Republicans Search For Viable Candidate – Security Tightened At Reagan Grave

Some leading Republicans are voicing concerns about the electability of the current crop of candidates. They are worried that in the general election candidates such as Rep. Michele Bachmann and Gov. Rick Perry will alienate moderate voters. Many in the national Republican leadership had hoped that Gov. Mitt Romney would win the nomination, however his popularity is sagging and he is currently trailing Gov. Perry. Some in the leadership in the party hope to find a new candidate who can unify both the Tea Party and the establishment wings of the party. Recently there has been talk of a candidate who could step into this void and bring both sides of the party together. Following last week’s debate, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus was quoted saying, “After listening to the crowds chants of ‘Reagan! Reagan!’ and as each candidate paid homage to the former president it suddenly occurred to me that we didn’t need a candidate who merely exemplified Reagan, we needed the actual man. We need to nominate Ronald Reagan as our candidate in 2012.” He went on to say, “We have always been a party that looks to the past and that is what makes a Reagan candidacy so perfect.”

However, talk about reviving Ronald Reagan’s political career has some in the party worried. They are concerned that the American people would be unlikely to vote for a man who has been dead for seven years. Of those concerns Republican strategist Mary Matlin responded, “We nominated John McCain last time and in ’96 we had Bob Dole. They were both nearly dead, so this wouldn’t be all that different.”

The interest in Reagan’s entry into the presidential race has some members of his family concerned for the safety of his body. Nancy Reagan issued a statement saying, “This morning I spoke to Ronny, while he is flattered to be considered, he has told me that he has no interest in being resurrected. That is why he and I both are asking for the Governor’s help in protecting the gravesite and his body.” California Governor Jerry Brown responded by ordering  the California State Highway Patrol to provide around the clock protection of the President’s grave. He also issued statement saying, “I know that some will say that I am playing politics by preventing President Reagan’s body from entering the race for President, but I assure you that my only motivations are to prevent the desecration of President Reagan’s grave.”  CHP spokesman Frank Poncherello seemed to somewhat contradict Gov. Brown when he said, “We have been told to guard the grave, but I am also under orders to exhume and hide the body if the RNC makes any attempt and get it themselves.”

The plea from Mrs. Reagan has not diminished the hopes of the Reagan supporters. They have formed the Reagan Resurrection Committee to check into the metaphysical and legal implications of a lifeless candidate. On his television show, Pastor Pat Robertson has said, “The lord has guaranteed me that, if elected, President Reagan will rise from the dead and be fully capable of serving his country. I have also been assured by Justices Scalia, Roberts and Thomas that they will find a way to get around the 22nd Amendment.”

When asked how the Democrats would respond to a possible Reagan candidacy DNC Chairwoman Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz told reporters, “If the Republicans are able to overcome the obstacles of nominating a dead man it would put us at a great disadvantage in 2012. Some in my party have talked about mounting a primary challenge against President Obama by a revitalized FDR, however personally I believe we would have a better chance if we went with Kennedy.”

The living Republican candidates have been reluctant to comment. A spokesperson for Rep. Bachmann said, “We don’t know what to do.  We are afraid to say anything negative about Reagan. We have considered ending our campaign, endorsing President Reagan and hope that he would choose Rep. Bachmann as his running mate. If the President was already dead people would have less to fear from a Vice-President Bachman since there would be no risk of her possible of succession to the Presidency.”

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