I have to confess my ignorance. Until just a couple of days ago, I had no clue that former Louisiana Gov. Charles “Buddy” Roemer had his own fantasies about becoming U.S. president.
|ROEMER: The 'protest' vote?|
I first realized the existence of his campaign on Friday when I saw that he, Rick Santorum and Newt Gingrich had their Illinois “backers” file the necessary paperwork to get those candidates on our state’s ballot for the March 20 primary.
FOR WHAT IT’S worth, President Barack Obama of the Hyde Park neighborhood also submitted his paperwork for a ballot spot – making it official that Democrats in Illinois have no one to pick from but him.
But the Republicans officially (as of now, someone could always get knocked off the ballot) have six candidates to choose from in their primary, as Mitt Romney, Ron Paul and Rick Perry also filed their ballot-slot paperwork last week.
So now I have to seriously wonder to myself how many Illinoisans are delusional enough to want to cast a ballot for Buddy Roemer. Could there be some people who are ABM to the degree that their vote for Anybody But Mitt includes casting a ballot for Buddy?
Because I sure don’t sense any “Roemer for president” movement in Illinois, or anywhere in this country. In large part because his national political battle against one-time Klansman and still a white supremacist David Duke was some two decades ago. Who remembers the name “Buddy Roemer” anymore? How many people this weekend stumbled across his name on the Internet because they were searching for word about Kristy McNichol publicly saying she is a lesbian?
THEN AGAIN, PERHAPS Buddy (as in Roemer) sees the fact that at various points, now-former candidate Michele Bachmann and current flavor-of-the-month Rick Santorum were at the head of the pack.
Perhaps he thinks it is just a matter of waiting his “turn” to become the darling of the GOP – even though he’s a Democrat-turned-Republican who once vetoed a Louisiana Legislature attempt to impose severe restrictions on abortion for purely ideological reasons (which federal appeals courts ultimately ruled was the right thing to do – the attempt at state law violated Roe vs. Wade).
Roemer may like to talk “tough” and “law and order” now. But about the only hope he has of getting any serious support is if our society suddenly gets hit with a serious bout of stupid.
Then again, it always is a mistake to over-estimate the intelligence of the electorate. So who knows what to think?
IT AMUSES ME that I didn’t realize Roemer was in the race for the presidency until he filed those papers, which was a few days AFTER he got his clock cleaned (I’m full of clichés today) in Iowa.
Only 31 people who took the time to attend a caucus event across Iowa last week publicly were willing to say they think it would be good for Buddy Roemer to be president.
Nearly twice as many publicly backed now-former candidate Herman Cain, and more than four times as many people (135, to be exact) went to a caucus, publicly stood up, and said they had “no preference” for president.
Which is a concept I don’t comprehend. If I didn’t have a preference, I probably wouldn’t show up at all. Then again, the fact that the “I can’t make up my mind” kind of people were four times larger than the “Buddy for president” people ought to be a factor that would make him hang his head in shame. Except that political people often have no shame.
IF I GOT whomped on as badly as Buddy did in Iowa, I’d be thinking about going into hiding with the groundhog who will stick his head out of the ground in a few more weeks. I doubt I’d be filing more nominating petitions to set myself up for another blow-out in Illinois.
Yet I’m realistic enough to know that it probably does not matter. The upcoming weeks will see primary elections (beginning Tuesday in New Hampshire) that will go a long way toward determining who is seriously in the running.
I doubt there will be six viable Republican presidential campaigns in operation by the time of the Illinois primary elections.
At best, Illinois will be the state whose Republicans provide the crowning blow to whichever GOP partisan gets the chance to take on Obama come the Nov. 6 general elections.
WHICH MEANS BUDDY Roemer may wind up serving the same purpose that Bill Bradley served for me in the 2000 Democratic primary.
I voted for him because his name was on the ballot – even though his campaign had already closed up shop by the time of the Illinois elections – out of a sense of expressing my apathy toward the party establishment’s preference of Al Gore.
Maybe the couple of dozen people across Illinois who cast votes for Roemer will be of a like mindset?