The punditocracy say that Mike Huckabee's clemency towards a prisoner who went on to shoot four police officers has given his potential 2012 opponents a gift. But he's not the only GOP hopeful who's written his own attack ads.
Most of the motley crew trying not to look like they're lining up a White House run in a couple of years have one or two clear, concise moments of idiocy that they will spend months dodging, obfuscating and fudging around:
- Mitt Romney: once strapped his dog, an Irish Setter named Seamus, in a carrier, to his car's roof. The dog got so scared that it crapped all over the car. The reporter who broke the story, in this Boston Globe profile meant it as an anecdote that demonstrated Romney's crisis management — because he stopped and hosed the car down or something. In fact it added to the slightly cold, creepy atmosphere that surrounds Romney. Also, he refuses to deny he wears special Mormon underpants.
- Newt Gingrich: was having an affair at the same time he led the pursuit of Bill Clinton for having an affair. This is apparently not hypocrisy because Clinton was impeached not for having the affair but for lying about it.
- Rudy Giuliani: is probably going to stick with running for the Senate in New York. But in case he decides to step onto the more vicious national stage once more, it's worth remembering that he used public money to finance an affair, remains friends with corrupt former police chief Bernie Kerik, cross-dresses and runs a very shady business.
- Ron Paul: is a racist. Or at least it seems that way if you read quotes from a political newsletter he put out in the 90s. Here are some extracts that would make delicious additions to campaign commercials in, well, anywhere black people live.
If you have ever been robbed by a black teen-aged male, you know how unbelievably fleet-footed they can be.
Opinion polls consistently show that only about 5 percent of blacks have sensible political opinions, i.e. support the free market, individual liberty and the end of welfare and affirmative action.
Given the inefficiencies of what D.C. laughingly calls the `criminal justice system,' I think we can safely assume that 95 percent of the black males in that city are semi-criminal or entirely criminal.
...we are constantly told that it is evil to be afraid of black men, it is hardly irrational. Black men commit murders, rapes, robberies, muggings and burglaries all out of proportion to their numbers.
- Bobby Jindal: his appearance in this video is bad enough. He looks like some combination of Kenneth the Page and Pinocchio. But in it he claims to have stood shoulder-to-shoulder with a New Orleans lawman during Hurricane Katrina to cut through red tape and rescue people. Except he didn't. He overheard a conversation after it all happened.
That leaves Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty — who is ironically seen as boring precisely because he is so scandal-averse. We're choosing to ignore South Carolina Governor and hiking enthusiast Mark Sanford because it beggars belief that he would even consider running for President after running away to schtup an Argentinian lady and lying to everyone about it. If you're wondering why Sarah Palin is not on this list — it's because she's bulletproof. She has been repeatedly caught lying, cheating and stealing. She's been repeatedly revealed as a moron in clever-person's glasses. Any other politician would have been sunk by any one of these scandals. But Sarah Barracuda has built a brand based on narcissistic ineptitude and a perpetual victim status. Perhaps the other candidates should try it.