OpinionTop of the Ticket

An exit speech for the next candidate to call it quits

ElectionsPoliticsMitt RomneyRon PaulSarah PalinNewt GingrichRick Santorum

Over the weekend, Sarah Palin said Mitt Romney has yet to convince conservatives he is really one of them. "He still needs to be able to articulate what his solutions are to the challenges facing America – but not just Mitt," she said. "All four of them."

Gosh, Sarah, what more do these poor guys need to do? Have they not shown clear intent to take America back to the 1890s, the golden era before socialists like Teddy Roosevelt began messing up a good thing with his trust-busting and national parks? If I were Romney, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich or Ron Paul, I'd refuse to jump through any more ideological hoops. In fact, I'd call it quits.

But not these guys. They show no sign of stopping – which is too bad, because Martin Miller, the Times' TV editor, has crafted a fine exit speech for the next candidate who checks out. Like so many of us, he has been inspired by this bizarrely entertaining slog through the primaries. So, dear candidates, when the the votes grow sparse, the money runs out and you can't afford a speechwriter, feel free to make Miller's lofty phrases your own:

Today, I stand before you humbled by the American political process and it is with a heavy heart that I announce I’m dropping out of the presidential race.

The American people have spoken with a loud, clear voice, which said to me, “Get lost.”  To my staff, it sounded like “Take a long walk on a short pier.” To others, it was more like “Drop dead.” Dear friends and valued colleagues can disagree, but I believe with all my heart that I heard right.

When I began this noble cause on a cold Iowa morning, I promised to listen to each and every one of you. And I did. I heard about your potholes, your delayed Social Security checks and your latest bout with shingles. And since I was actually listening to you via Skype from my Napa Valley winery, I tuned you out. You just wouldn’t shut up.

Blah, blah, blah. Whatever happened to American self-reliance? That can-do spirit? Half the time, I couldn’t tell if you were serious – kind of like those first few rounds of “American Idol.”

Still, I’ll never forget meeting the common folk of this nation, naturally from a safe distance, pre-approved by my security team – and only after they had conducted a full body cavity search. (You should see yourselves during those, whoa, are those funny!) I loved our spontaneous, heartfelt conversations whenever the cameras were around and which I can no longer remember.

In leaving the race, I’m deeply saddened I won’t be able to restore America to her former glory as a great nation shining on a hill. My mission was to give that nation a permanent rainbow flying over it. My other idea was that the hillsides would be populated with talking unicorns and we could ask them, “How are you?” or “What should we do about the European debt crisis?” I'm sure they'd have some pretty good ideas. 

But, even more than that, I wanted this country to forget about our petty divisions, the artificial constructs that all too often come between us as Americans. There is no white, no black, no brown. No Christian, no Jew, no Muslim. There are rich and poor, though, nothing is going to change that. I’m rich, by the way.

My dream was that someday the poor would be housed in giant moat-like cities enclosed by scratch-resistant, shatterproof, transparent glass. The rich could take luxury buses to visit their cities and throw coins and trinkets down to the poor children. But let me firmly declare, they would not be permitted to taunt. Remember what happened at the San Francisco zoo that time with those tigers? 

In the final analysis, my decision to step aside was motivated by the issues themselves. There are so many and most are real head-scratchers. The national debt.  Immigration. Global warming. I like it warm, not hot, but warm. But, if higher temperatures mean both coasts could sink under another 20 feet of water, that could cause a lot of problems.

Somebody should do something.

But I want to urge my supporters to continue fighting the good fight – with real weapons, if necessary. I especially urge my many gun-nut supporters to do what you have to do – and nobody, including most juries, could possibly hold you responsible for your actions.

I called my opponents to offer them congratulations on a hard-fought and well-run campaign, but luckily none of them answer their phones at 3 a.m., so luckily I didn’t have to talk to any of them because I really don’t think that anyway. In reviewing the remaining slate of candidates, I firmly believe we’d be better off letting Randy, J. Lo and that weird gypsy singer pick a monarch.  

May God bless the United States of America and some of you!

Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times
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