Don Williams
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Don Williams is a prize-winning columnist, blogger, fiction writer, sometime TV commentator, and is the founder and editor emeritus of New Millennium Writings, an annual anthology of stories, essays and poems. His awards include a National Endowment for the Humanities Journalism Fellowship at the University of Michigan, a Golden Presscard Award from Sigma Delta Chi Society of Professional Journalists, a best Commentary Award from SDC, Best Feature Writing from the Associated Press Tennessee Managing Editors, the Malcolm Law Journalism Prize from the Associated Press, Best Non-Deadline Reporting from the United Press International, Best Novel Excerpt from the Knoxville Writers Guild, a Peacemaker Award from the Oak Ridge Environmental Peace Alliance, five Writer of the Month Awards from the Scripps Howard Newspaper chain, and many others. In 2011 he was inducted into the East Tennessee Writers Hall of Fame. His 2005 book of journalism, Heroes, Sheroes and Zeroes is under revision for a second printing, and he is at work on a novel and a book of journalism. His columns appear at and have been featured at many other well-known websites. To run his column, gratis, at your website, post this link to a dedicated spot: Need a speaker, panelist, tv commentator or teacher for your group or to lead a writing workshop, in your town? Email

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Mitt, Rick, Newt, See How They Run
(Copyright by Don Williams, All rights reserved   03/23/2012)

Mitt, Rick and Newt.

Three blind mice.

OK, four if you count Ron Paul….

The point is, Obama might be the luckiest man alive. He's blessed by his opponents. Could there be a more embarrassing group running for president?

Not to sound dismissive. Each has redeeming qualities. Mitt's doubtlessly money smart and well organized. Rick's comfortable in his own skin. And Newt has more ideas than most think tanks.

Still when it comes to running for president, they're blind to history.

Together, they've alienated large blocks of Latinos, blacks, gays, poor people, the science-based community, the young, teachers, cops, firemen, people opposed to war, retirees, the under-insured, people caught in the safety net, even Kennedy admirers, and most astonishingly, women.

Watch for some farmer's wife to cut off their tails with a carving knife, to quote the old song.

No wait, they're doing it to each other. In ads, personal appearances, and push-polls, they've accused one another of hypocrisy, flip-flops, lying, cheating, corporate malfeasance, being out of touch, beholding to special interests, insensitivity and much else, no end in sight.

In part, this is a consequence of Citizens United. You have to wonder if Supreme Court Justices Scalia, Kennedy, Thomas and others lie awake pondering the unintended consequences of their ruling in Citizens United vs. the Federal Election Commission.

Their 2010 ruling declared that corporations and unions are entitled to the human right of free speech, and thus may spend unlimited amounts on political ads, to which one wag replied, “I refuse to believe that corporations are people until Texas executes one.”

The point is, this circular fight could go on well into summer.

Newt has a friend in Vegas willing, evidently, to spend indefinitely.

Santorum, likewise, has blind citizens groups footing the bill to spread his message. So where's the incentive to quit?

Mitt, Rick and Newt. Three blind mice.

None dared take on Rush Limbaugh after he used his bully pulpit to, well, bully and slander a young woman making the case for contraception as a healthcare benefit. He called her a slut and a prostitute and, by implication, millions of women like her, and none of our gallant mice proved mighty enough to contradict him.

Big surprise.

In their last debate, when a man rose from the audience and asked which of the candidates believe in contraception, no one raised their hand. Santorum, Gingrich and Romney each dodged the question and talked instead about Obama's alleged “war on religion.”

It was a jaw-dropping moment, akin to the time in South Carolina when a member of the audience asked the candidates to raise their hands if they believe in science. Not even Newt, who would later call for building a moon base, would raise his hand.

Such moments are legion.

Santorum's statement that John F. Kennedy's famous speech about the separation of church and state made him want to puke likely cost him the Catholic vote in Michigan. Mitt's many gaffs—about his family's two Cadillacs, the $10,000 he offered to bet Santorum, his comment about how he loves baseball so well that he knows several team owners personally, on and on.

Just who do these candidates expect will vote for the last man standing, most likely Romney, come November?

Republican white guys will vote for him. A majority of rich voters. Toss in some among the Catholic clergy, Southern Baptists, males chauvinists, Tea Partiers, and, well, who else? It's hard to see how Romney, much less Gingrich or Santorum, beats Obama.

As I wrote in my last column, this election is Obama's to lose. He's a rock star with a list of accomplishments that play well to the gallery. He killed bin Laden, rescued a damsel in distress from pirates, kept the economy afloat, bailed out the auto industry, geared down two wars, led from behind to liberate Libya from Gaddafi, reformed healthcare, and cut taxes. His approval ratings have risen to 50 percent.

Still, in politics there are no sure things.

Obama could yet lose this thing. Call it the Black Swan effect, topic for another day.

Right now, Obama's star is rising.