Republicans trail Democrats early in the game

RANCHO SANTA FE, CA., May 18, 2011 – The Democrats and Republicans are playing their version of America’s favorite pastime … political baseball.  You can almost hear the call:

“That was a tough inning for the Elephants.  Just when it looked like they were going to be able to shut the door on the Donkeys, Obama gets his first hit in two-and-a-half years.

“Then, the Elephant’s manager replaced Trump with Gingrich in right field because Trump can’t play defense.  Remember, Trump only started because Huckabee came up lame.  But then, Gingrich didn’t play far enough to the right and made a bad error on a weak fly ball on the very next pitch that allowed Obama to score from first.

“Luckily for the Elephants, Chuck Schumer was up next for the Donkeys.  He dug in with an ‘extreme’ stance that made him an easy strikeout victim to end the inning.

“So, the score remains Donkeys 1 … Elephants 0.

“Mitt Romney is already in the on-deck circle.  So, it looks like he may be coming into the game to replace Gingrich in the bottom half of the inning, followed by Pawlenty and Santorum … all of whom have all been ineffective so far against the left-handed pitching of Obama.  The Elephants could bring Ron Paul in as a pinch-hitter, but he probably couldn’t make it to first base unless Obama walked him.

“Cain might be able, but the manager doesn’t seem to want to put him into the game because … rumor has it … he isn’t a team player.

“And Johnson might be done for the day.  He hasn’t had a good command of his pitches.  It looks like he’ll be coming out of the game because the Elephants have Bachmann and Palin warming up in the bullpen.

“We’ll be back after this word from our sponsor …”

Tell the truth:  That was a pretty accurate assessment of what has been transpiring in the 2012 Presidential election campaign … only it was more entertaining!

President Obama got Osama bin Laden “out” and the mainstream media wanted him enshrined in the Hall of Fame.  He became “even money” to be beatified alongside Pope John Paul II just for that alone.

Donald Trump bowed out of the race for two reasons that suggest that he should never have pretended to be in it.  First, he said that he realized that there may be negative attacks on his family and him.  Apparently, we’re supposed to believe that he just realized this … and has ever cared about it in the past.

Secondly, “The Donald” said, “Running for public office cannot be done half-heartedly” and “ultimately … business is my greatest passion, and I am not ready to leave the private sector.”  He clarified his position in another interview in which he said that NBC made him an offer he couldn’t refuse.  It amounted to a $300 million swing if he continued making tough decisions on The Celebrity Apprentice (like whether to fire Gary Busey or Meat Loaf) rather than serving as Leader of the Free World.  Well, as George Bernard Shaw once said, “We’ve already established what you are.  We’re merely haggling over price.”

Speaking of money … back in January on a radio talk show, I predicted that Mike Huckabee would not run for President because he was making more money than he ever could have dreamed; he had a television show that offered a controlled environment and a favorable audience within which to share his political opinion; and he wasn’t putting himself or his family at risk (either emotionally or physically).

Speaking of even more money … Mitt Romney (who, by the way, has a perfect name for a baseball player) raised $10 million in a single fundraising event in Las Vegas this past Monday.  Las Vegas hasn’t been this excited about anything since it looked like Harry Reid might lose his seat in the Senate.

Romney may be the only person in America who can go to the Strip assured of the fact that he’ll leave with a briefcase full of money … and he’s still just “exploring” whether he’ll run.  Of course, maybe this isn’t so much an endorsement of Romney as it is a repudiation of President Obama, who almost single-handedly destroyed the economy of Las Vegas by warning businesses to “stay away” back in 2009.

Newt Gingrich’s self-inflicted wound was a bit of a surprise.  He probably has more political experience than the rest of the field combined.  He also took a long time to “explore” his candidacy before announcing it on Twitter.  Maybe Twitter should have been an omen because it took him less than 140 hours to alienate his Party.  He seems destined to become today’s version of Richard Nixon … except without the title of President before his name.

As far as Pawlenty, Paul, Cain, Johnson, et al. are concerned, they’d be better off if the Republican nomination was part of the Triple Crown.  At least then, you could “bet the field” in the hope that one of them could win.  Otherwise, the odds aren’t in their favor.

Does this mean that the game is over and that President Obama should, by proclamation, be given another term?  Absolutely not!  That’s why we have elections.

Our economy is in shambles; our foreign policy is a wreck; our education system needs to be revamped; and healthcare reform needs to be … well … reformed!

And what happened to “Change?”  Bipartisan support deteriorated because of a pronounced tendency to blame others (particularly anyone named “Bush”); blame, in turn, destroyed any hope of a new level of accountability; and the promise of transparency was inexplicably explored behind closed doors.  Does anyone really believe that a non-partisan examination of the record won’t reveal glaring deficiencies in the “Hope” and “Change” that’s been delivered?

There was a promise of “Hope” in the last Presidential election.  Perhaps there will be real “Hope” in the 2012 campaign.  It’s hard to see it among the present candidates, but not everyone is already in the race.  Somewhere out there, there is a candidate who, like an innocent child, may tell all these want-to-be Emperors that they aren’t wearing any clothes.  Then, it will be the electorate’s turn to laugh.  And remember the old cliché:  “He who laughs last … laughs best.”  I’m The Common Sense Czar, and I approve of this message.


T.J. O’Hara is an internationally recognized author, speaker, and strategic consultant in the private and public sectors. In 2012, he emerged as the leading independent candidate for the Office of President of the United States and the first nominee of the Whig Party in over 150 years.

This article first appeared in T.J. O’Hara’s recurring column, The Common Sense Czar, in the Communities Section of The Washington Times.