Saturday, October 31, 2015

More fun paring back the candidates

Happy halloween card with a hand drawn skull Free Vector
Freepik image
My Halloween post is dedicated to the GOP Presidential candidates without prospects who remain in the race.  This group collectively absorbs attention and resources best allocated to the inevitable contenders.  More about the likely finalists later.

First, let's call out the hopeless candidates, in no order of importance.  All fine men to be sure -- but enough already -- fold 'em!

Jeb Bush - Peggy Noonan gets it right today in her column  ("The Not Ready for Prime Time Bush").   A few years ago, Jeb Bush's wholesome character, patrician roots and steady public demeanor might have allowed him to coast to the nomination.  That is exactly what scores of professional pundits predicted last year.  I didn't buy into the inevitability predictions, but I would have supported his candidacy.  Unfortunately, we're too sick of seven years of Obama-Pelosi-Reid-etc. to make Jeb Bush's run viable.  Please exit with dignity soon.

We want someone to whip hell out of the Left and an angry base has lost confidence in establishment candidates.  That's not an original analysis -- but it makes a great deal of sense when one tries to understand this race.  It's also why many Republicans have tolerated, even been attracted to the boorishness of Trump and overlooked the silly or disgraceful things he's said on the trail. 

Bobby Jindal -- John Kasich -- Mike Huckabee -- George Pataki -- All current or former governors, all with good records and all putting us to sleep.  I'm not saying that the present hunger for combativeness and street smarts is a good thing.  I'm simply saying it is palpable and strong enough to sink all of them.  It's over.  Please exit with dignity soon.

Rick Santorum -- Lindsey Graham -- Both distinguished themselves in the Senate, both are one dimension candidates: Mr. Santorum's brand is one of strong Social Conservatism and Mr. Graham's is one of strong National Defense and both were finished before they began their campaigns.  Please exit with dignity soon.

Rand Paul -- Like his father, he's superb on fiscal matters but too isolationist for our times.  Additionally, his debate exchange with Governor Christie on privacy rights vs. national security, was inept and wrong-headed.  Please exit with dignity soon.



I'm still on the fence about Chris Christie, and I've said nothing about the prospects of Ted Cruz, but it doesn't matter.  The GOP presidential nominee will be Marco Rubio who will tap Carly Fiorina as his running mate.  It will be a formidable ticket.

Donald Trump and Ben Carson will decompose in the coming months and try to trade whatever political capital they have in the form of an endorsement, for something they can use to remain relevant.  They will not fade away from politics as Ross Perot did after he garnered 19% of the popular vote in 1992 running as an Independent.