Monday, April 25, 2011

Karger Has a Shot

If you haven't heard of Fred Karger, you have an awful lot of company.

Karger is a retired political consultant from California. He's also a gay activist, and he's running for the presidency. As a Republican.

Clearly this is a fellow who fancies adventure.

Does he stand more than a Popsicle's chance in hell? Yes, actually. Karger, the first openly gay Republican presidential candidate, could win his party's nomination under certain circumstances.

Every other candidate has to drop out.

It could happen. The acknowledged candidates, the possible candidates, and the waiting-till-later-to-make-a-grand-entrance candidates could all find themselves out of the campaign for one reason or another.

Newt Gingrich, for instance, who converted to Catholicism in 2009, might decide he'd rather run for pope.

Don't scoff. As a serial adulterer who trumpeted family values, he's got a leg up on finessing hypocrisy, which comes in handy in Rome from time to time.

One of the Republican frontrunners, Mitt Romney, could similarly decide he'd prefer to head up his Mormon church. But I think it more likely he'll leave the presidential field after he and Texas Gov. Rick Perry get in a shouting match over who has better hair.

Tea partiers already harbor reservations about former mega-lobbyist and Washington power broker Haley Barbour, currently the governor of Mississippi. In February Barbour flew to Washington in a luxury jet paid for by Mississippi taxpayers to deliver a speech on the need to cut costs.

When he takes that jet to a Tea Party rally, he'll be pelted with Lipton and lose all fondness for caffeinated tea, and all fondness for caffeinated campaigning.

Jeb Bush has denied he'll run in 2012. I think he will run, and then inexplicably start speaking like his brother. After saying in a debate something like, "I believe the American people are embettered for our alien rights, and other nations should immolate us," he'll check into a speech facility.

Sarah Palin could meet a wolf that shoots back.

Tim Pawlenty, the former Minnesota governor, is described as nice and oh-so bland. Hence it isn't hard for me to imagine him disappearing from the race. He might still be in it, but we just won't be able to see him.

In March Gov. Mitch Daniels of Indiana proposed Republicans call a truce on social issues. Daniels holds socially conservative views, but believes the budget is too pressing to get sidetracked.

Speaking of tracks, social conservatives will see that he gets tied to them.

Lately Mike Huckabee has been feuding with fellow Fox host Glenn Beck. This prompts me to picture a campaign-busting scenario where Huckabee tells a reporter, "I still don't believe in evolution, but I'm convinced Glenn Beck was sired by monkeys."

Jon Huntsman has resigned his position as President Obama's ambassador to China. The fact that he worked for Obama means GOP primary voters would sooner choose Pee Wee Herman.

Donald Trump's nomination-flirtation will end when it's uncovered that he was born in Haiti.

Rick Santorum, Ron Paul, Michele Bachmann, Herman Cain, John Thune, Rudy Giuliani, John Bolton—for a variety of reasons, they all could drop out or be booted out of the Republican campaign.

Fred Karger might be the last man standing, in which case the nomination will be his. The Republican forces will be led into battle by an openly gay man who five years ago campaigned to save the Boom Boom Room, a historic gay club in Laguna Beach.

Diehard Republicans won't find this part of his resume inspiring. But if he's all they have, they'll learn to live with it.