2012 Election Fast Approaching

Cullen Mclane

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The year 2012 is getting closer and closer, and what an interesting year it promises to be. There’s a lot for people of all walks of life to look forward to. Sports fans will have the London Summer

Most polls would suggest former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney or Texas governor Rick Perry taking the spot againt Obama.

Olympics, video gamers will be getting a brand new Nintendo system, and moviegoers can look forward to Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter. Unfortunately, it’s also the year of the Mayan Apocalypse, set to occur on December 21. While it’s a bit disappointing that the Mayans decided to end the world in the middle of December before letting the world have one last Christmas, they were nice enough to allow America one more election day.

With Labor Day out of the way, presidential election season is entering full swing, and the big question on everyone’s mind is “who’s going to be running?” Playing for the Democrats is more than likely good old Barack Obama. While it’s technically possible the party could choose someone else to be their nominee, choosing someone besides the president currently in office is so unlikely that it’s barely even worth considering.

Love or hate President Obama, it’s hard to deny he’s been memorable. Coming in right after the largely controversial George “Dubya” Bush, Barry was able to appeal to the unsatisfied masses that hungered for “hope and change.” Despite being hailed as a messiah upon entering office however, Obama’s first term hasn’t been all rainbows and sunshine, as the man’s been facing a good deal of criticism. Recent Gallup polls show Obama’s approval ratings at 44%, a significant drop from the 69% when he first came into office. Unemployment rates are still a lot higher than most people would like, at 9.2%. His plans for healthcare reform have been a massively divisive topic, and a good number of Americans are convinced he was born in Kenya. He does have a few accomplishments to his name though, most notably the fact that it was under his guidance that everyone’s favorite Islamic extremist, Osama Bin Laden, was finally defeated, something that even Obama’s staunchest critics can’t deny was a job well done.

So who will the Republicans be using to take on Barack? Well, it could go several ways.  Most polls would suggest former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney or Texas governor Rick Perry taking the spot. Mitt Romney’s economic policies make him appealing to many, but he may run into some trouble due to his following of the Mormon faith. Those who remember his attempt at the nomination in 2008 will recall that the religions generally negative reputation (justified or not) did him no favors.

Minnesota Representative Michelle Bachman dominated the polls for a while, but recently it seems Mr. Perry has stolen her spot as champion of the tea party. There’s also the cult phenomenon with two first names, Ron Paul. Paul will face some trouble appealing to the most traditional conservatives, as he’s really more of a libertarian than anything else. While he may not have the highest number of supporters, however, Paul’s supporters do show a lot of devotion, but only time will tell if that can get him on the ticket.

Also doing decently well for himself in the polls is Herman Cain, CEO of Godfather’s Pizza, who’s probably just as famous on the internet for quoting the lyrics from the theme to Pokemon The Movie 2000 as he is for his policies. While Romney and Perry are in the lead at the moment, things could change very quickly and very easily, so it’s still anyone’s guess just who will be representing the Republicans on that first Tuesday in November.

There are also, of course third party candidates to think about. The chances of one of them winning are astronomically low, but a low chance is a lot different from no chance. The most noteworthy third party candidate is probably Roseanne Barr. Yes, THAT Roseanne Barr. Speaking on The Tonight Show With Jay Leno, the actress and current reality TV star claimed she was “completely serious” about running for office. She opted not to run as a Democrat or Republican, because as she told Mr. Leno, “they both suck.” Barr instead created her own “Green Tea Party.” She claimed she wanted to represent the American taxpayers, and make them her vice president. The vice president would need a very large office. Despite her claims of complete seriousness, however, it’s hard to tell if she’s for real or just pulling a Donald Trump.

Running as an independent is Robert John Burke, a New York street performer better known as the Naked Cowboy. His act consists of him wearing nothing but boots, a cowboy hat, and briefs, and playing a guitar, which is held in front his briefs to give the appearance of nudity. He would surely make for a memorable president.

But almost just as important as policies (and perhaps even more so), is image. When Barrack Obama ran his campaign in 2008, he didn’t just make promises of hope and change, he did it with style. Who could forget the classic red and blue “change” posters that have inspired countless parodies and tributes since being introduced? Barry had an almost magical quality about him during his 08 campaigning that made many people see him as more than a politician, but as a sort of celebrity, and in some extreme cases, the very savior of mankind.

Can Obama rekindle that same spark that helped him so much in his last election? And if he can, can any of the Republicans compete with it? Can Roseanne compete with it? Can the Naked Cowboy compete with it? This election could go a lot of ways at the moment, but whatever happens it’s sure to be an interesting ride for the good old USA.

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2012 Election Fast Approaching