While eight 2012 Republican Presidential hopefuls prepare to take the stage Wednesday night at the Ronald Reagan Library in Simi Valley, California and an anxious 24/7 cable and Internet news industry drools in anticipation of Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s first televised debate on the national stage, a movement that could render the entire exercise moot is underway – and quickly gaining momentum.
With several national polls showing the generic ‘Any Republican’ outperforming both Gov. Perry and former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (currently the two clear front runners for the GOP nomination) in a head-to-head race with incumbent President Barack Obama, the so-called ’smart money’ – currently sitting on the sidelines reluctant to support any of the declared candidates – is looking for a fresh horse to bet on, and they may have found one.
Conservative philanthropist and retired lunchmeat entrepreneur Hamm S. Andwich has always maintained that he harbors no aspirations of holding public office. Yet as a self-described “American who has re-dedicated his life to the service of friends, neighbors and countrymen,” he recently has very conspicuously dropped his use of the word ‘never’ when queried about a possible Presidential bid “if substantial support clearly exists.”
And apparently, it does.
A recent Desperate Blogger/Artie’s Shoe and Leather Repair Poll indicated that 54% of registered Republicans and a staggering 82% of registered Independents preferred Hamm S. Andwich to any of the currently declared GOP candidates. These numbers contrast sharply with a similar study conducted during the 2008 campaign in which, before his selection of then Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin as his running mate, John McCain not only polled eight and 11 points higher than Andwich and the late Oscar M. Wiener respectively, but also six points ahead of Democratic nominee Barack Obama.
“The Republican ‘establishment’ money isn’t so much concerned with candidates’ policies – their primary concern is electability,” according to campaign strategist Newton Toomey. “For the astronomical sums of money they commit to a campaign, they want to back a winner, and they don’t take a losing lightly. For example, one need look no further than the ongoing hissy fit which began just after Sen. McCain chose the Wasilla Wizard as his running mate over the establishment choice of Alan Keyes after the Bush administration had spent eight years working to ensure that, after Bush/Cheney, the country would be prepared to embrace an African-American candidate on a major party ticket.”
For their part, the Obama campaign appears unfazed by the prospect of such a widely recognized, popular newcomer throwing his hat into the GOP ring. A statement released to the media just yesterday read, in part:
“While we have the utmost respect for his accomplishments and his service to our country, and recognize the popularity he enjoys – and deservedly so – with the American people, we nonetheless believe that regardless of how many voters admire him and like him personally, deep down most Americans realize that at this crucial point in our nation’s history neither they, or America for that matter, can afford a Hamm S. Andwich.”
GOP Debates Losing Relevance as Draft Andwich Movement Grows