We’re coming up on primary season here in these great United States, and it just wouldn’t be a GOP primary without the spoiled son of a self-made tycoon grabbing a lot of media attention before he flames out (*cough*STEVE FORBES!*cough*), followed by voters coming to their senses and selecting somebody with a chance of actually winning.
But until then, we’ll be hearing about President Trump. Why? We lay it out for you here on Uproxx News.
In primary years past, Democrats tend to run a chaotic field full of anybody with even a tangential party connection and a few million bucks, while Republicans tend to nominate their presidential candidates by picking the guy who worked the hardest. The guy who spent years running a huge state as governor, the Senator with decades of experience, the guy who has spent years building contacts, working the room, and is generally perceived to have earned a shot at the top job…that’s who they nominate. Usually, he has to have taken at least one previous shot at the title and lost (Ronald Reagan, for example, went for the gold in 1968 and came up short).
Unfortunately, that guy doesn’t seem to be interested this go-round. So the GOP is taking a page from the Democrats and letting pretty much anybody run this time.
Part of this is simply that the GOP itself is more like the Democrats usually are, fractured and squabbling. Depending on who you ask, either the last election was proof the Tea Party was not the way to victory, or it was. Nobody really knows.
The other problem is, well, the candidates themselves. Pretty much everybody running has some sort of problem that makes them unelectable:
- Mitt Romney’s term as governor of Massachusetts was disastrous, with the one bright spot, Massachusetts’ health care system, actually being a black mark against him because it’s the model for the dreaded Death Panels Job Eating Health Care Thingamajig, something the Democrats are having a field day with.
- Tom Pawlenty is…well, have you heard of him?
- Sarah Palin is considered a cartoon character.
- Haley Barbour has a funny name and a pretty long history of sticking his foot in his mouth when it comes to race, making him pretty much the worst candidate to run against a Black guy ever.
- Michelle Bachman terrifies pretty much everybody.
- Jon Huntsman is actually working for Obama right now, in the fairly crucial role of Chinese ambassador.
- Mitch Daniels is very moderate, and also short.
- Mike Huckabee’s career as a governor has mostly been forgotten, and he has turned into a birther.
- Newt Gingrich is Newt Gingrich.
Needless to say, this isn’t a field that really lights a fire in the kind of person who votes in a primary, which is generally the more conservative wing of the GOP.
Cue Trump. He’s got everything he needs to be leading the polls at this point: name recognition and money. He can spend to get his name out there, and his name is already out there thanks to “The Apprentice”. Also helping is the fact that he’s saying things like he won’t reveal his tax returns until Obama reveals his birth certificate, which plays well with the far right and absolutely nobody else.
None of this is to say that when push comes to shove, he’ll get a single vote. Ron Paul had similar recognition, and he’s still ensconced firmly in the legislative branch, the executive firmly beyond his grasp.
So, don’t worry, Trump’s presidential run is a joke. The GOP is just hoping that the run of whoever beats him isn’t a joke as well.
- Trump grabs lots of media attention, turns himself into an even bigger joke than he already is (Associated Press)
- Meanwhile, if the election were run today, Obama would trounce everybody in the field. (Politico)
- Meanwhile, hard on the heels of the tragedy in Japan, America is dealing with its own natural disasters this week. Over the past three days, 15 states have dealt with tornado strikes, killing 45 people, including more than twenty in South Carolina. Elsewhere in the country, hailstorms and winter weather are causing their own damage, with Wisconsin expected to see a foot of snow. Our thoughts are with those picking up after the tornadoes, and we’d encourage our readers to look into sending whatever help they can. (Reuters)
- The last major storm system of this magnitude, in 1999, caused $1.5 billion in damages (NOAA)
- 34% of Americans identify themselves as Republicans. 35.3% are Democrats, and the other third are members of the Apathy Party. (Rasmussen)