Yesterday Buddy Roemer announced, “I am no longer a candidate for President of the United States." Who knew? I was reminded of Lieutenant Hiroo Onoda, who discovered World War II was over when he came out of a Philippines jungle and surrendered his .25-caliber rifle in 1974.
Of the entire collection once touted as major Republican candidates, only Ron Paul is left (oh, and Fred Karger, the gay-rights advocate who has so far received 3,805 votes). Despite my horror at the time, I kind of miss the mind-boggling prattle and those who uttered it in the endless debates:
- Michele Bachmann, who turned out to have her own birther issue, as she had secretly held Swiss citizenship since 1978.
- Herman Cain, who was finally taken seriously on Stephen Colbert’s ticket.
- Newt Gingrich, whose self-righteous bombast could not conceal all those stories about his ex-wives.
- Jon Huntsman, Jr., the self-proclaimed moderate who got clobbered early and often.
- Gary Johnson, whose platform to legalize marijuana got him laughed out of the Republican fold . . . and nominated by the Libertarians.
- Tim Pawlenty, who ran for so long that people forgot who he was. Well, he’s now on Romney’s vice-presidential short list.
- Rick Perry, whose performance in one debate caused a journalist to ask if he had suffered a stroke.
- Rick Santorum, who almost convinced his party to nominate a 21st-century Torquemada.
- The Donald, who will simply never go away.
All these candidates had one common goal: to prevent Mitt Romney from getting the nomination. They couldn’t even do that.