Rich Tucker

Maybe the blistering August heat is just too much.

We’re still more than a year from the next presidential election, and the cast of characters involved seems underwhelming. It’s difficult to get excited over whether or not Mitt Romney was able to convince a few thousand Iowans to eat his free food and cast a straw poll ballot for him.

On the other side of the political aisle, the candidates seem convinced that what voters want is for the U.S. to withdraw immediately from Iraq. Sen. Barack Obama, for example, seems to be saying he’ll yank our troops from Iraq so they’ll be available to invade Pakistan. Good luck getting congressional approval for that redeployment.

But this race, like our environment in a typical August, could still heat up. After all, two of the most interesting characters in the presidential race aren’t yet (officially) in the presidential race.

On the GOP side, former Sen. Fred Thompson is acting like a candidate, and the media is treating him like one. The New York Times recently assured us he’s collected himself a “trophy wife,” (do you get one at the trophy store or the wife store?), and The Washington Post has already done a front page story explaining that Mrs. Thompson used to date a deadbeat. Raise your hand if you expect the paper to do similar hard-hitting reporting on any Democratic spouses.

From the left, former candidate Al Gore may still jump into the race. Gore’s generated plenty of support with his anti-global warming crusade. We can only hope his heated rhetoric about global warming causes less damage to the environment than all the greenhouse gasses he generates while jetting around the planet to give speeches.

And global warming, apparently, is a fact. Earlier this month Newsweek featured a cover story explaining that those of us who’re skeptical of the Gore position are “well-funded naysayers who still reject the overwhelming evidence of climate change.”

Well funded, eh? Clearly the magazine’s editors haven’t seen the balance of my checking account. Our family floats more checks than there are icebergs in the North Atlantic. And the point isn’t “climate change.” Nobody doubts that the climate changes. It’s hot in August, cold in February. There are two real questions here: “Have humans caused the climate to change?” and, if one believes we have, “what are you going to do about it?”

I doubt humans have had much to do with “climate change.” The planet goes through warm periods and cold periods. It did so before mankind walked the earth, and it’ll do so long after we’re gone.

Rich Tucker

Rich Tucker is a communications professional and a columnist for