With GOP field in disarray, maybe it's time to take the plunge
by Barbara Anderson

The Salem News
Thursday, January 26, 2012

Monday afternoon, Jan. 23 . . .

The Republican presidential contest isn't going so well. I've been in the basement, digging through the boxes on the table that holds important stuff to protect it from the occasional flooding. I expect I can find 30 years of tax returns to release as I announce my own candidacy for the White House.

With my lifetime average pay of less than $35,000 a year, I won't be accused of being one of the 1 percent of evil rich people who pay 18.8 percent of federal income taxes. Like Warren Buffett and others, I've also paid a low rate on my capital gains, but the only time I recall having any such thing was when I cashed in some savings bonds from my parents for my son.

So I suppose I'll be accused by my opponents and/or the mainstream national media of not having been an investor in the national economy and creating jobs, but instead timidly putting my savings into savings accounts and CDs at my local banks.

I admit it, if it were up to people like me and our risk-averse retirement plans, there probably wouldn't be a national economy at all. I've been a salaried employee all my working life, from assembly line in a factory to executive director of Citizens for Limited Taxation; I've never created any jobs. In fact, at CLT, we went from four to three employees in 2010 when I had to lay off the secretary. This cruel act, while it helped the organization survive hard times, will certainly haunt me during the campaign.

On the other hand, I didn't get taxpayer bailouts that violate the whole point of risk-taking capitalism, and wouldn't vote for them.

I probably should note my public sector experience as a lifeguard at Sandy Beach in Danvers. Might make a good campaign poster: Me at age 30 in a red, white and blue swimsuit, doing CPR on the Resusci Anne doll with the words, "Barbara will save America."

I'm wondering now if I'll be asked about my tax returns before I was a single filer; must see if my two ex-husbands kept our joint filings. I have to call them anyhow to get endorsements. They've both nagged me in the past to run for office, so I know they'll be supportive, although they'll probably say I should have done it before I got too old to campaign without an afternoon nap.

Of course, they could tell the national mainstream media a few stories about me as a spouse, things that could make for an interesting interview on ABC. But I'm not worried because a.) I carefully chose my potential ex-husbands for lasting friendship; and b.) I can get away with two divorces because I'm not running on "family values" and traditional marriage, as if I'm some kind of paragon on these issues.

My longtime partner, Chip Ford, is also supportive, though he does believe that as libertarians, neither Ron Paul nor I have a chance to become president.

Well, that's no reason not to run! Nor do I accept that I need enough of an organization to actually get on the ballot in all the primary states. Nor do I need to have raised a lot more money than what friends have offered for purchasing bumper stickers stating: "Vote for Barbara or else you are an anti-Croatian/Irish/German bigot and misogynist."

No, all I need is to debate well, and I've had lots of experience debating Massachusetts ballot questions. I like our state media, but I can attack the national media types, like Andrea Mitchell, who says that Mitt Romney will have a difficult time winning Florida Hispanics because of his "really hard line on immigration." Look, lady, he has said many times that he loves "legal immigration." What part of "legal" don't you understand?

Exit polls showed that some South Carolina voters were uncomfortable with Romney being a Mormon; they preferred Gingrich, who eventually married his "devout Catholic" mistress after she helped cause his second divorce.

Fortunately, I can run as someone who doesn't belong to any organized religion so I can relate equally to all of them. No one will hold any one religion against me!

It's nice the way Mormons tithe to their church, though. My tax returns will show that my charitable giving emphasizes animal shelters, veterans' services and certain diseases.

Now, as for issues, I agree with the Republican candidates on many important things, like repealing Dodd-Frank and replacing ObamaCare.

Wait! I just realized I must switch from independent to Republican! Certainly don't want a third party to split the anti-Obama vote and re-elect him.

Time out while I think about this, and watch Deval Patrick's state of the state address, then "House" (will I be too busy campaigning to watch my favorite shows?) and finally the latest Republican debate on NBC.

Now it's 11 p.m. Good debate. The moderator let Mitt and Newt go at it on their backgrounds and Ron and Rick argue about Cuba policy and U.S. policy in Iran. I like the way Ron Paul never forgets that we can't spend money we don't have.

The Republican candidates were looking presidential tonight. I think I'll suspend my campaign for a while. Thank you for your support.

The comments made and opinions expressed in her columns are those of Barbara Anderson
and do not necessarily reflect those of Citizens for Limited Taxation.

Barbara Anderson is executive director of Citizens for Limited Taxation. Her column appears weekly in the Salem News and other Eagle Tribune newspapers; bi-weekly in the Tinytown Gazette.

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