kyle Wingfield

November 22nd, 2011
12:38 pm

For some reason, this posted originally without some of the final changes I’d made and links I’d included, so I apologize if you clicked early and saw the incomplete draft.

And, please, take this post in the playful spirit in which it was intended.

JDW

November 22nd, 2011
1:14 pm

Kyle, lets not forget the other candidate in the race, President Obama, because his cup truly runith over with thanks. Though he has certainly stumbled, bumbled and missed more opportunities than he should have, he is thankful that his predecessor set the bar so low he looks good in comparison. But when it gets right down to it he is most thankful that this line up of candidates is the best the Republicans could toss at him…it virtually ensures his re-election.

M.R.

November 22nd, 2011
1:18 pm

Kyle
Don’t be so ignorant. Come on
What you are pedaling is called self fulfilling prophecy.
By saying Ron “can’t win” is being ignorant on what is really going on with the Ron Paul revolution.

2008 was just the warm up. He is poised to take Iowa and a first or second placing in Iowa will change the 40% who said they are open to change their vote in the granite state. Things are going to look different here in the first 2 states in the next 8 weeks, more precise than these media propped up polls.

You have an outsiders view on what this political theater really is for 2012. Let me throw this out though for you and the folks who are searching for some answers to this country’s woes, the Folks who want truth and are tired of flip flopping promises.

This is an Ideological contest it is a battle for the mindset of America, it is how we will view our role of Government and more importantly do we as a people have real Liberty? It is a way of thinking. This is why you see the other 7 Presidential hopefuls going the same old direction and 1 candidate going another because Dr. Paul knows how we as a once free people have drifted from our moorings of real freedom.

Look Kyle and all that are reading this I implore you to read about the history of this great nation as you study Jefferson, Madison, Adams, Washington you will have the blueprint and you will as I did 10 years ago, become impassioned about this republic and really see that this really is a battle for our minds.

The conclusion? There really is only status quo that is left which is degenerating more and more producing more of the same only worse…and you people know things are not right, things are not working you know it in your heart as I do. But insanity is really doing the same things and expecting different results.

Or

The principles of freedom for everyone while we still have the chance (for freedom is not free) and that message my friend is being now spoken by only one
Ron Paul.

The 3rd President of the United States said this in our defense:

If a nation expects to be ignorant and free … it expects what never was and never will be.

I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.

The will of the people is the only legitimate foundation of any government, and to protect its free expression should be our first object.

JDW

November 22nd, 2011
1:33 pm

@M.R…”Ron can’t win”

The real reason Ron can’t win is that Economics 101 is a prerequisite for the job and he continues to fail. The bright side, for Ron, is that most of his fellow candidates do so as well.

Michael Salemi, who teaches Economics at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, was able to identify statements from six candidates that “would earn failing grades in my Econ 101 class.” Additionally, Salemi called Ron Paul’s rationale for returning to the gold standard “one of the most dangerous ideas put forward by a politician in recent years.”

http://money.cnn.com/2011/11/09/news/economy/presidential_candidates_economics/index.htm?hpt=hp_t3

@@

November 22nd, 2011
1:34 pm

Too cute!

Trickle down politics.

Take one?

@@

November 22nd, 2011
1:43 pm

And, please, take this post in the playful spirit in which it was intended.

Looks like M.R. and JDW missed ^^^ that part.

Politi Cal

November 22nd, 2011
1:47 pm

Left wingers have NO sense of humor; it ain’t allowed.

joe

November 22nd, 2011
1:51 pm

gingrich-esque? that’s both light-hearted, light-headed and dim-witted.

lol

bwa

UGA 1999

November 22nd, 2011
2:16 pm

Funny post. Good job Kyle.

Voice of Reason

November 22nd, 2011
2:23 pm

Actually Ron Paul appears to be the only one who can shoot straight and put logical solutions on the table. JDW, please exlpain to me why going back to the gold standard is so “horrible.”

Hillbilly D

November 22nd, 2011
2:32 pm

I’m just thankful I don’t have to watch any debates. Maybe 8-9 months from now but I’ve got better things to do, for now.

old timer

November 22nd, 2011
2:42 pm

Interesting post….will be an interesting winter.

PigeonMan

November 22nd, 2011
2:48 pm

“for playing nice with Cain while walking him toward the political trap door” – great call!

I did not see that coming but now I do.

