Wanted: A Thoroughbred for 2012

Wanted: A Thoroughbred for 2012
The law requires that Americans elect someone President next year, but
it’s become impossible to predict if either side can collect the 270
Electoral College votes needed to win. Both President Obama and the
growing posse of aspiring Republican candidates appear weak and
unfocused, more stumblebums than thoroughbreds. It has gotten so bad
that the honking threats by a tornado-haired reality-television star to
run for President now command central attention in the race. All this
with the New Hampshire primary looming only 10 months away.

How did we get here? Start with the Republicans. This month’s budget
fight revealed both the strength and the weakness of the GOP. Fueled by
the Tea Party’s revolt against a huge and growing national debt, the
Republicans won the spending battle at the 11th hour, averting a
disastrous government shutdown. But it was close. Does anyone doubt that
a shutdown would have been a political disaster for the GOP? You don’t
win elections by linking arms and handing out seppuku knives on the
floor of the House. But the late-night brinkmanship is a reminder that
whoever hopes to capture the nomination will have to carefully balance
an amped-up base and wary independent voters who have been moving away
from the GOP in recent months. That won’t be easy.