Wild West Republicans

Tracey Barnett ©May 2011


For those of you who weekly, nay, even hourly, beg me for updates of who will be the Republican nominee for the US presidential race for 2012, please contain yourself. Sometimes there is only so much excitement readers can bare.

I know I’ve been listless ever since Sarah Palin won my cold columnist’s heart by not being able to name even one publication she reads on a daily basis in 2008. And I have to admit, the launch of her new national bus tour and film—yes, feature film, bless her cinematic Grizzly Mutha’ heart– entitled “The Undefeated” did bring flickers of joy to my zombied eyes. Seeing as I have a vague recollection the former Alaskan Govern’ator was actually um, defeated as a Vice Presidential candidate a while back.

But I am too busy falling in love with the kind of fresh US election offal of which our doze-inducing New Zealand race can only dream, after our current affairs shows finish running pieces on Peter Dunne’s bouffant.

American politics always gives the phrase “embarrassment of riches” new meaning.

We do hair too. Columnists who shall remain nameless wept the day that ‘The Donald’ Trump’s frozen tsunami comb-over declared itself not running. Trump’s fabulous non-candidacy got trumped by the one thing Americans cannot stomach. When Obama chided him in his stand-up routine at the annual press correspondent’s dinner, cameras zoomed in on ‘The Donald’ sitting there lemon-faced like a four-year-old just pushed off the swings.

Don’t get me wrong, American voters will tolerate a Standard Poodle running for office, provided they can do at least one good trick. They often even enjoy candidates with the intelligence quotient of a sock puppet. But God forbid a candidate can’t laugh at himself. He’s fired.

I admit I despaired having to actually explain the difference between Michelle Bachman and Sarah Palin [Michelle parts her hair on the right], or that one anti gay union candidate, Rick Santorum, has actually become a fairly disgusting verb when Googled.

But lately, the Republican race got almost wonderful with the prospect of Rick “Coyote” Perry from the Kingdom of Texas throwing his Stetson into the ring.

Finally a man to whom grits will stick. Who cares that only 4 percent of Republicans in his own state would vote for him. This is a man who packs a loaded Ruger .380 with laser sights when he goes jogging. As do I.

We know this because he shot a coyote to protect his daughter’s dog when he went out for a run one day. Thus compelling his nervous electorate to ask when he reaches to shake your hand, “Is that a gun in your pocket, or are you just happy to see us?”

This, from a man who actually has the word “Freedom” etched on one cowboy boot and “Liberty” on the other. Really. I couldn’t possibly make this up. Millions of voters besides me now fear what he has written on his undergarments

When asked if he was going to run, Perry told reporters for the first time this week, “I’m going to think about it. He added, “But I think about a lot of things.” Which is a tremendous relief for all of us who weren’t so sure.

It just seems like everybody is starting this race badly.

In Newt Gingrich’s first week after announcing, it was revealed he has an unpaid bill at Tiffany’s of a half million dollars. I’m putting even money on the press tip-off coming from his first two wives who didn’t get the ice.

Voters seem to like the pearls from Herman Cain, the Godfather of Pizza, except when he began his candidacy declaring he would never appoint a Muslim to his administration and then had to back pedal. Obviously, the inevitability of Sharia law taking over America is weighing a little less heavily on voters than his Meatbuster Supreme.

Like the notably snoozy speaker Minnesota’s Tim Pawlenty, or “T-Paw” as he is known to the crowd who had to be woken for the applause at the end of his campaign launch, there are a whole spate of guys who fall into the anybody-but-Mitt-Romney poll leader. If Rudy Giuliani throws his hat into the ring, I want twenty cents every time 9/11 is uttered from his lips, his singular finest moment, as he keeps reminding us. I have kids to put through university someday.

Former Utah Governor and moderate Jon Huntsman is in the wings, with a twist. Obama thought he was enough of a threat in 2012 that he actually appointed this Republican ambassador to China, getting him far away from Washington. Apparently, keep your friends close and your potential enemies in Beijing.

Stay tuned, or better yet, rent West Wing and call Martin Sheen to tell him we miss him—because there are way too many Charlie Sheens in the mix so far.

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