It's been so long since there was a Democratic incumbent in the White House that I forgot how completely goddamn boring primary season is when it's just a bunch of Republicans running around trying to out-stupid each other. Despite their desperate bid for my attention with no fewer than twelve thousand debates since June, I haven't managed to muster much energy or enthusiasm for their traveling sideshow, but I guess it's about time to discuss the epic garbage nightmare that is the potential candidacy of one of the reprobates from the field of failosaurs regurgitated from the bowels of the Republican establishment this year.
So here's the latest news: Herman Cain has suspended his campaign, while promising to "not go away." (It's okay; you can just go away. Really.) He will reportedly endorse Newt Gingrich today, who is now leading the polls among primary voters in Iowa. (He can also go away. And take Mitt Romney with him.)
It's coming down to Mitt vs. Newt. Either one would be colossally horrendo as president, and I don't imagine that one would be more of a danger to Obama in the general campaign than the other. They've both got their campaigning strengths and weaknesses, and neither one would be measurably stronger or weaker in debates: Newt Gingrich is a more confident debater, but Mitt Romney is less likely to say things like, "We should hire poor children to work at the bootstrap factory."
President Obama's biggest threat remains his own record—and the haunting echo of his own voice promising hope and change.
And, as ever, the media will be a wild card: Paul Krugman observes, both amusingly and depressingly: "All indications are, however, that Campaign 2012 will make Campaign 2000 look like a model of truthfulness. And all indications are that the press won't know what to do—or, worse, that they will know what to do, which is act as stenographers and refuse to tell readers and listeners when candidates lie."