Thursday, September 10, 2015

Surveying the Clown Car - 2016 GOP Candidates (Part 2 of 3)

Here's my take on the GOP field, 14 months ahead of the election.

This batch of candidates are the ones I have trouble figuring out why they are even bothering to run.

Gilmore 2016.png
"Gilmore 2016" by Gilmore for America - Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.

Jim Gilmore,  a former governor of Virginia (1998-2002), was an unsuccessful candidate for president in 2008. Withdrawing months before the voting began due to a lack of contributions to fund a credible campaign in the early voting states of Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina, his prospects for improved performance this election cycle are dim.

Graham 2k16.png
"Graham 2k16" by Lindsey Graham 2016 - Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.

I'm not sure what Lindsey Graham is supposed to be bringing to the race. It's not like he's enjoyed wide ranging support from South Carolina Republicans. He's faced opposition from within his own party in his two reelection bids to the Senate thus far. True, he's won handily both times, but he frequently riles his home state base who seem content to keep him in the Senate where he can't really mess anything up. Lindsey may stay in the race until the February 20 SC primary, but he'll leave the race that evening after an embarrassing rebuke from his home state.

Jindal 2016 (Vertical).png
"Jindal 2016 (Vertical)" by Jindal for President - Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.

Bobby Jindal is another candidate seeking to promote the illusion of a GOP which appeals to minorities -- other than 'angry old white people'. Jindal offers nothing fresh or new with the campaign, other than the novelty of an Indian-American, apparently preferring to parrot the same party platform which voters have rejected for the last two elections. Other than winning reelection, Governor Jindal has accomplished little of note to place him on this stage. Expect another early exit here.

Santorum 2k16 text.png
"Santorum 2k16 text" by Santorum for President - Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.

Rick Santorum is trying to recapture a little of the glory of his 2012 campaign, where he managed to win 11 primaries and caucuses, corralling about 4 million votes in the process. Santorum, however, has not been elected to an office since his reelection to the Senate in 2000, and his recycled 2012 campaign message sounds even more outdated. He has nothing new to offer and should be sitting on the sidelines before February ends.

Rand Paul Presidential Campaign logo.svg
"Rand Paul Presidential Campaign logo" by Rand Paul Website ( Vector Source. Licensed under Public Domain via Commons.

Rand Paul is running this year in lieu of his father, perennial Libertarian/Republican candidate Ron Paul. Thus far, Rand has only proven he is not his father. He may have had a chance of picking up his dad's cult-like following in a less crowded field, but given the number of clowns vying for attention this year, there's just nothing in his act to warrant the spotlight. He'll be out of the ring by the time the real show begins.

That's all for batch two. Stay tuned for the final installment and my assessment of the rest of field.