Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Who's got next?

The Clarion Content has been hearing some fascinating speculation about who might be the next Republican Presidential candidate. Of course, President Barack Obama has yet to even complete his first year in office, so it is awfully early to ponder. It is only Obama's wafer thin stack of accomplishments that has discussion brewing this soon.

The two most interesting names reflect a trend, one that started long before Obama and Sarah Palin, but a trend that they most definitely epitomize. In the quest for the presidency today, it is far more important to be telegenic than to be substantial. In that same vein, two names that are being thrown around as potential Republican nominees are (former) television commentators, Lou Dobbs, of CNN fame, and Glenn Beck, of the ostensibly fair and balanced Fox News.

Dobbs appeared on former senator and previous candidate for the Republican Presidential nomination, Fred Thompson's radio show. Dobbs was asked, "Have you given any thought for running for President?"

"Yes, is the answer," was his response.

The National Post of Canada reported, "Mr. Dobbs' spokesman, Robert Dillenschneider, said there was no timeline for announcing a decision." However, Dillenschneider did say, "People have always said Lou Dobbs had a bigger, brighter future. But he was very committed to CNN while he was there. He never really thought about running until the day after he left when people started coming to him."

Dobbs carries with him the baggage of all the rhetoric he spewed on the air. His rants against immigration carried with them a particularly dark vitriol and malevolence.

Dobbs has also yet to rule out challenging first term incumbent Democratic Senator Bob Menendez for his New Jersey seat in 2012.

Mr. Beck, who shares Mr. Dobbs hatred of dark skinned foreigners, has yet to make any kind of definitive statement. The New Times reports, "[Beck] says he will promote voter registration drives and sponsor a series of conventions across the country featuring conservative speakers, all leading up to a rally in Washington, D.C. in August."

It also quoted Grover Norquist, who is the president of Americans for Tax Reform, “They [TV personalities like Beck] are spokesmen for a movement that you can see emerging."

The Clarion Content agrees. While it is far from clear that either Glenn Beck or Lou Dobbs have what it takes to seize the Republican Presidential nomination, the rumblings from their camps are symbolic. An ineffective (thus far) President Obama has a small window in which to improve his performance before the speculation about his imminent replacement intensifies significantly.

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