Debt Debate's Winner May Be a Third Party

Thursday, 28 Jul 2011 10:18 AM

By John LeBoutillier

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He — and it will be a “he” not a “she” because female candidates have a much tougher time getting fellow women to vote for them (a dirty little non-PC secret of politics) — is looking at the news every hour and just shaking his head. Then he mutters to himself, “It is all just coming right to me — and I don’t have to do a thing!”

He is looking at the ongoing train wreck that is Washington, D.C., and the debt-ceiling fight — and all the political miscalculations on both sides: President Barack Obama last fall not embracing the Simpson-Bowles Debt Reduction panel that he had appointed; the Congressional Democrats who focused too much on tax increases and their all-too-frequent class-warfare gambit; and the tea party Republicans who didn’t recognize when they had the optimum advantage and thus overplayed their hand when they refused to make the best deal possible.

He chuckled when he saw a group called Americans Elect do all the tough work to get ballot access in all 50 states — a task that before the advent of the Internet required the hyper-expensive task of hiring petition gatherers in many states.

He knew that ace political consultant Doug Schoen was advising this group and thus it would be effective and efficient. “They’re doing it all — before they even have a candidate!”

“Money?” he asked aloud. No sweat. Joe Trippi, the architect of the ground-breaking Howard Dean campaign in 2004, had frequently been interviewed about the so-far untapped potential goldmine of online donations available for the “right candidate with the right message at the right time.”

In fact, when he read speculation of the potential one billion dollars that Team Obama expected to raise, he realized he could match it — all through small donations on the Internet. “If ten million people each give my campaign one hundred dollars, that’s one billion right there. No fundraising dinners . . . no long, boring lunches shmoozing lobbyists . . . no nothing! Just the message: Let’s Save America.”

He looked into his mirror and practiced again, “I am not running as a Republican.” He paused. James C. Humes, the long-time presidential speech writer, had preached over and over to him, “Pause and speak slowly . . . much more slowly than you normally do. The slower you speak, the more gravitas your words will have.”

He tried it again. Slowly this time. “I am not running as a Republican.” Pause. “I am not running as a Democrat.” Yet another pause. “I am running as an American.”

Chills ran up his neck and he felt goose flesh on his arms. Since he first heard long-time political adviser and one-time boy genius of presidential politics, Pat Caddell, say these lines on Caddell and Doug Schoen’s unique Fox show, "Campaign Confidential," he just knew these were the very lines upon which he’d base his independent, third-party presidential race in 2012.

Reading the latest polls, he saw that President Obama was fading — even among his core supporters. The Jewish vote was going wobbly on him. One in five Obama voters from 2008 was now unhappy with him. And the GOP candidates were way, way off base, too. They were so far out of the mainstream that the crucial center was waiting for someone like him to come along and vacuum up millions of independent voters.

Yes, it was indeed “all coming to him.”

He smiled for a moment. Then he looked into the mirror and slowly began to practice again. “I am not running as a Republican. I am not running as a Democrat. I am running as an American.





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