Scoring #16, John Kaisch enters the race today. He's a big gun, really. Good resume. Smart guy. Hails from all-important Swing State Ohio. If anyone oughta be a game-changer, it's him.
But He Can't Win!
Yeah ... FiveThirtyEight says he's running, Huntsman-like, against the base. He's even got some of the advisers from the former Huntsman team. The problem is he has to win a GOP Primary and he's barely a conservative.Number of articles on GOP presidential contenders in today's @nytimes & @washingtonpost: Donald Trump - 8 Jeb Bush - 1 John Kasich - 0— John O'Connor Jr. (@JohnOCJr) July 21, 2015
Sure, his time in the debates will change that--except he isn't likely to be in the big one.
On The Other Hand . . .
John Kaisch is an underrated candidate. Firstly, he's a best-fit for a lot of the GOP voting blocs that aren't looking at either Trump or Rick Santorum. Secondly, his resume is, really, second to none. While he has some bad stuff in his history (allowing Obamacare in his state) from a right-wing perspective he's likely to match well against Clinton.
That's important: once the serious period of the primaries start, the largest voting bloc (moderates, fiscal conservatives, foreign-policy hawks) will be looking for an electable candidate . . . and probably one whose last name isn't Bush. Kaisch compares well to first-term Senator Rubio in this regard.
Also, it's probably Kaisch can execute well: Look--Huntsman's campaign was actually pretty well run until he came back from China and ruined it all. So if he has the same guys and a better plan? Who knows. In the case of Kaisch, it hinges on New Hampshire--which is smart: guys like Santorum, Huckabee, and probably Cruz won't have a lot of street-cred there (also: Trump). The competition with other rational moderates will be stark.
If he takes New Hampshire and can get funding . . . he's a good contender.
The Net-Net on Kaisch
Kaisch will only have an impact on the race if things break his way--and he doesn't screw anything up. That could happen--but it probably won't--especially since he's starting so far in the hole and likely won't make the first debate stage.
Conservatives are saying this is a great super-strong field. In some senses that's true--but in other senses it isn't. Forget about Trump, the fact that guys like Huckabee and Carson and Cruz, all of whom are far less quality candidates than Kaisch, are out-polling him dramatically means that while the field has several very strong candidates, the electorate in general isn't interested in quality control.
If Kaisch never catches fire and just fades away, his arc will be further proof of the GOP's reluctance to view statesmanship as a valuable quality in a potential leader.
What IS He Thinking?
He's thinking he should have gotten into the race sooner, is what he's thinking. Maybe in 2012. John Kaisch probably thinks that sharing the stage with the also-rans would be an ignominous beginning-end of his campaign. Sure: he's braced for the long game--but hoping your opponents flame out and that you can somehow capitalize isn't a strategy. What's going on in his brain though?
Let's listen . . .
Dammit--I should have launched this shit earlier. With Trump out there, how am I gonna get my campaign bounce. Maybe I should give him my phone number . . .
Let's see--who am I up against?
Santorum? Pfft. Non-starter. Jindal? He's supposed to be clever. I can't see it. Fiorina? A chick?? Is this what we've come to? Maybe I'll have a beer with Graham after it's over. He'll probably be depressed too.
. . . I CAN'T BELIEVE I'M BEHIND CHRISTIE!! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE!!?? Ohh--I despair!