WASHINGTON – Several times recently on “Morning Joe,” the conversation has veered into why, as Joe Scarborough and others see it, the primary process weens out the best candidates, people like Jeb Bush, Mitch Daniels, Haley Barbour and others. Lamenting the current Republican field, the conversation has often revolved around the amateur hour we’re all seeing unfold, however, they’re missing the obvious reason many of the best Republicans aren’t running in 2012.
“I’m going to wait until everybody’s voted off the island. Once they narrow it down to one or two, I’ll start paying attention.” – Pres. Obama with Jay Leno
If you saw Pres. Obama with Jay Leno last night you know the reason. There is not a single Republican in his political class running. The top tier candidates don’t want to go up against Barack Obama, because they don’t think they can beat him.
Mitt Romney comes the closest, but his dancing on the Ohio collective bargaining situation reveals his inner political weasel, which is never going to win over the Tea Party crowd. However, if you’ve heard him make his economic case on right wing radio, including on China, you’d see clearly that Mr. Romney has game on an issue that could be devastating to Pres. Obama.
It’s why cable yackers like Ed Schultz are so merciless in their criticisms of Romney. Democrats and progressives want to winnow him out, much preferring to run against Perry or Cain, neither of whom can win a general election.
In a lighter moment of the conversation, Jay Leno chided Pres. Obama for going to a famous chicken and waffle place in Los Angeles. Leno asked the President if his wife gives him trouble when she sees him eating this type of food, with Obama talking about chicken wings at one point. That’s when he said his wife also enjoys french fries and pizza, just not every day, with moderation the key. With this dishy story circulating it’s no wonder.
As things stand today, 2012 is shaping up to be a depressing election, based on establishment, Wall Street, corporate candidates that simply offer basically the same things.
Pres. Obama’s “hope and change,” it’s nowhere in sight.
Taylor Marsh’s new e-book, The Hillary Effect – Politics, Sexism and the Destiny of Loss, the view from a recovering partisan, will be published on November 8th. Marsh is an author, Washington based political analyst, veteran national politics writer and commentator on national politics, foreign policy, and women in power. She has reported from the White House, been profiled in the Washington Post, The New Republic, and has been seen on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, CNN, MSNBC, Al Jazeera English and Al Jazeera Arabic, as well as on radio across the dial and on satellite, including the BBC. Marsh lives in the Washington, D.C. area. This column is cross posted from her new media blog.