“I’m not going to vote for a communist and I’m not going to vote for a Mormon, that’s for sure,” the red-faced, hefty man said to his thinner, bespectacled comrade. “We need a good American to run.”
“I’m betting we’ll have a good third-party candidate,” the rotund one said.
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His companion nodded in agreement again, and I did, too, at least in my head. I too believe we are going to have a third significant candidate run in the presidential election, to represent those who would never vote for Barack Obama for both good and bad reasons and those convinced Mitt Romney is too moderate, too much of a compromiser and too Mormon to represent their crowd.
That leaves the question of who might run as a third-party candidate. I don’t think it will be Ron Paul, who has a national profile and ably could represent the Libertarian mindset. But if he left the Republican Party to run for president, it would hurt the chances of his son, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, ever getting the Republican nomination along with his likely running mate, his wondrous toupee. And many in the party think Rand Paul and his curly, furry friend could be the nominees someday.
There are social conservatives who have made no secret they have aspirations for the presidency, including nomination runner-up Rick Santorum, Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback, who also has sought the Republican nomination, and South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint. All are on the extreme right of an increasingly right-falling Republican Party, but none seems bold enough to leave the protection of the big party.
Then there’s Michele Bachmann, the tiny, fast-striding Minnesota firebrand who made a credible run for the Republican nomination before Romney wrapped it up. Bachmann, with her red-baiting and outspoken evangelical Christian social stances, certainly appeals to those disaffected from Romney. She has two things that will keep her from running, though: that she recently endorsed Romney and that she carries around a 260-pound pink ruffled albatross, which is not exactly going to play well with social conservatives.
Then there’s Sarah Palin, who still craves the attention such a presidential bid would bring and knows such an attempt would allow her to enhance her “rogue” self-identification. Her issues, though, are a family that keeps getting her in trouble, statements that eschew both grammar and facts and the fact that she quit as Alaska’s governor.
That brings us to the man I truly see pondering a run: Glenn Beck. Beck has smartly positioned most of his operations on Internet sites, including some paid sites, and the Internet has no equal-time requirements. Yes, Beck would have to give up his nationally syndicated radio gig, but that program may be on its last legs anyway, as it is now largely supported by advertisers with products preying on folks who fear the imminent end of the nation/world.
Beck, who recently had himself photographed in a mock Oval Office, seems to be distancing himself from the Mormon religion he adopted in recent years after being raised Catholic. That may be Beck positioning himself to run for the presidency, which he’s just delusional enough to think he should do for the good of the country.
Bret Kofford teaches writing at San Diego State University-Imperial Valley campus. His opinions don’t necessarily reflect those of SDSU or its employees or those of the Imperial Valley Press and its staff. Kofford can be reached at Kofford@roadrunner.com
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