Since Mitt Romney sewed up the Republican nomination this month, the most entertaining part of the 2012 presidential race is over. Whatever your politics, you had to enjoy the GOP primaries as candidates covered the full spectrum from far right to extreme right as they vied to convince voters they were the most conservative.
Now with that phase ended, Romney has pulled out his Etch-a-Sketch and is trying to plot a course back toward the center to win over the voters who will eventually pick the next president.
Too often those primaries, debates, attack ads and speeches provided more comic relief than illumination, and that's why we're going to miss them.
Rick Santorum, the holy one. He thinks GOP stands for God's Own Party, doesn't believe in contraception and says a woman's place is in the house, and he doesn't mean the one on Capitol Hill. He's such a hardline Catholic that the Mormon candidate got more Catholic votes than he did. He said JFK’s speech on church-state separation made him want to throw up. Gee, Rick, that's how we felt about your self-righteous campaign.
Newt Gingrich, the space cadet. He opposes statehood for the District of Columbia (too many Democrats and blacks?) but has a plan to make the moon the 51st state. Who else would have the chutzpah to send out the children from his first wife to trash his second wife in order to defend the third? It's all over for Newt but he just won't admit it.
Herman Cain, the pizza king. His 9-9-9 economic plan looked more like a promotion for a special pizza offer than a serious solution to the country's economic woes. He suffered brain freezes when asked about foreign policy such as Libya or "Ubeki-beki-beki-beki-stan-stan," explaining, "I got all this stuff twirling around in my head." Ultimately, he dropped out because he lacked Newt's skill at turning marital infidelity into an asset.
Michele Bachmann, the historical revisionist. She didn't know where the US revolution began, didn't know the difference between a movie hero and a mass murderer, believed wives should be submissive to their husbands and said last summer's hurricanes and earthquake were messages from God to "start listening to me." She accused President Obama of having "Shootspah," at least that's the way she pronounced it; I think she meant "chutzpa."
Tim Pawlenty, Mr. Excitement. Who?
Rick Perry, another inarticulate Texas governor. There were three reasons he failed: constantly confused, tongue tied and.....ooops, I've forgotten the third. It just goes to show Rick's not a numbers man. He thought there were eight justices on the Supreme Court, not nine; thought the American revolution was in the 16 century not the 18th, and flubbed the date of the presidential election and the age of eligibility to vote (it's Nov. 6 and 18, not Nov. 12 and 21
Jon Huntsman, the moderate. No place for you in this party.
Ron Paul, doctor malpractice. The libertarian congressman says he wasn't responsible for those racist screeds and newsletters sent over his name because he was too busy doctoring. In one of his newsletters, "I think we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in (Washington, D.C.) are semi-criminal or entirely criminal." He is an isolationist who believes "by far the most powerful lobby in Washington of the bad sort is the Israeli government."
Donald Trump, the new birther. He flirted with running but never formally tossed his hat in the right, presumably because he couldn't produce a birth certificate from his home planet or because he decided it was more important to host a mundane reality TV show than be President of the United States.
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