Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Walker's Out. Who's Next?

Scott Walker, Govenor of Wisconsin has "suspended" his campaign for President, which is the new word candidates use instead of "quit." He joins another Govenor, Rick Perry of Texas, who suspended his campaign a few weeks ago. The whittling down of the  republican field has begun.

That leaves us with 13 official candidates if you count Lindsey Graham who swears up and down that he's running for President and has a web site and everything! It also includes a former Governor of my state, Jim Gilmore, who may or may not have a website, since absolutely no one has ever checked.

So, the question then becomes, who will drop out next? When I casually informed my wife of the news that Scott Walker was out, her reply was, "Scott..who?" I hold my wife's political instincts in high regard precisely because she isn't all that interested in it and because of that she is very much like the average voter. She isn't totally disinterested, or even uninformed, she just has a life outside of politics, like most of us who don't live inside the beltway. She is the type of person that all of these candidates have to win over if they want to become President. They can win the nomination without people like her, but not the big prize. So, when Pam can't remember Scott Walker's last name despite watching both debates...well, that explains his exit. So, who "suspends their campaign" next?

The easy answer would be the less than 1% guys like Graham, Gilmore, Pataki, etc.. But they can be tricky. When you're that pathetic, you don't have much of a payroll to start with, so you can last a bit longer. Plus, these people aren't really running to win, they're running for a variety of other reasons. For some, it's to enhance their speaking fees,(Graham), or help them sell a book,(Huckabee), or the burning desire to be relevant again,(Pataki). For a guy like Gilmore, it's something to do to get him out of the house.

Of the top tier candidates then:

1. Rand Paul. He looks miserable on the stump, like he can hardly stand having to compete with an idiot like Mike Huckabee for campaign cash. And speaking of money, his has about dried up. His libertarian moment has passed, and the American people will never elect a guy who never smiles. We prefer happy warriors. Paul smirks too much, and it's hard for people to connect with a smirker, no matter how smart or right he is.

2. John Kascich. He's the John Huntsman of 2016, every democrat's favorite republican. He's got lots of experience in government, as both a Congressman and Governor, which is good or bad, I suppose,
depending on how well connected you want your President to be. As a moderate, he's that rare republican candidate that gets sympathetic press coverage, but republican voters have always been rightly suspicious of any candidate that the press likes, sensing that it's a trap.

3. Chris Christie. Again, my wife had a great observation the other night.."How is it that Chris Christie is damaged goods because of that bridge-gate thing, and yet Hillary Clinton mishandles classified e-mails and the press hardly bats an eye?" Why indeed? Actually the question answers itself. Quick, name the last republican candidate to be endorsed by the New York Times? Times up! Christie showed a lot of promise in 2015, but that was a long time ago in politics. 

4. Mike Huckabee will finally bow out after he thinks he has sold enough books or put himself in a better negotiating position with Fox for a new show...and not a minute earlier!! His exit from the campaign will be mourned by... no one.

That leaves us with six serious candidates...Trump, Bush, Carson, Fiorina, Cruz and Rubio.

You heard it here first.