Mike

November 22nd, 2011
2:50 pm

This country should be thankful for the repubs and the tea party for trying to drive this country to the brink of economic ruin. Hopefully people begin to see the true nature and personality of these folks they elected. I will look at the debate and I won’t have to look at SNL this weekend.

UGA 1999

November 22nd, 2011
3:01 pm

MIke….the president has done a great job of brining this country to economic ruin. The repubs and tea party are working to save the day.

Don't Tread

November 22nd, 2011
3:03 pm

Regardless if Obama is running or not, I’m not passionate about Romney. (Two words: Obama Lite.) But then again I’m not a Republican.

JDW

November 22nd, 2011
3:10 pm

@Voice of Reason…”please exlpain to me why going back to the gold standard is so “horrible.”

Another Econ 101 reject I see…there are about a million reasons I will give you my top three and then you can Google the rest.

Number 3 – Increased Volatility. A floating currency allows for the management of economic cycles. The gold standard was a key issue in allowing the Great Depression to fester for 10+ years. Compare that to our recent bust where we complain about 2% annual growth rates. On the gold standard we would be standing in soup lines again.

Number 2 – The end of the Dollar as THE Reserve Currency. In case you haven’t noticed controlling the Reserve Currency of the world is a bit of a strategic advantage in most everything we do.

And the Number 1 Reason – There is not enough gold to support a gold standard for the US let alone the rest of the world. You think debt is bad for growth…try running out of money.

DW

November 22nd, 2011
3:15 pm

AWESOME post Kyle! This was definately good reading!

JDW

November 22nd, 2011
3:15 pm

@UGA1999…”the president has done a great job of brining this country to economic ruin. The repubs and tea party are working to save the day.”

Yes indeedy, ah for the good ole days. You remember when job losses ran 700,000 a month, the GDP shrank by 6% a quarter, the Iraqi’s met us with flowers in the streets and we turned that budget surplus into a $1.2 Trillion annual deficit. Ah the good ole days…

:roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll: :roll:

Jefferson

November 22nd, 2011
3:21 pm

The GOP’s field is pretty tired.

Hillbilly D

November 22nd, 2011
3:28 pm

The concept of “ownership” needs some explaining here, however. The member banks must by law invest 3 percent of their capital as stock in the Reserve Banks, and they cannot sell or trade their stock or even use that stock as collateral to borrow money. They do receive dividends of 6 percent per year from the Reserve Banks and get to elect each Reserve Bank’s board of directors.

http://factcheck.org/2008/03/federal-reserve-bank-ownership/

sarah kathryn pookie smith

November 22nd, 2011
3:47 pm

I think Newt Gingrich is handsome. I was his intern in DC in 1996 and he is soooo brilliant. I could listen to him all day. Would love to see him debate Obama. He is a bad-ass!

Atticus Finch

November 22nd, 2011
3:53 pm

Award for best line of the day goes to…

Kyle Wingfield for “bellboy/naval officer/third-world dictator/Michael Jackson!”

Well Done.

Hillbilly D

November 22nd, 2011
4:00 pm

“bellboy/naval officer/third-world dictator/Michael Jackson!”

Maybe she was after the Fred Grandy voters.

Henny

November 22nd, 2011
4:03 pm

A bum asked me, “Give me $10 till payday.” I asked, “When’s payday?” He said, “I don’t know, you’re the one who is working!”

Rodney

November 22nd, 2011
4:06 pm

A girl phoned me the other day and said, “Come on over, nobody’s home. “I went over. Nobody was home.

Slick Rick

November 22nd, 2011
4:16 pm

Obama is very thankful that this bunch of clowns is the best the republicans can come up with. Thanks!

Michael H. Smith

November 22nd, 2011
4:30 pm

Have you peered into the political shoe closets of all the other candidates to take an inventory of their Flip-Flop collections Kyle? It might give you a clue as to why the rest can’t make Romney pay the political price you mentioned. Hint: They all have a goodly few flip flops of their own making to wear that have outstanding balances with political payments overdue.

getalife

November 22nd, 2011
4:39 pm

Our President is grateful that the gop is going to run one of these clowns and the gop are out of leaders.

Four more years.

JDW

November 22nd, 2011
4:43 pm

There is actually a Republican candidate that would bear consideration…

http://www.cnn.com/2011/11/22/opinion/huntsman-foreign-policy/index.html?hpt=hp_t2

Of course he could pass Econ 101

joe

November 22nd, 2011
4:55 pm

I was such an ugly baby that when I was born the doctor slapped my mother.

