10 best unelectable presidential candidates

by Keith Barber

Sarah PalinIt’s never too soon to start talking about thenext presidential election — and never toosoon to start parsing possible candidates. Let’sface it: There are some folks, regardless oftheir credentials or suitability, who will neverbe the leader of the free world, for various reasons.Let’s begin with the most obvious. Theformer governor of Alaska is unelectable onmany levels, first and foremost being that shehas given up on elected office in order to bea right-wing pin-up girl and reality TV showstar. More money in that, anyway.Sen. Ron PaulSure, everybody with an axe to grind lovesRon Paul, the most consistent Libertarian ingovernment. His ideas are great… in theory.But when you put the Ron Paul philosophyinto action the country basically turns intoThe Road Warrior, every man for himself,with unregulated business run amok and civilwrongs addressed in the Thunderdome.Ralph NaderIt is technically Ralph Nader’s fault thatGeorge Bush won* the 2000 presidential election,as he siphoned votes away from Al Gorethat led to W’s tenure in the White House. ButNader is a great American who has been fightingcorporate malfeasance and championingconsumers’ rights for more than 50 years. Butget serious, man. No way is Nader ever gonnabe president based on his wardrobe alone.Rep. Dennis KucinichWhen the national political framework shiftedto the right, Dennis Kucinich stayed put. Theone-time youngest mayor of a major city in UShistory (Cleveland, 1977-79) and possibly thesmallest high school quarterback ever (4-foot-9and 97 pounds when he was third string at St.John Canitius High) will not budge on his liberalprinciples. Ironically, these days Kucinich doesn’tplay ball, politically speaking, and his far-leftpositions make him unelectable.Herman CainSeriously? Herman Cain is a self-hating,loudmouthed, uninformed pitchman whosebackstory is just now coming to light. Andmark my words, if he becomes president of theUnited States, I will crap in my hat.Elizabeth WarrenSure, she’s looking pretty good in theMassachusetts US Senate race right now,but Elizabeth Warren, former head of the USConsumer Financial Protection Bureau isunelectable because she scares the bejeezus outof anyone interested in continuing the economicoppression of the American worker. Wereshe to run for president, corporations wouldstand in line to cut six-figure checks to whomevershe would be running against, and thepropaganda war against her would make thecurrent GOP efforts against President Obamalook like schoolyard taunts.Frank ZappaZappa can’t be president because he diedin 1993, but not after giving his children veryunusual names, crafting one of the most intriguingcatalogs in American music and, oddlyenough, running for president. Sort of. Zappawas as political as musicians get. A conservative,he testified before the Senate against theParents Music Resource Center, Tipper Gore’seffort to censor records, in 1985. Planks onhis platform included strict enforcement ofthe First Amendment and a national sales tax.Unfortunately, prostate cancer took him too soon.Willie NelsonOutspoken, political and very much alive,Willie Nelson can’t be president because of hismany drug arrests. And also because of thatduet he did with Julio Iglesias, for which I willnever forgive him.Cornel WestThe Princeton professor, activist and sometimehip-hop collaborator blows my mindalmost every time he opens his mouth bypointing out a different perspective, a newidea, a forgotten piece of history. But it’s nevergonna happen. He’s too smart, too fearless, tooright. And you can’t speak truth to power whenyou are the one in power.Brian ClareyYeah, that’s never gonna happen either. Notthat I couldn’t do it — hell, I couldn’t possiblydo as bad a job as George W. Bush did — butI’ve got skeletons in my closet, disdain forboth major political parties and a miles-longinternet trail documenting my disrespect forauthority.