Commentary: Romney will win Florida ... unless manatees grow wings

The Miami HeraldJanuary 11, 2012 

Florida is being overrun by pundits and pollsters in advance of the upcoming Republican presidential primary.

That’s because (a) everyone is sick of Des Moines and Manchester in the winter, and (b) the Florida primary is actually important, unlike the Iowa caucuses or the balloting in puny New Hampshire, which barely has half the population of Miami-Dade County.

The national media’s mission in the weeks ahead is to inject the Florida primary contest with high drama and suspense. In reality, the race is easy to call.

Mitt Romney wins here in a cakewalk if:

He isn’t struck by lightning or swallowed by a sinkhole.

He continues to avoid taking bold, definable positions, especially on immigration.

He remains amnesic about the Obama-like health-care reform he initiated as governor of Massachusetts.

His hair stays perfect.

He doesn’t make campaign appearances with Sarah Palin, Donald Trump or Dog the Bounty Hunter.

He doesn’t get caught with a loaded Glock at a South Beach nightclub.

He doesn’t hit on LeBron James’ fiancée in the produce aisle of Epicure.

He doesn’t sneak off to the Bahamas on a yacht named Monkey Business.

He doesn’t turn up in an old strip-club photo with his arm around Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein.

He doesn’t say anything good about Casey Anthony.

He doesn’t say anything good about BP.

He doesn’t say anything good about Fidel Castro.

He doesn’t say anything good about Raúl Castro.

Newt Gingrich has a chance to win in Florida if:

Mitt Romney trips over his wand during a campaign stop at Universal’s Harry Potter theme park and is forced to drop out of the race.

Rick Perry opens his mouth even once during the debates.

Ron Paul offers to dismantle America’s entire nuclear arsenal if Iran agrees to be nicer to us.

Rick Santorum says Planned Parenthood is part of a vast international conspiracy to steal human embryos and breed a super-race of illegal farm workers who can pole-vault over the giant electrified fence he wants to build along the Mexican border.

Jon Huntsman keeps doing whatever he’s been doing.

Rick Perry has a chance to win in Florida if:

Mitt Romney is trampled by addled goats at the Okeechobee County Fair and is forced to drop out of the race.

Newt Gingrich campaigns in the Panhandle wearing a five-karat diamond ear stud from Tiffany’s.

Rick Santorum stands on Calle Ocho with a bullhorn repeating his demand for legislation making English the official language of the United States.

Ron Paul is allowed to fully explain libertarianism during the debates.

Jon Huntsman keeps doing whatever he’s been doing.

Rick Santorum has a chance to win in Florida if:

Two days before the big vote, Mitt Romney, Newt Gingrich, Rick Perry, Ron Paul and Jon Huntsman are caught poaching baby alligators with bang-sticks after a drunken midnight airboat jaunt through the Everglades. In disgrace all are forced to drop out of the GOP race, leaving Santorum alone on the ballot.

Ron Paul has a chance to win in Florida if:

The state’s entire water supply is mysteriously contaminated by a rare amoebic parasite that robs its human victims of all free will and common sense, pitching them into a helpless daze in which they robotically obey all telephoned instructions, no matter how bizarre.

Paul’s senior staff, drinking only bottled seltzer, spends every last dime of his campaign war chest on a sophisticated call center that contacts every registered Republican in Florida one hour before the polls open, urging them to vote for Paul, vote for Paul, vote for Paul . . .

Fifty-one percent do. The other 49 percent cast their ballots for Sir Paul McCartney.

Running last and least is Jon Huntsman. If he’s still in the race by Jan. 31, he has a chance to win in Florida only if:

Manatees grow wings.

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