Next week, at the Reuters/University of New Hampshire Republican Presidential Debate, congressman Ron Paul will be on stage alone, according to debate organizers. All other candidates have refused to participate.
According to a near unanimous cross-section of the nation's esteemed political journalists former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney already has won the debate, followed closely by Michigan Rep. Michele Bachmann, Texas Governor Rick Perry, pizza magnate Herman Cain and Pennsylvania U.S. Senator Rick Santorum.
Though appearing at the bottom of most debate analyst scorecards, Senator Santorum and Herman Cain both did surprisingly well and "much better than that Ron Paul guy" tying at 9% apiece.
According to highly regarded and very highly paid MSNBC political expert Chris Matthews: "Ron Paul's performance was very bland and he was utterly incapable of distinguishing himself from the others. The guy just isn't important enough to be here and was completely overmatched by every single one of his absent opponents."
In a statement from the Republican National Committee, Senior Committee member Elmer Olmendorff already has sternly rebuked Ron Paul's performance at next week's debate: "Obviously, we all are most proud of the great accomplishments of all of our candidates, except for Ron Paul, whom we all hate very, very much and for damn good reason. If any of the others were going to be there in New Hampshire they all would show you just what I mean when I say that except for Ron Paul, they're all just really damn good Americans."
In a statement to be released next week, immediately following the debate, an obviously jubilant Santorum will appear briefly from his resort hotel in Cabo San Lucas, where he will be vacationing and will say this: "I almost decided to go to the debate but my advisors all told me if I didn't beat Paul this time it was all over for me. I'm glad I didn't go. Obviously, I really whupped his sorry peacenik ass."