Harry Stonebraker was re-elected mayor of the small northeastern Missouri town of Winfield on Tuesday - about a month after his death....."I figured he'd win because he seemed to get even more popular after he died, just like Carnahan," [Lincoln County Clerk Elaine] Luck said.
- Associated Press - April 7. 2009
TO: All Republican Party members
FROM: Michael Steele
Republican National Committee
RE: Next presidential candidate
I’m sure everyone knows that Missouri is the "Show-Me" state. And I don’t think we’re going to need a third example from Missourians to educate us about the future of the Republican Party.
As you’ll probably recall, Missouri Democrat Mel Carnahan won the 2000 Senate race despite having died in a plane crash weeks before the election. Now Missouri Mayor Harry Stonebraker has pulled off the same spectacular feat albeit at a somewhat lower electoral level.
Nevertheless, I think the good people of Missouri are trying to tell us something, namely that if you’ve got a popular incumbent, don’t let something as trivial as death get in the way of a surefire electoral win. The message is clear: popularity trumps viability.
Given our party’s current moribund condition, I think it behooves us to start thinking outside the box or, in this particular case, perhaps inside the box. Let’s face it; we’ve got a pretty weak lineup of potential candidates for The White House in 2012. Even with the economy tanking and two wars still raging, I don’t think we’re going to get too far with a nominee like Sarah Palin, Bobby Jindal or Rush Limbaugh.
Now some of you are probably saying to yourselves: "Michael’s right; let’s get George W. Bush to run again." Right idea; wrong guy. Despite being out of office almost three months, he’s still about as popular as ants at a picnic.
But you know which Republican still is popular? Ronald Reagan, that’s who. Yes, I know he’s dead. But Missouri has shown us that death is not necessarily a game stopper when it comes to elections.
So let’s give this proposal some serious consideration. After all, what have we got to lose? Let’s look at the advantages of a Reagan candidacy in 2012.
We can do away with a lengthy and expensive primary campaign. We won’t have to worry about dividing the party. Heck, we may even be able to use all those old campaign posters and buttons from the 1980s, especially if George Bush, Sr. agrees to be the Vice Presidential candidate again.
Frankly, I don’t see a downside to this proposal. Thanks to Reagan’s deceased status, we don’t have to fret about such things as the candidate’s personal appearance. Nor do we have to be concerned about a platform, debate preparation or campaign screw-ups. That’s one thing about the dead; they seldom misspeak.
I’m sure some of you are worried that this plan could easily be derailed by the 22nd Amendment that limits a sitting president to two terms. Not to worry. I’ve had our lawyers check into this and, according to them, it only applies to living individuals.
So, what do you say? Let’s bring back the Gipper. Not literally, of course. But I guarantee you if we put him back on the ballot, it’ll be morning in America once again.