Normally January of the year before an election is too early for The Omnivore to take anything seriously but this year is different. Why? Because the players are taking it seriously—and, it appears, they’re right to. On the Democrat’s side, sure, things are “pretty stable” (right now, at least)—but on the Republican side the positioning is well warranted. A candidate who thinks they might decide to run needs to:
- Position themselves early. They need to get on polling lists of possible candidates, build name recognition, and determine which niche they are going to play in.
- Line up donor support. This is a big one since massive political objects like Jeb Bush (you were expecting a Chris Christie joke, weren’t you) will black-hole-like suck up available funding. This means that if you haven’t laid a foundation today you may be shut out when the primaries technically begin.
That said, it’s interesting to see what some of these people are thinking. Let’s take a look!
|Who Is It?||What Did They Do??||What ARE THEY THINKING??||The Truth|
|Very, very little for now.||Warren’s not gonna run. Nobody else rates.||The narrative about Clinton is that she learned a lot from 2008 and is making all the same mistakes. An oversized, unwieldy, infighting crew. A questionable sense of inevitability. Lack of discipline. Safe speeches punctuated with minor gaffes. The truth is that right now she can afford this.|
| ||Resigned from all his board of directors positions to clear the field so he can run for president. Files papers for new PAC / Death Star.||Mrs. Romney ain’t a-gunna let him do it again.||Mrs. Romney probably won’t let Mitt do it again.|
| ||Quit his FOX TV show so that he can “explore” running for president.This is “exploring” in the same sense that launching a rocket is “trying” to go into space. It might fail—but that’s a crash-and-burn scenario.||SOMEONE’S Special Interest group is gonna get their ass kissed this next cycle … why not mine?? |
Also: How did Christie get so thin??
|It won’t be his. It’ll be the Establishment’s.|
Dr. Ben Carson
|Set a deadline of May 1 for his “decision to run for president.”||Does God want me to do this? Maybe God wants me to do this? Are you there, God? It’s me—Ben???||God does not want Dr. Ben Carson to run for president. Also: It would take a miracle.|
| ||Announced his opposition to John Boehner as Speaker of the House. Also, in 2010, announced America was being infiltrated by “Terror Babies”||Go! Go! Gohmert! Also: Guns will save us from Gay Marriage and Eric Holder’s Islam!! Go! Go! Gohmert!!||Crazy.|
It seems likely that the Republican 2016 primary will be a clash between a favorite and an underdog establishment candidate (say: Jeb v. Christie) and a slew of special-interest candidates (Huckabee, appealing to Iowa so-cons, Rand Paul appealing to young pot smokers and angry techies, etc.). The questions will be around Rick Perry, Scott Walker, and potentials like Bobby Jindal. The issue, though, for them is going to be when they actually get involved and not whether they are better candidates: if Jeb has all the major fundraising locked up and a year’s worth of head-start on his real opposition, the quality of the candidates may not matter. It’s worth remembering that even generally professionally run top-tier candidates failed to get on the ballot in some states for the 2012 elections and even a top-drawer campaign like Hillary’s 2008 group (NOTE: Top-Drawer in the sense that she had every possible advantage coming into the race—not that she executed it well) failed to get some basics right like the caucus states.
In other words, don’t buy that a well funded upstart can just join the game and have a decent shot if their message is good: it’s not that simple. The earlier serious players start making moves, the greater chance of a shut-out for an otherwise serious candidate. This is why we kinda need to be paying attention now—even if things like polling numbers are pretty meaningless.
The Omnivore has popcorn ready!