Place your bets early, folks. The Republicans' attempts to wrest control of the White House, with their flat tax "9-9-9" plans and all, are turning out to spin a "7-7-7" win for Obama.
It would have been a surefire win for Obama's second term had Sarah Palin sought the Republican nomination. She didn't, but it turns out that Obama wouldn't have needed the help: Republicans have dealt the president one winning hand after another. The miserable state of the economy means that this will be a trying election, regardless. But if the current Republican lineup is the best they have to offer this election cycle, let me place my wager on Obama.
I, like many others, was awaiting a Republican candidate that might actually challenge the Democrats' chance at four more years in Washington. However, the entire Republican field vying for the nomination is embarrassingly lackluster at best. Every couple weeks, a new frontrunner is announced... just as the last one goes down in flames.
Not one Republican candidate is willing to talk about the tough issues this country is facing. The only chorus they sing together is "I can beat Obama." They have forgotten a basic rule when it comes to voters: it is not simply about one-upping the other candidates' plans; to be successful, a candidate must prove to the American public that they'd actually make a better candidate for the office. We've been fooled enough in the past by sly rhetoric and one-sided pandering. Jumping from tax plan to tax plan every week is not an answer -- it only confuses an already apathetic public.
Not one platform I've heard has substance that matters. Paying so little attention to jobs, foreclosures, and health care, quite frankly, concerns me, along with most of the voting public. Every poll has shown that, in these times, voters are concerned about jobs and the economy, first and foremost. After all, what citizen in need of work or a place to stay would vote based on how impressive and aggressive a candidate is?
Candidates who have introduced plans of action have seen them torn to pieces by the media and other candidates, who themselves submit their own plans of action that are, in turn, ripped apart as well. The debates have been little more than comical schoolyard cat fights. The rhetoric has intensified just as it's reaching a dead end, as evidenced by Rick Perry bringing up the president's birth certificate: an "issue" that resounds only with a "nutty fringe group" (as even Karl Rove has referred to them). I cannot imagine any candidate in the current Republican lineup winning the 2012 presidency -- not so much because they lack the ability to be President, but because they refuse to listen to, or even relate to, the American public.
Voters are sick and tired of these candidates' silly quarreling. We've been through enough bruising elections in recent history. We've learned our lessons, and we won't continue the status quo. We have easy access to the Internet and social media, and with a couple of clicks, we can be reminded of a candidate's lack of substance. For once in a lifetime, can we have a civil election that's based on issues that matter?
I will be the first to admit that I do not always agree with the views of President Obama, but most Americans would like a president to have character. Whether or not you align with his views and policies, you can't argue against Obama's character.
Let me offer some advice to all the aspiring candidates: you can't win the election just by proclaiming, "I can beat Obama." We, as voters, need to know that, in the unlikely event you become president, you have what it takes for the job. Can you, as a candidate, rise above the fray of juvenile frivolities, petty bickering and name calling? Will you begin talking about the real issues plaguing our economy? Are you willing to show integrity, character and political acumen that offers our country the winning hand it needs?