Republican Non-Candidates for President & V.P. in 2016

— This article by Jerry Cates, first published on  15 November 2014, was last revised on 3 January 2016. © Govinthenews Vol. 5:11(3).


[Ed. Note: before today, 3 January 2016, the last time this article was revised was on 13 April 2015. All revisions made today will be in maroon type, so the reader will be able to distinguish those recent comments from the ones made early on, in the present campaign season. As will be noted, my views have changed somewhat since the article was first written.]

Most thinking American conservatives (hopefully that’s redundant) have a short list of candidates they think would make a great president or vice president (the criteria for both should be identical, so I won’t make a distinction between them here), people they would love to see in the White House beginning in 2017. I have one myself. But before listing those in the “FOR” column [Ed. note: my FOR list, originally, had one candidate, Scott Walker. His performance as a presidential contender quickly took him off that list, for reasons revealed below], it seems like a good idea to first list those we should place in the “PLEASE DON’T RUN” column. Why? Well, for one thing, it would be nice to see a small list of contenders for the Republican nomination this time. Several who have recently indicated they might run, or who are being touted as “strong possibilities,” either don’t have a snowball’s chance or — given a number of what should be obvious reasons — ought to have the good sense not to try [Ed. Note: well, that sure didn’t happen, as we had more contenders this time than ever before (at least it seemed like it). Evidently, lots of politicos think this is a game they should join in on, just for the fun of it. To them I say “Check your ego, and do what is right for your country, not your own fame and fortune.” Not that they’ll pay any attention]. When such individuals throw their hats into the ring they muddy up the waters, spend money they should not have amassed for the election in the first place, and often resort to character assassinations against others seeking the nomination, particularly toward the end, when their polling numbers start to plummet. That last part, especially, is hurtful to the conservative cause, and needlessly so. We can do better…

Please Don’t Run:

In the following narratives, I’ll explain why I hope each of the potential candidates listed doesn’t run for president and won’t allow themselves to serve as running mate for whomever does run. The explanations are not meant to be offensive, but are candid expressions of my considered opinions. Someone needs to tell these people the naked truth, so here goes:

