Not because I love New Year’s Eve parties – they’re OK. But because that means some of these Republican candidates will realize they don’t have a real chance after the primaries really begin and they come face to face with the fact that their nephew’s girlfriend and her family are not enough support to garner the national Republican nomination.
It is obvious by the title of my column that I am not a supporter of these guys (and a lady) in general. But contrary to what people assume the title of this column means I do care about the direction of this country. And I do believe serious conversations need to happen regarding specific policies (what, if anything, should be done about Russian planes crashing for instance). Those conversations are harder to have and less productive when 15 people are trying to be heard.
So thank you to Scott Walker for bowing out even though he has actual executive experience. Thank you to Scott Walker for getting back to working for the people of Wisconsin who have already voted for him and are looking for his leadership. That would have been my recommendation to him if he was still polling at less than 5%.
George Pataki – Seriously dude? You have less than 1% of the people supporting you as candidate. Your time was the 2000 election when you were a strong Republican governor of a big state with lots of Democratic supporters. To try and win the presidency after more than a decade of being a private citizen is a dream. Wake up and stop spending other people’s money.
Lindsey Graham – The fact that you can point out the ludicrousness of the records of the frontrunners and point out your great record and still be as far behind in the polls as you are is evidence that this isn’t going to go your way. If Republican voters really liked you, you would be in third or fourth place waiting for a slip up from Trump or Carson. The reality is that after that slip up the polls indicate that Republican voters are going to shift their support to someone else. You, like Walker, are an elected official right now. As such you could and should be spending most of your energy working for the people of South Carolina instead of chasing what is clearly an unattainable goal at this point.
Both of these guys aren’t going to be invited to the next debate for either the main debate or the preliminary for candidates with significantly less polling support. Time to call it fellas.
Bobby Jindal – Mission accomplished! You have continued to raise your national profile by joining this campaign season. You are not going to win the nomination this year, but at just 44 years old you have another 20 years of being a viable candidate for president. That’s enough for 5 more election cycles; long enough to wait out a Republican win or challenge any Democrats. Challenging Cruz is a great strategy because you have nowhere to go but up while he potentially needs to boost his profile further so he might take the bait. But if and when he ultimately declines you can hold your head high, consolidate your national profile gains, and marshal your support for the future.
Rick Santorum – Your presidential viability is similar to Pataki’s in that your best chances are behind you. The two big differences are that your national relevance is a much more recent phenomenon and that since your defeats in your senatorial re-election bid and 2012 presidential campaign you have remained a public voice in politics. Unfortunately for you those things won’t matter and there is practically no chance you will receive the Republican nomination. Unfortunately for everyone else, your main raison d’etre appears to be running for president. And while I would love for you to drop out of the race to save the country from having to go over your stances on LGBTQ issues which frankly cripple any chance you have of being elected to national office, I hesitate to advocate you not making a living. If speaking engagements are tied to your candidacy, and speaking engagements help you eat, so be it. Keep doing what you’re doing and we’ll see you in 2018 gearing up for your next run.
John Kasich – Timing plays a big role in lots of important things in life. You should be a more viable candidate. You’re fiery. You are the governor of a purple state so you have some degree of bipartisan support. But you haven’t been in the public consciousness long enough to gain the traction needed. This is part of the secret of Trump. While you were working in the private sector, he was appearing on television boosting his Q rating. This is basically tough luck because if you had become governor in the mid 2000s like some in your state wanted, you would have the prominence necessary to become president; if you were younger you could revisit the campaign trail next time around like Jindal probably will. But the big desk isn’t in your future. If you are dead set on getting a national job try cozying up to other candidates and getting a cabinet position.
Chris Christie – On some level I feel bad for you. You played this game perfectly and it looks like you’ll still lose. That’s the reality of the odds when lots of people want the same job. If I was writing this column four years ago I would have said you’re doing everything right: Bipartisan support, not rushing into a national campaign when you’ve just become a household name, rising in the Republican ranks. Somehow the Christie locomotive got derailed and with the emergence of Trump as the Republican from the New York area that everyone is talking about, you’ve been left out in the cold. You might have one more campaign in you but honestly I think your destiny is to the Republican Mario Cuomo. Keep running your state well and in 20 years everyone will say what a great president you would have made. So in losing the presidency at least your legacy is getting a boost.
Rand Paul – Honestly I don’t have any idea why you are running for president. Did you feel like you had to take up the baton and run with it after your father declined? There have never been nearly enough people of a libertarian mindset for you to espouse your views and have a real chance at election. Unlike Santorum, you have a job and don’t need to grind through all these states. Even if you became president I think you would be miserable once you realize how many people are invested in maintaining structures that you believe are obsolete. Running for president is a no win situation because you would be unhappy if you won, but you won’t win so you’ll be unhappy at losing. Go back to the senate and in your down time read some books and go to some concerts. You’ll thank me later.
Mike Huckabee – You are the presidential equivalent of a team that has all-star players and makes the playoffs each year only to fall short and now that championship window has closed. The great thing about being that team is that everyone knows how valuable your players are, so deals are available and you will be courted. Mike, after it becomes clear that you won’t win the nomination you will endorse someone else for president. Your supporters are passionate and are going to be a valuable chunk of the electorate. Enjoy being courted by the front runners in a few months and maybe parlay your influence into the being the running mate.
The real contenders are Bush, Carson, Cruz, Fiorina, Rubio, and Trump so no advice for these folks as they could actually gain the nomination. There you have it. I’ve pared down the list to six (even if Bush is looking shaky). Good luck in Iowa folks.
Trevor Brookins is a free lance writer in Rockland County, New York. He is currently working on a book about American culture during the Cold War. His writing has appeared in The Journal News. You can reach him at [email protected] or follow him on Twitter @historictrev.