In 2008, the Democrats put up three likely candidates for president: an old harpy who belonged in jail, a baby daddy more interested in his hair than in his dying wife, and Austin Obama, the international man of little accomplishment but mucho mystery.

If you remember, the Democrats were excited about their prospects. They talked about “dream tickets,” and the media egged them on.

In 2012, the media routinely belittle the Republican field, and too many of us believe them. And yet, instead of a heartless cad, a cast-off wife and a brother from another planet, the GOP serves up accomplished governors, smart congressmen, savvy women and successful business execs.

If Mitt Romney were a Democrat, he would be their best all-around candidate since JFK. Down the road, the same holds true for Chris Christie and Marco Rubio. Herman Cain is who Obama should hope to be when he grows up.

Are any of the GOP candidates as perfect as you and I? Of course not! But they are who they are, and whichever of them emerges from the glorious rough and tumble of the primaries with a birth certificate in hand has my vote.

America is strong enough to survive four years of Barack Obama. I am not at all sure about eight.

Beware! As the campaign progresses, the media will seek to sabotage the front-runners and discourage you. As a buffer against despair, I offer the following poem, all due apology to Rudyard Kipling.

In honor of the president’s own counterfeit career as poet, I call it “Son of Pop.”

    Son of Pop

    You may fret about who’s pure

    With election a year off or more

    When every misstep seems a trauma

    But when it comes to November

    You had dang well best remember

    Even a bloomin’ Rino trumps Obama

    I’ll take Pence, I’ll take Palin

    I’ll take Ensign despite the jailin’

    Yes, even Newt and all his drama

    Give me Ryan, a genuine whiz

    Give me Wuensche, whoever he is

    But please, Lord, spare me Obama

    You say Romney’s a new McCain

    As wobbly as the gals from Maine

    As right-wing as Whistler’s mama

    Pawlenty, you say’s a bore

    And Trump’s a bit of whore

    But they’re Rushmores next to Obama

    I’ll take Bachmann, I’ll take Hunstman

    I’ll take Christie, all half ton of him

    Yes, even Johnson, the midnight toker

    Give me Paul, don’t ask why

    Give me Cain, the pizza guy

    Just no more of that that socialist joker

    You say the GOP’s gone soft

    Its honchos all are toffs

    And when you say so I’ll defend ya

    But when you talk ‘third party’

    I say walk the plank, me hearty

    You’re electing the man from Kenya

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