  • Marco Rubio. You aren’t the one, Marco. It isn’t in the cards. At least I hope it isn’t, because if it is that probably means you will be Jeb Bush’s running mate, and that would be just about the worst thing that could happen to this poor, benighted country of ours. You and Jeb have nothing to offer America that others can offer with a better platform to run on, and without the baggage that comes with either or both of you. [Ed. Note: gotta stick with my first remarks on Marco. He’s not the man for this.]
  • Donald Trump. You are great at what you do, making money (which is a good thing to be able to do, especially when it is done well, the way you do it), and drumming up publicity for things that you are interested in. You should continue to focus on that, and in the process you will continue to help make the U.S.A. an even greater bastion of free-market capitalism. As president of this nation you will bring out all the anti-capitalists in the U.S.A. and the world, to fight you and all that you hold dear. You will be a lightning rod for anti-capitalist sentiment. Today, when socialism, communism, and fascism are rising to new heights of interest throughout the world, the last thing we honest, genuine, dyed-in-the-wool capitalists need is a president who is a lightning rod on which all those fools can focus all their harassment. Our next president needs to be able to speak eloquently on, and engender the trust of, every major segment of this nation’s society. You can’t do that. Don’t even think of running… [Ed. Note: man, do I have mixed feelings about Trump these days. Everything I wrote earlier remains true, yet some of the initiatives the Donald has brought to the fore ring so true as to nullify many of his negatives. Still, he lacks polish, he seems like a genuine bull in a china shop, and — even if I thought he might make a passable president — I am forced to question whether he can muster enough votes to win. In the end, though, I have to say that among all the candidates presently running, he appears to be the most like the True George Washington I’ve been searching for. Honest. Straightforward. Compassionate. Passionate. And more. So, today — 3 January 2016 — he is at the top of my list.]
  • Gov. Rick Perry. You did passably well as Texas Governor (though you could have done better, especially on the front lines of border security and a few other hot button items you were too chicken to tackle with gusto), but as you yourself recently said, being president requires a lot more than what was needed to be governor. You may think you have what it takes, given time to educate yourself on all the extra stuff being president tacks on, but that isn’t likely. We need a candidate who doesn’t need to be prepped hard for the job, especially now. You’ve had one bite at the apple, and it didn’t turn out well. It is possible the next president will hail from Texas, but it won’t be you, because anyone from Texas who runs for president will have to be able to stand (or possibly sit) on the world’s stage and command the utmost respect from all, without faltering, without missing a single beat. You have a legacy of foot-and-mouth disease, and that’s something you don’t shake off easily, if at all. I’d go so far as say it is a part of your character that can’t be excised without making you something you aren’t. Look at our present Vice President as proof of that. Do you want to go down in history as his alter-ego? Please, no Yet, let’s face it, you and he have a lot in common in terms of speaking without thinking from time to time. If you think you’ll change once you’re in the White House, think again. Protect the legacy you have, and consider doing something you can handle, like being a consultant to our future leaders. You’d do well in that role, and our new president, whomever that turns out to be, will surely benefit from your humble, well-thought-out advice and insights. [Ed. Note: Yes, as predicted, he augured in early. Lucky for him, lucky for us.]
  • Dr. Ben Carson. Look, Ben, you’re a great guy, one I respect highly. I’ve followed you since you first gained fame as a talented brain surgeon. And I’ve listened to you speak about the challenges facing this nation. The words you deliver are spot on, but your delivery is less than stellar. There’s no emotion, no excitement, no joie de vivre. You speak quietly, without carrying so much as a toothpick, much less a big stick, and that’ll never work. Bottom Line: You’re a genius in the operating room, Ben, but you’re just not presidential material. Don’t listen to the flattery from those who are urging you to run, and don’t listen to that inner voice that’s “calling” you to run. You’d do a terrible job, because the media and the Left will tear you apart every day you are in the White House, and you won’t have the emotional stamina and chutzpah needed to stand up to them. Our current president wasn’t presidential material either, and that fact doesn’t make it easier for amateurs to take his place; it makes it harder. Being president of the U.S.A. isn’t for amateurs, especially now. You’re a professional in the O.R. but you’re a rank amateur in the political arena. We must have a nominee who is truly, in every sense of the expression, Ronald-Reagan-Like Presidential Material. Face it: you aren’t that, and you never will be. [Ed. Note: It’s all over for you, Ben. Smell the coffee and hang it up. You will make a great Surgeon General, though. A truly great one, in my opinion.]
  • Mitt Romney. You lost last time around, and though part of the reason was that the Left came out in droves to vote for our current president, there was also another reason. You don’t exhibit the gravitas and charisma a presidential contender for the conservative side must have to win. Yes, our recently retired Secretary of State, wife of #42, may turn out to be the Democrat nominee, and yes, she has the gravitas and charisma of a limp noodle, but Democrats don’t need either of those traits to win. Their compelling but false message is made out of fairy tales and visions of a utopian wonderland. That message is all that matters, and it, alone and poorly refuted by those on the right, is sufficient to get voters to the polls in droves. Because we tell the hard, simple truth, our message is not nearly as exciting unless our candidate is able to express those truths in ways that resonate, deep, deep down in the souls of the American voter. We need a nominee with oodles and gobs of gravitas and charisma, not only to win, but to get the conservative message out to America in a strong and convincing manner during the election and beyond. That person must have the kind of charm needed to turn this country around. Accept the truth: you don’t have it. Don’t even THINK of running this time, Mitt. [Ed. Note: he didn’t. Fine with me.]
  • Jeb Bush. Yes, I know. Your past-president father and your past-president brother are banging the drums for you to run and help keep the Bush Dynasty alive. Problem is, Jeb, although the campaign chest your family and their supporters could rake up for you would be formidable, and while you might even make a mediocre president, you’ll have a heck of a time getting the nomination without causing serious rifts in the Republican Party in the process. Too many people out there, including me, don’t have any interest in helping the Bush Dynasty to continue. We’ve had enough Bushes in the White House to last another 100 years without another, and the screwups of your brother’s presidency, though denied and ignored by dyed-in-the-wool Bushites, are thunderously real and will haunt both your campaign and — should you win the election — your time in the White House. Given that kind of baggage you’d almost certainly never make a really great president, at a time when greatness is not an option, but an imperative for the conservative cause. We need a contender who isn’t hamstrung from the very start. You’re not that guy. Pick the person you think is that guy or girl and give them all the support you and your family can muster. That’s the way the Bush legacy can be kept alive, doing whatever it takes for the betterment of America. [Ed. Note: America has spoken, Jeb! Read the writing on the wall and go home. Oh, and keep your opinions on who ought to be president to yourself. Nobody wants to know what you think about that.]
