According to Catholic teaching, St. Jude is the patron saint of desperate or hopeless causes. Many of the presidential candidates have causes that could benefit from divine intervention.
Let’s imagine what their prayers to St. Jude might contain. Here are those at the back of the pack and the odds, according to Bovada, a gambling website, of each becoming president:
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, 25-1, might ask St. Jude, “Please erase the crazy comments I’ve made over the years, like doing away with Social Security, questioning the Civil Rights Act, arguing mountaintop coal mining is good for real estate values, and comparing food stamps to slavery.
Retired pediatric neurosurgeon Ben Carson, 33-1, might say, “I hope my plagiarizing in my book on politics will be forgotten.” His 2012 book, “America the Beautiful,” lifted major passages from other publications. He might want the saint to fix his comparing Obamacare to slavery and saying prison proves being gay is a choice.
Billionaire blowhard Donald Trump, 33-1, could pray that 90 percent of what he said at his announcement speech will be forgotten or seen as jokes. Here’s an example on illegal immigration: “I will build a great wall on our southern border, and I’ll have Mexico pay for that wall.” That New York Daily News front page with him wearing a clown nose and face paint? Make it just the hometown paper having a little fun?
New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, 33-1, could seek punishment “for those idiots who blocked the George Washington Bridge then wrote emails about it.” His former deputy chief of staff and former top executive at the port authority, which controls the bridge, were indicted. A close friend of Christie’s from high school that was an also official at the port authority pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy.
Vice President Joe Biden, 33-1, could ask St. Jude for his previous two runs for president be wiped from the nation’s memory. The first time he was forced to drop out when it was learned that he had stolen details of a British politician’s life in speeches and used them as his own. The second time, running against Senators Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, he never polled above single digits.
Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, 33-1, needs sympathy, since a poll of Maryland Democrats last fall gave him just three percent of the vote compared to 63 percent for Hillary Clinton. He should hope no one sees that David Simon, creator of The Wire TV series and a former police officer and reporter in Baltimore, laid blame for the city’s unrest on O’Malley for his policing practices when he was mayor.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, 66-1, should hope and pray that the national media don’t discover new tax increases that angered Republicans and could sabotage his GOP presidential ambitions. “The bizarre scheme he forced upon the state’s legislature could eventually compromise the renowned anti-tax increase pledge,” Salon found. “Lawmakers passed $750 million in tax hikes to address a $1.6 billion revenue shortfall.”
One-time Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina, 66-1, should pray that voters in New Hampshire don’t learn how many HP jobs were lost when she made a disastrous decision to acquire Compaq Computer. Her opponents surely know the number.
Mike Huckabee, 66-1, former Arkansas governor, should pray that when his unremarkable second try for the Republican nomination fails – as it surely will – that he can get his old job back at Fox playing the guitar, traveling on private jets and warning us about singer Beyoncé.
Lindsay Graham, 100-1, Republican senator from South Carolina, is surely praying that his long-shot presidential campaign doesn’t cost him a chance to do the Sunday TV talk shows where he’s been a fixture for decades. He also needs to quit the race before the campaign comes to South Carolina, since more than 6 in 10 evangelicals don’t see themselves supporting him. He is often criticized for working with Democrats.
Rick Santorum, 100-1, former senator from Pennsylvania, has to hope to improve on his 2008 campaign where he finished second to Mitt Romney. He needs people to be deaf to some of his bizarre notions: Putting women in combat is a bad idea because of “emotions that are involved.” Consensual sex by people of the same sex should be illegal. American culture is being corrupted by professional basketball and rock concerts. Santorum to St. Jude: Please help people understand I am a loving man, even if I seem like a sneering bigot.
Former Texas Governor Rick Perry has a less-than-five percent chance according to another bookmaker. Ditto for former New York Governor George Pataki. Former Rhode Island Governor Lincoln Chafee had no odds given; he might ask St. Jude, “Why am I doing this?”
Dan Payne is a Democratic analyst for WBUR and a contributor to the Boston Globe.