Well, we are now four months into 2011, and already the New York Times is referring to the 2012 Presidential race as “leisurely.” By now, apparently, we really had ought to be seeing candidates leaping at each other’s throats, since the first primaries are ten months away. After all, President Obama has already announced – shockingly – that he will run for reelection.
While the Times gets concerned about that, however, we can amuse ourselves by checking out some of the rhetoric from those politicians who, it’s generally agreed, are expected to soon begin considering forming exploratory committees to decide whether they might run. These politicians, while not yet attacking one another, are making sure to position themselves as strong contenders – and, in the process, seem to be getting a little bit overexcited about the whole thing.
- Donald Trump, who has been honing his skills at making TV-friendly, outlandish remarks for several years on his own television show, gave Fox News a dose of his special sauce. Weighing in on the situation in Libya, with regard to Colonel Gadhafi, he proudly noted: “I rented him a piece of land. He paid me more for one night than the land was worth for the whole year, or for two years, and then I didn’t let him use the land. That's what we should be doing. I don’t want to use the word ‘screw,’ but I screwed him.” The Donald, a Republican, has been open about his interest in the Presidency and is currently polling well in at least one state.
- Ohio Democrat Dennis Kucinich got his two cents in on Libya as well, but took a somewhat different tack, declaring Obama’s decision to commit American military assistance to the effort to stop Gadhafi’s troops “an impeachable offense.” Kucinich had previously sought to impeach President Bush during the Iraq war. He’s not alone, though: across the aisle, fellow outside-chance contender Ron Paul has stated that Americans “should be yelling and screaming about what the President is doing.” The two are cosponsoring a bill to remove all funding from the Libya campaign.
- Onetime Speaker of the House Newt Gingrich, a prominent Georgia Republican, has been more explicit about his presidential aspirations than most, stating that “I think within a month … we’ll be running.” As such, he’s been on the road, getting his base fired up. At a San Antonio church, however, Gingrich sent some mixed messages when he stated his fears that America could become “a secular atheist country, potentially one dominated by radical Islamists.”
It would be easy to go on – from Michele Bachmann to Rand Paul, everybody’s been talking – but we’ll stop here for now. If past is prologue, however, the coming months will provide enough material to fill an encyclopedia of extreme rhetoric. Sit back, turn on CNN, and enjoy the fireworks.