Friday, May 29, 2015

George Pataki: WTF!??

George Pataki--P-A-T-A-K-I? Former Governor of New-Fucking-York?? What do you mean you never--oh, forget it . . .
Former New York governor George Pataki threw his hat in air and discovered it landed "in the ring." He's running for president.

Look, George: The Omnivore made a pledge to do a write-up on every GOP candidate when they announced and so The Omnivore now has to do YOU. That's a bit selfish of you, don't you think? This--this running for president thing--we get it: you're sixty-nine. You know it's over. We know it's over. Do you really think this is going to help?

:: Sigh ::

He Can't Even Come Close To Winning
George is a foreign policy hawk--who wants to send troops in to attack ISIS (and then "get out"--that's his plan, like he's the first guy to ever conceive of an exit-strategy. If ONLY Bush had thought about bringing the troops home some day??). He's a semi-liberal with "pro" positions on cap and trade and the environment.

He's pro-abortion rights--but anti-Same-Sex-Marriage. He's tough on crime (likes the death penalty)--but supports freakin' gun control. Who exactly is going to vote for this guy?

No one, it seems.

FiveThirtyEight gives us Why he's hopeless in two charts. The first chart is his conservative-cred rating next to everyone else. He is at the very top of the chart--the LEAST conservative guy on the radar (and "the radar" is expansive enough to include like Richard Nixon). So he's a 'moderate.'

Then there's this: How many Republicans say they're moderate?

Well, he polls at almost nothing and he won't get on the debate stage for the first debate unless he signs on with FOX as a janitor to sweep up after--but it's a free country, right?

On The Other Hand . . .
Huckabee claims to be in decent health--but what if he had a massive heart attack? Carson used to be pretty politically mild: what if his new-found right-wing stance turns out to be the result of an aggressive personality-altering brain tumor? Suppose Scott Walker hires a guy to take a lead pipe to Jeb's knee--successfully crippling him--but then gets caught for it?

Rick Santorum could then fall off a stage in Iowa: It happened to Bob Dole. Suppose he wound up in traction? Then Carly Fiorina gets indicted--with video proof--of having embezzled 4.3 million while at Hewlett Packard.

Ted Cruz, seeing the field open before him, pats himself on the back and pulls a muscle. On medication for the pain he forgets his own platform during the debates, winds up crying into a beer with Rick Perry . . .

And then what if Marco Rubio gets caught . . . uhm . . . something-something with farm animals? Hey: IT COULD HAPPEN.

In that unlikely event, Jeb Bush in a wheel chair would still beat George Pataki. This ain't figure-skating.

The Net-Net On George Pataki
The story around George isn't the quixotic nature of his run-for-president (does he really think the un-filled niche people are looking for is a moderate with a claim to bi-partisan policy positions?)--it's that apparently anyone can run for president this year--and unlike years before, this time everyone is.

Oh, sure: Santorum may have hopes of scoring Veep (ain't gonna happen) and Pataki may see this as a way to get his muddled message out that'd be beyond his capabilities otherwise--but the problem for the GOP is that all this extra activity isn't risk or pain free.

Pataki is not a clown in the way that Donald Trump (who may yet make the first debate) is--but his jumping in doesn't help with the perceptions of the "clown car" effect. Right now the "invisible primary" is happening for both the GOP and the Democrats and it isn't going well. The "invisible primary" is where the establishment determines who they're going to back and then lends their support to that candidate. This is a big edge to whomever they pick and right now they haven't picked anyone.

It's possible the "establishment" won't: it's happened before--and it can lead to weak candidates and electoral churn. Here's a picture (What Happens If The Republican Party Can't Decide):
This somewhat confusing graph (read the linked article--it's good) shows the relatively powerful ascension of Al Gore in terms of "Endorsement Points" (a 538 measure of how well endorsed a candidate is by the party establishment) contrasted to past candidates where the establishment didn't coalesce rapidly around one candidate at this time before Iowa.

That red-dot in the lower left? That's where total GOP endorsement is today: nowhere. There is no candidate emerging as a consensus. In normal-people national polling the same thing is happening: the latest Quinnipiac national GOP poll has a 5-way tie: Bush, Walker, Rubio, Huckabee, and George Pataki--oh, ha ha, no, sorry--and Carson, all pulling 10%. Pataki wasn't on there.

Sure, it's early--but The Omnivore wonders what exactly is supposed to happen to make this shake out before the real voting starts? The debates seem likely to be dueling talking points. Asking who polls best against Clinton gets Rand Paul (a non-starter)--so, what?

Now George Pataki won't make any difference in this one way or the other--but the fact that things are flat and more people are still piling in is noise the system doesn't need. It's also the case that when the real voting begins the large number of candidates could fracture various base elements and give a third-choice candidate the win.

Jeb's hoping for that, anyway.

Okay--But What's Pataki Thinking?
Pataki really is just doing this to build his brand (such, erm, as it is). He knows Kasich has a lock on running-for-Veep. He knows Santorum might think he could score Veep (hey--next in line, right?). He knows he'll be lucky to get in one debate. Still, that's more time on national TV than most people get--especially washed up 69 year-old has beens.

Let's read his mind!

That's right you press-corp vampire motherfuckers: COVER MY ASS. Ha! You HAVE TO, don't you? Dance, puppets, DANCE!! Look at me: Front page of Politico. Who'da thunk it. Man: I get on that stage I'm going right after Bobbly Jindal like a goddamn torpedo. I can score on that sonovabitch like nothin'! 

I  . . . I wonder if I could get like a super-Pac? I can't be the only guy without one, can I? How hard could it be. I bet fucking Jindal has a Super PAC. Hell, Donald Trump is a Super PAC. Fuck. Maybe I could Google how to set one up. It'd be embarrassing not to have one. Who could I call, huh? Man--I wish I had staff for this. 

Santorum? I bet that motherfucker has two fucking SuperPACs. Shit.

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