Katie Kieffer

Let’s all agree to take a month off from using the word “unelectable.” I promise it won’t be nearly as hard as refraining from using your iPhone for a day.

I recurrently hear people suggest that a seasoned physician-turned-congressman (Ron Paul), a tax attorney-turned congresswoman (Michele Bachmann) and a businessman who took Burger King and Godfather’s Pizza from deficiency to profitability (Herman Cain) are unelectable.

They aren’t unelectable. They simply challenge ageist, sexist, racist and elitist criteria for “electable.”

When someone calls a presidential candidate “unelectable,” it’s wise to consider the source. For example, former Utah governor and presidential candidate Jon Huntsman, Jr. is receiving significant press for calling Bachmann an “extreme” and “unelectable” fringe candidate. Uh, hello? Huntsman is competing against Bachmann and therefore his criticism is neither credible nor worthy of press coverage.

Even well-meaning conservatives fall prey to regurgitating the mainstream media’s mantra. For instance, a successful entrepreneur told me that he “likes Paul” but thinks he’s unelectable because he’s too “quirky.” I recently met a businessman who said, “You know, I agree with everything Bachmann says, but she’s not electable. There’s no way she can win.” Another conservative told me, “I agree with everything Bachmann says, but there’s something about her. I don’t know what it is, she just seems un-presidential.”

Actress Janeane Garofalo actually uttered the following analysis out-loud on Current TV’s “Countdown” program: ‘…Herman Cain, I feel like, is being paid by somebody to be involved and to run for president so that, so that, you go: “Oh yeah, that can’t be racist. It’s a black guy ...”’

If you can’t intelligently articulate why a candidate is unelectable, then you shouldn’t say so. Flippant and unfounded remarks could lead others to blindly subscribe to your way of thinking. Worse yet, you could end up kicking yourself if you realize your favorite “electable” candidate isn’t who you thought he was.


Katie Kieffer

Katie Kieffer is a columnist and political commentator. She runs KatieKieffer.com. Kieffer is the author of the forthcoming book "LET ME BE CLEAR."