MMR

November 22nd, 2011
5:04 pm

Well done Kyle.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: Thee Magnificent!!! mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

November 22nd, 2011
5:07 pm

I’m grateful for obozo, who has rejuvenated the Republican Party and single handedly destroyed the rise of socialism.

Only the truly stupid will remain parasites after this long, ignorant episode in our nation’s history, and like the Occupy mob, will soon enough kill themselves off.

There is hope for us, after all.

The Snark

November 22nd, 2011
5:24 pm

I’m grateful for “I Report (-: You Whine)-:, who reminds me that good mental health is not a thing to be taken for granted.

gm

November 22nd, 2011
5:32 pm

A lot for Americans to be thankful forour commander in chief, Bin Ladin is dead and we Americans can sleep at night knowing that this President has kept us safe for 3 years.
Look at this field of Rep running for office, do you believe those clowns can keep America safe?

Dusty

November 22nd, 2011
5:38 pm

The Snark @ 5:24

That wasn’t too good. Doesn’t your psychiatrist know any better lines than that one?

Dusty

November 22nd, 2011
5:44 pm

Yes, gm, and I might add that Americans should be very thankful for the almost ten years that President Bush kept us safe after one of the worst sneak attacks in history. He got us right back on our feet. I appreciate his good sense and bravery under stress.

I Report (-: You Whine )-: Thee Magnificent!!! mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

November 22nd, 2011
5:55 pm

America’s tax-and-spend Democrats ignore at their peril Sunday’s political object lesson from Spain, where 22.6 percent unemployment and other economic ills led voters to overwhelmingly reject Socialists in favor of the conservative Popular Party.

Your day is coming too, demwits, just sayin…

Hillbilly D

November 22nd, 2011
6:10 pm

The main thing that has kept us free from attack since 2001, is the work of the intelligence people, in the trenches, all over the world and a bit of luck, as well.

MarkV

November 22nd, 2011
6:16 pm

Newt Gingrich is undoubtedly the best comedian of the bunch. His delivery is impeccable. He takes a position contrary to his position before, and he does not even twinkle to reveal that it is a joke. He is able to condemn immorality with a completely straight face while committing it himself.

man behind the curtain

November 22nd, 2011
7:17 pm

Dayum this is actually funny, Kyle. You should have a drink in the morning more often. Or did you just get your medical marijuana refilled. Hmmmmm……. made any trips to Cali recently?

man behind the curtain

November 22nd, 2011
7:24 pm

A lump of coal in Michele Bachmann’s cornucopia!! Kyle, I’m seeing a whole different side of you. A wicked sense of humor.

Evelyn

November 22nd, 2011
8:14 pm

Well done, Kyle (smile).

JDW

November 22nd, 2011
9:08 pm

@Dusty…”I might add that Americans should be very thankful for the almost ten years that President Bush kept us safe after one of the worst sneak attacks in history.”

And just think, what might have happened if he had actually listened to Clarke and had a counter-terrorism before September…

JDW

November 22nd, 2011
9:09 pm

oops counter-terrorism meeting

ragnar danneskjold

November 22nd, 2011
9:16 pm

Well written, good humor. Have a great Thanksgiving, Kyle.

Dusty

November 22nd, 2011
9:24 pm

Well, Kyle took it pretty easy with my wishful favorite, Rick Perry. Who? You ‘member. He’s the guy with a Texas size good record that signifies nothing because he fumbled the bumble at first base.

Alas and alack, so goes a good man. But not the Pizza Man, the triple marriage manager or the fuddyduddy flipflopper. Nope. they could kill a noun with a verb at thirty paces, so there!. He who is well spoken is not the one broken!

But I eat my spinach and have the strength to vote for an OUTSTANDING Republican, whomever he might be. The ugly duckling may turn out to be a swan of conservative beauty. I’m counting on it ’cause it’s gonna happen!!

man behind the curtain

November 22nd, 2011
9:31 pm

Don’t count your swan eggs before they hatch, Dusty. :>)

Dusty

November 22nd, 2011
9:33 pm

Yeah, JDW, and…

IF FDR has listened to warnings, he could have prevented Pearl Harbor!! If Bush, in his first year, had listened to Clark, he could have prevented a worldwide terror network that gave us 9/11.

Sure thing, JDW, and “if wishes were horses, beggers would ride.”. Right?

You are so predictable.