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U.S. voters need Presidential Top 20

Carlton Fletcher

Carlton Fletcher

You’re fooling yourself if you don’t believe it. You’re kidding yourself ...

— Styx

A quick check of all the candidates who want to be the American president in 2012 has led most would-be voters to the same conclusion: Punt.

With that football expression in mind, I started thinking perhaps voters would have a clearer picture of the presidential race if The Associated Press or the coaches who vote in the USA Today polls ranked the candidates much as they do college football teams. Since no one has much of a clue which candidate might be a strong enough leader to get us out of the doldrums we’re in, why not let self-appointed experts guide us?

It makes as much sense as the BCS.

The first unofficial SCNI U.S. Presidential Top 20 might look something like this (numbers indicate chances of winning party nomination and general election):

  1. Barack Obama, D-Ill., 100-44. Incumbent is assured nomination, but the economy and the “We voted who into the White House?” factor are catching up to him.

  2. Rick Perry, R-Texas, 51-39. Was everyone’s darling for a week or two until his poor debating skills and an about-as-stupid-as-you-get name of a hunting club has everyone thinking, “Wait, he’s a Texas governor ... like Bush and LBJ? Who else is running?”

  3. Mitt Romney, R-Mass., 38-32. He’s finding it harder and harder to convince people he’s sincere when he attacks Obama policy that pretty much mirrors his own state’s. Polling well with Bill Hendrickson’s family, though.

  4. Herman Cain, R-Ga., 33-40. Has a better chance of winning the actual election than he does his party’s nomination. A successful businessman who’s starting to get more attention after straw-poll win in Florida. Unfortunately for him, that’s not a good thing.

  5. Michele Bachman, R-Minnesota, 29-31. You just know Republicans were praying that someone — anyone — would come along and give them an alternative. Hello, Rick Perry; goodbye, Michele Bachman.

  6. Bobby Jindal, R-La., 5-48. Jindal’s not running, but if he did he’d be the best-qualified Republican automatically and shoot up several slots in this poll.

  7. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., 1-44. As much as it kills her, she’ll have to toe the party line and support the incumbent ... and just hope that she maintains her relevancy four years down the road.

  8. Sarah Palin, R-Alaska, 20-28. Democrats keep hoping she’ll toss her hat in the ring to take away some of the money rich people are throwing at the other GOP candidates. Plus they drool at the thought of debating her.

  9. Ron Paul, R/L-Texas, 17-18. The GOP big-wigs will let him stay around as long as he keeps spending his own money.

  10. Chris Christie, R-N.J., 14-21. Smart campaign strategy: Hang around the periphery of the fray while all the others do and say things that make you look better in comparison.

  11. Jon Huntsman, R-Utah, .05-2. Yes, it’s possible for an unknown to make a sudden, unexpected political push, but not this big an unknown.

  12. Gary Johnson, R-N.M., .05-2. See No. 11 above.

  13. Rudy Giuliani, R-N. Y., 3-17. He’s not committed yet, but you know he wants it so bad. Maybe he can get Jerry Seinfeld and Larry David to do a “Seinfeld” holiday special and come up with another episode about his cholesterol.

  14. Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., .005-4. Newt, the writing’s been on the wall for a while now. Your candidacy is officially only fodder for “Saturday Night Live” skits.

  15. Jimmy McMillan, The Rent Is Too Damn High Party-N.Y., .00000000000000000001-.000000002. You still have to love the sideburn/mustache/beard combo and the fact that this guy has become a semi-celebrity.

  16. Donald Trump, R-N.Y., 2-11. If only ego and wallet size were the only things that mattered.

  17. Rick Santorum, R-Pa., .005-1. When you decide this field is too tough to compete in, maybe it’s time to rethink your political future.

  18. Alfred E. Newman, I-Mad Magazine, 0-.0000000000000000000001. Would be a shoo-in for the coveted gap-toothed redhead vote.

  19. None of the Above, I-All Over, 88-92. The overwhelmingly most popular choice.

  20. Fred Karger, R-Calif., -10,000,000,000,000-13. A gay-rights activist/Republican? Those negative 10 trillion odds of a GOP nomination may be optimistic.

Email Metro Editor Carlton Fletcher at carlton.fletcher@albanyherald.com.