Have you been following the race to see who goes against Obama in the 2012 Presidential election? If not, you’re probably on the right track in life, as it will suck the will to live straight out of your soul. I, on the other hand, do it for a living. I’m employed by a political activist group that represents over 500,000 people, so it’s what they call “part of the job description” to know the ins and outs of each potential candidate, much to my eternal dismay.
Recently, this entailed a trip to Iowa for the Republican “Straw Poll,” held in the thriving metropolis of Ames. While there are several idiosyncrasies about Iowa that I could relate to you – like sticks of butter being deep-fat fried and sold on a stick (no, seriously) – the purpose of this is to break down the race for our next Commander-in-Chief, but in a way that won’t make you want to cut your own eyelids off out of boredom. In other words, we’re going to give a Ranger Up-style, kick-in-the-nuts narrative to who’s who and what’s what with all the candidates. So hold on, ‘cause this could get messy.
Who’s vying for the opportunity to run against Obama as the Republican candidate? We’ll start with those who really have no chance in hell of winning, but it makes for “fair” commentary to include them. At least that’s what I’m told.
Military experience: Nada.
Jobs outside of government: Mormon missionary
Ass kicking ability: was an Eagle Scout. Er…
Views: At this point, I think Jon Huntsman would be anything you want him to be. Pro-gun? Anti-gun? Yes! Fiscal conservative? Tax and spend? Yes and yes!
Overall: While a handsome fella, Huntsman lacks…well, pretty much every quality you would desire in a leader. He’s one of those guys you would look at and say “well, I guess he can do my taxes…?” but really not much else.
Military experience: Worked in “ballistics” for the Department of the Navy. This could mean anything from developing the latest ship-based cruise missile to picking up spent brass.
Jobs outside of government: Executive level experience in Coca-Cola, Burger King and Godfathers pizza. I feel bloated just writing that.
Ass kicking ability: At the age of 61, Cain approached a colon and liver cancer diagnoses like a Ranger eating baby hearts before war and is now cancer free.
Views: He’s pretty darn conservative on every issue, but has, as of yet, refused to comment on what average citizens should do “when the robots attack.”
Overall: Despite the intestinal fortitude Cain displayed in performing a “Hulk, smash!” on the cancer in his body, the man did help make the world considerably fatter with his leadership in the food industry. Plus, I was always pissed that I could only get Burger King on most military bases, so I’m going to go ahead and blame him for that.
Military experience: Watched Saving Private Ryan and thought it was really cool.
Jobs outside of government: Owned a “counseling practice” with her husband. Remember, there’s a reason they call it “practicing” medicine.
Ass kicking ability: Bachmann has four children of her own and has provided care for 23 foster children, which either makes her a saint or crazy. Possibly a little of both, meaning she could probably smack the crap out of you while making you feel really bad for doing whatever it is you did.
Views: And you thought Herman Cain was conservative…
Overall: Let’s face it, she’s the reason I won’t even be doing a section on Tim Pawlenty. When she stood next to him in the debate, it looked like she already had put the smack-down on TPaw backstage and he was still cowering from it. That being said, her leadership experience is, well…untested, so to speak.
Military Experience: As governor of Massachusetts, Mitt once activated the National Guard there to do…something. I think.
Jobs outside of government: Romney did a bunch of private sector financial stuff that made him incredibly wealthy and is so insanely boring to read that, quite frankly, I can’t even imagine writing it out.
Ass kicking ability: Dropped out of Stanford University after one year. Lost a race to be Senator. Lost the 2008 Republican primary to John McCain. Started getting the crap kicked out of him in the polls approximately 2 ½ minutes after Rick Perry entered the race.
Views: See also: Jon Huntsman.
Overall: Do you want a guy who claims to be a Republican but likes to tax people a lot for social programs and then ban their guns? If so, Mitt’s your guy!
Military Experience: C-130 pilot in the Air Force. My hat is off to him; every C-130 I’ve ever been in I wanted to jump out as quickly as possible.
Jobs outside of government: Between semesters for his degree in Animal Science (I’m not kidding) at Texas A&M, Perry was a door-to-door book salesman. If he’s smart he should hide all of that somehow.
Ass kicking ability: Once while out jogging, Perry shot a coyote that attacked him with his pistol. Though he looks the part of a “closer” at a car dealership, I have to admit that’s pretty cool. But I’d be more impressed if it were a bear. Or Rosie O’Donnel.
Views: As governor of Texas, Perry has overseen the execution of 233 prisoners (wait, make that 234…these things happen quick while editing, so do some Googling to see where they’re at tomorrow). I think that about sums up where he’s coming from.
Overall: Could very well be our next President, unless A) the economy rebounds better than Shaq or B) pictures of Perry with a boy/donkey/sea lion surface. He is pretty conservative but could also be a “Bush: Part II.” As the race gets narrower, we’ll break down the differences.
Military Experience: Owns copies of both Band of Brothers and The Pacific.
Jobs outside of government: Was a doctor who delivered those oh-so-precious little babies into the world.
Ass kicking ability: Of all the presidential candidates, if there is one who has a solid MZDP (Mobile Zombie Defense Plan) in place, it would be Dr. Paul. He has that special blend of crazy-but-smart that you don’t see all that often.
Views: Though some may call him extreme, he is possibly the only, truly ideologically consistent candidates we’ve had in a long time. If you asked him the question “should ____ be legal?” and came up with nearly anything for the blank, the answer would undoubtedly be yes.
Overall: Though Ron Paul has zero chance of winning the Presidency, don’t kid yourself, he’s making serious progress. For one, people are starting to take honest consideration of some of his ideas and he is doing a stellar job of setting up an infrastructure and paving the way for his son in future elections. So if legalizing weed, stripping down government, Austrian economics and isolationism is your cup o’ tea, then look no further than the Paul family. As both Ron and Rand are members of Congress – the former being in the House, the latter in the Senate – they are already having impact on our laws and will continue to do so for some time.
I think that’s a fair break down of where we are now. Next time, we will get into some of the current issues and where each candidate stands. More importantly, we will discuss why most of them will assuredly piss you off at some point because it is in a politician’s nature to do so. Don’t let yourself be fooled, most likely none of these people will be worthy of a true Ranger Up endorsement; we will simply separate the completely worthless from the “meh, I guess…”
Keep your eyes open for part two, and leave a few words in the comment section about what issues you think are most important to you – guns, drugs, sex, alien invasion, etc. – and I will do the homework for you on each of the candidates.