I am pleased to announce that beginning with the New Year, Junior E. Lee, general manager of Round or Square Polls, a division of the Yarbrough Worldwide Media and Pest Control Company located in Greater Garfield, will be offering exclusive analysis of the upcoming presidential election that can be seen only in this space. In addition, if you are bothered with termites, Junior is your man there, too. (He asked me to add that. Junior doesn't want to be seen as a one-trick pony. He is as proud of his reputation as an industry leader in termite eradication as he is of his record as a political prognosticator).
I asked Junior if I could share with you any inside information he had at this point in time. Junior says he predicts we will have a big problem with mosquitoes next year because we have had such a warm winter. I told him that was good to know and I would pass that along, but I thought you might be just as interested in who will be the Leader of the Free World for the next four years. Mosquitoes can be a bother, that is for sure; but the Leader of the Free World can accidentally start World War III and get us all blown to smithereens. I told him I thought you would agree that this can be even worse than a mosquito bite.
Junior is very uncomfortable talking about the presidential election because so many things can happen between now and next November and he doesn't want anyone clipping this column and criticizing him after the elections because things didn't turn out the way he said they would. Junior E. Lee is a very proud man. I assured him that you wouldn't hold that against him and that we were all just looking for some trends.
Junior says President Obama will certainly be the Democratic standard-bearer but is not a shoo-in for re-election. That is because if somebody steals his Teleprompters, he is in real trouble. Junior says when the president is speaking, he acts like he hears mud daubers buzzing, the way he keeps turning his head back and forth. Junior can make a pest control analogy out of almost anything. The man is a genius.
As for the Republicans, Junior E. Lee tends to show a little bias toward Newt Gingrich since, as has been previously reported here, the Gingrich campaign took to heart his suggestion that Newt and Calista revert to their middle names of Leroy and Louise and buy a pickup truck, which costs much less than a diamond ring from Tiffany's and gets much better gas mileage, too. I think there is more to the campaign's turnaround than that but I will have to admit I have in my files a note from Ms. Gingrich (Louise) to Junior thanking him for his suggestions, so I can't totally rule out his influence on the campaign.
As for the other candidates, Junior thinks Mitt Romney looks like he is out of Hollywood central casting and suspects he may really be an actor disguised as a politician and is just making a movie. I told Junior I had to respectfully disagree with that view because only left-wing liberal weenies work in Hollywood and maybe if Romney looked more like Sean Penn or Barbara Streisand, I could buy that hypothesis. Junior agreed and said perhaps he had been inhaling too many organophosphates and wasn't thinking clearly.
Junior said Texas Gov. Rick Perry helped his cause when he could name only eight Supreme Court justices. He couldn't remember Elena Kagan, the newest appointee. Junior thought a lot of Americans would like to forget Elena Kagan, too.
The man to watch out for in the early going is Ron Paul, Junior says. Paul has already run a bunch of times so there is nothing negative about him that hasn't already been said. And he looks like he is mad all the time and that kind of fits the mood of the people in the country who are pretty mad themselves right now.
As for the rest of the Republican candidates, Junior suggests they can stick a fork in their campaigns and go do something productive like rearrange their sock drawers.
After talking to Junior E. Lee, I think you will agree that 2012 is going to be significant for political rhetoric and mosquito infestation. I also think you will agree that we are going to miss 2011.
Reach Dick Yarbrough at firstname.lastname@example.org or P.O. Box 725373, Atlanta, GA 31139.