In theory, any of the Republican candidates is supposed to have a chance of winning the nomination. That is, there is not supposed to be a pre-determined outcome. However, recent events might lead a person to have some doubts about this.
In Herman Cain’s case, he starting climbing in the polls and got ahead of Romney. Then the story about past cases of sexual harassment got fed to the media machinery. Cain seemed to be caught by surprise and appeared to struggle with damage control. Oddly enough, some of the incidents in question were discussed by Cain’s strategist in an earlier run for office and the matter of damage control was evidently discusssed then. As such, it seems a bit strange that Cain and his people were so easily caught by surprise when this is something that they had been well aware of.
Naturally, it is possible that Cain and his people suffered from a selective amnesia. It could be that only Cain forgot and his people simply never bothered to check for anything in his past that might cause trouble. Perhaps it was assumed that the incidents would not be exposed or that they would have no real impact (or that Cain would handle them). However, someone who enjoys a good conspiracy theory might suggest that Cain had planned to take a dive all along so as to create the illusion of an actual contest. That, of course, seems as silly as blaming the media or the Democratic machine for his troubles. But it does make an interesting theory to talk about while making aluminum foil hats.
Rick Perry started off fairly strong and then ran into the rocks with his debate performance and the incident involving his family camp. He also recently had a disastrous debate performance in which he apparently could not even remember the third government agency he planned to eliminate if elected. While anyone can have a memory failure at an embarrassing moment, there are two points of concern with this incident. The first is that this was not some minor or obscure point that he forgot. After all illuminating a major agency is a rather big thing-and he only had to remember the three he picked. Second, and perhaps worse, is the poor way he handled the situation. If he had immediately made a humorous response (“I’d like to use Ron Paul as my lifeline”) he might have been able to avoid the damage or even actually scored a few points. However, he floundered about painfully, throwing in a rather weak “whoops.” This certainly does not appear very presidential.
Seeing the horror of the performance, I almost wanted to believe that Perry was intentionally taking a dive. The main alternative explanation was that Perry is, in fact, amazingly incompetent. Crudely put, I seemed to face a choice between regarding Perry as a fool or a knave. A tough call indeed.
But, surely there is no conspiracy here. Just coincidences.
While Newt has been low in the polls, he shows some signs of moving up. He might be a possible VP candidate, given the time he has put in for the party and his past political laurels.
Romney seems to still be the most likely winner, mainly because everyone else seems likely to lose.
On an unrelated note, thanks to all the veterans and the active duty personnel.