Voters, not pundits, choose the president

Why do they even bother?

Presidential candidates are leaving the race like rats leaving a sinking ship, and the first question that comes to my mind is this: Why did you run in the first place, quitters?

It would seem that the candidates themselves subscribe to the same rhetoric delivered by the pundits who sit on their mountaintops and tell us all who is going to win and lose and thus for whom we should cast our vote.

What a load of, well, you know.

If you really wanted to be president, leader of the free world, most powerful man (or woman) on the planet, why didn't you at least wait until Super Tuesday, you bunch of quitters? I know, I know - you didn't do well in a state known for nothing other than being first and that a lot of people couldn't find on a map. A bunch of people in New England didn't like you either. So naturally, you quit.

What happened to conviction? What happened to your passionate beliefs?

I'll tell you what happened. You believed the pointy-headed media pundits who think they know everything about politics.

Giuliani was the man to beat when this thing began, they said. Then they qualified it by saying at least until Fred Thompson finally tosses his hat in the ring.

Then Mike Huckabee led a few revivals and snuck into the lead. Suddenly, the pointy-heads said Huckabee was the man who might beat Mitt Romney, that is unless he runs out of money.

Then John McCain whispered his way to a win in Florida, and, well, you get the idea.

It's the same on the Democratic side. The pundits have said all along that It Shall Be Hillary Clinton in November. That was until Barack Obama started getting votes and endorsements like it was his birthday. Suddenly, the pundits changed to It Shall Be Hillary - Maybe.

And the candidates are listening. John Edwards swore he would not give up. Then he gave up. Giuliani, the first Man to Beat, said he knew when he was beat, hugged McCain and said fare thee well. And Thompson - whose hat sort of just nicked the ring, spun around on it for a few seconds then barely landed inside it in the first place - quit in much the same fashion.

Quitters. You spent all that money, made all those speeches, worked all those volunteers to death, and for what? To quit before the biggest day of the primary, before you even gave the people a chance to prove the pundits wrong? And now they won't vote for you because they know you're out. So we'll never know if anyone had a chance besides the few picked for us by the media in the first place.

You saw you might lose, so you quit. I would hate for a team I pulled for to play that way. And I'm sure glad the military - that you sought to lead - never fought that way. We'd all be British subjects right now, or at the very least speaking German or Japanese.

I guess we can take solace in the fact that we found out now. Better to know who the quitters are beforehand.

As for the voters, your choices are dwindling. But in the Information Age, you have more ways of learning about the candidates than ever, and your education doesn't have to include listening to the boobs on television. You can go to the Web sites or watch the debates on YouTube. In other words, you can make up your own mind. You don't have to let someone do it for you.

Unlike many ex-candidates for president of the United States.

E-mail Nate McCullough at nate.mccullough@gwinnettdailypost.com. His column appears on Fridays.