  • Ted Cruz. There’s a lot to like about you, Ted. But you’re a polarizing figure who’ll bring out the worst in the Liberal element in this nation right now. The Liberals love the idea of you running for the GOP, because they know they can turn you into a paper tyrant that cannot possibly win. No matter how great your ideas are, you’d be like Al Capp’s poor old Joe Btfsplk, with a black cloud hanging over you every day of your campaign, and — should you win the election — every day of your administration. After the present President is out we need a time of healing, and though you are a pit bull for the conservative side, you don’t know how to make this nation heal from the wounds the man now in the White House inflicted. Even if you did, though, the Left wouldn’t give you the room needed to make it happen. [Ed. Note: OK, I stand by all I wrote earlier, except for one thing: you aren’t quite the Joe Btfsplk I feared you might be. America is waking up, but — remember this — you didn’t make that happen, Donald Trump did. What Trump has done is to make you more presentable to America, but I think that works only if you are Trump’s Vice President. The two of you would make a great team. If you can muster the votes to get elected, that is. Still a big question mark on that, but chances are Hillary will be at the helm of the Democratic ship of fools, and if you and The Donald work things right, you will be able to not only sink that ship but right America’s ship of state together; we need that healing, and of all the candidates in the running, the two of you seem the most likely to succeed.]
  • Sarah Palin. Look, I was hopping mad when the Democrats took off after you and your family the moment that Arizona senator running for president picked you for his running mate. That wasn’t fair, and it shouldn’t have happened. But I have to be honest, the presidency isn’t your game. Not now, almost certainly not ever. Take all the reasons I mentioned as reasons why Rick Perry, Ben Carson, Mitt Romney, Jeb Bush, and Ted Cruz should not run, and put them under your name, right here. Every one. Except for the dynasty issue all of those reasons fit your case as well. Don’t waste our time or your supporters’ money running for president. It isn’t going to happen. [Ed. Note: she didn’t. Good for her!]
  • Chris Christy. I’m not against fat people. Lots of overweight individuals exhibit jolly, friendly, exuberant personalities that endear them to the general public. Combine that with political savvy and you might have a winning combination. Problem is, though you are certainly overweight, you’re not that jolly. In fact, you’re downright mean. The way you handled BridgeGate made that abundantly clear. I and a whole bunch of conservative Americans have no interest in electing a thug to the presidency, and from all indications — rightly or wrongly — you are nothing but a big fat thug. We’ve had a strong, bitter dose of Chicago-style dirty politics for the past six years now. We don’t need more of the same. Maybe New Jersey needs a governor of that ilk, but America doesn’t need one in the White House once the present thug-in-chief is gone. [Ed. Note: Hey, Chris, I gotta say I dislike you even more now than I did earlier. You’re exactly what we don’t need more of in Washington, but you are not smart enough to recognize you don’t have a chance. Maybe you expect to get a fat job in Washington from whomever does win… Gad, I sure hope not…]
  • Mike Huckabee. You make a great commentator. You made a great governor of Arkansas. You’re a wonderful guitarist, and a fine, upstanding Southern Baptist preacher, besides being one of the nicest, most gentlemanly fellas America has ever produced. But you’d make a lousy president, Mike. America isn’t ready to elect a Baptist preacher, or any kind of preacher for that matter, to the presidency. If you run, you’ll bring out all the nasty anti-Christian sentiment the Left — not to mention the Catholics on the right (an amazing number of which are conservative commentators) who can’t stand the idea of an evangelical in the White House — can muster. Though that burden might seem like a great thing to shoulder, from a Christian perspective, David taking on Goliath so to speak, it makes for a dirty campaign that — in the end — you will certainly lose. Don’t do it. Be a good counsellor to the best possible candidate the American right can bring to the fore. That isn’t you, by the way; it’s someone else who isn’t an ordained minister, with the kind of presence, stature, and charisma exhibited by Ronnie Reagan. You don’t have it. You can’t rally the nation the way our next candidate must. Be a helper. That’s what you do best. [Ed. Note: I like you a lot, Mike, but it’s not in the cards. You are now nothing more than a caricature. Wake up, Fox News can use your commentary.]
  • Michelle Bachman. I hate to do this, but I must tell you, Michelle, that when you speak your delivery makes lots of people, me included, cringe. The problem, I believe, is the unsophisticated way you whine about the opposition. Sarah Palin does the same thing. It doesn’t matter what you are saying, how you say it destroys the message outright. Can anyone with that disability ever become president? Probably. We’ve had worse. But not now. Now this time. And, honestly, just being president isn’t the real object. Doing what needs to be done, with support from the right and from the left, that’s the prize. You won’t be able to do that. Nothing you can do will make it possible for you to do that. It just isn’t in the stars. Give it up. For our sake and yours… [… no comment…]
  • Scott Walker. Wow, I loved your record! You were my pick early on for president. Then came the very late start, when you finally announced your candidacy. And what did you do? You winked! Yeah. I saw the first wink and said to myself, who is he winking at, and what does it mean? A wink, Scott, though sometimes used as a sign of affection or a greeting, is more often used as a sign that you have something to conceal, that you are not 100% genuine, that you present one face to the world, another to those in your inner circle. It signals a personality flaw, one that is deep-seated. Maybe it meant nothing, and I mistook it for something it wasn’t. Maybe, though, it did mean something, because in all honesty I’ve never known anyone who winks habitually that I could trust. I really have no idea if you fit that mold, but I did watch to see if you kept on winking, and day after day, yes, it was still there as part of your “act.” Not good, Scott. Ditch the wink. You may think you lost ground because of the bad press about your lack of a college degree, but I don’t think that was it. It was the wink. Nobody trusts a winker, any more than a wanker. A word to the wise…
  • More… [Ed. Note: Actually, I think that’s enough for now…]


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