In January 2015 Barack Obama’s reign of education reform, great speeches and drone dropping was nearing its end.
Since then, much like Tony Abbott sniffing Labor blood on 2013 winds, one by one, Rebuplican candidates have been scratching their wrinkled heads, thinking ‘Why not?’ and announcing that yes, they would be running for President of the United States.
Our last election led to the John Hammond-obsessed Clive Palmer entering office, of all people. Well, it’s been a free for all for the Republicans in America too, although they believe not so much in a fair shake of the sauce bottle as a fair shake of an angry fist at all the Mexicans and Islamites so bent on stealing American jobs (that even Americans would never do for such low pay) in order to escape poverty and war (how dare they).
Let’s take a look at some of the Republicans’ would-be presidents, and try to figure out where they went wrong.
The One Black Guy
Ben Carson is a retired neurosurgeon, famous for the medical advances he made during his distinguished career. But if he had one thing going for him this election, it was that Cuba Gooding Jr played him in a TV movie in 2009 based on his life. Sadly, the incredible daytime TV ratings he generated seven years ago weren’t enough, and he left the race in March after endorsing Trump, to chair a group that encourages Christians to exercise their civic duty to vote (presumably for Trump).
The One Woman
Cara Carleton “Carly” Fiorina was, at least for a time, the Republican party’s secret weapon against their greatest their most fearsome enemy this election season. As a woman, Fiorina could freely attack Hillary Clinton without seeming sexist, and did so on several occasions. As an incredibly wealthy business person and the only woman in the Republican camp, it was thought Fiorina might be able to garner significant support for her candidacy. That proved not to be the case, and she withdrew in March, throwing her support behind anyone other than fellow business mogul Donald Trump.
The One Latino
Marco Rubio was one of the least wealthy Republican candidates this time around, but benefited from enormous donations undisclosed due to a loophole in the law.
While he was considered a frontrunner early in the year, things took a turn for the worse after Rubio made personal attacks on Donald Trump, including the devastating insult that Trump had “small hands”. He suspended his campaign in March after losing in his home state of Florida to everyone’s favourite Apprentice star by a huge margin.
The White Men Aged 65-75
Now we come the ‘really’ important group. The first in this ‘liberally’ populated category is the man who would have been president in 2008, if it wasn’t for that darn Barack Obama that is. Yes, ‘Mormon Mitt’ Romney decided it was better not to even try this year.
Still, plenty of other George Bush lookalikes entered the presidential pony race, including George Bush’s less-reviled but also less-popular brother Jeb. The second son of Bush Sr, Jeb is actually an experienced politician, having been Florida’s only two term Governor in the 2000s. George Bush didn’t exactly come out in support of his brother, but instead said simply, “[Jeb] wants to be President.” Jeb! Inc folded in February after failing to generate any traction with Republican voters.
Other would-have-been world leaders include Jim Gilmore, who received a total of 12 votes in Iowa, Rick Santorum who promotes the teaching of intelligent design in schools, and Rand Paul who raised $1 million in the day after his announcement and came up with the slogan, “Defeat the Washington machine. Unleash the American Dream.” Mike Huckabee, Chris Christie, Lindsey Graham, George Pataki, Rick Perry and Scott Walker also hoped to take advantage of the Democrat’s lack of an incumbent president, and if you’ve ever see a whiter list of names than that it will probably be on an Australian election ballot some time this year.
In the beginning the Republican party created 17 possible presidents. But like wheat before the rotating blades of the candidate’s race, they have been whittled down to three. Ah, what could have been. It makes me sad to think of so many young boys (and one girl) who once dreamed of being president and probably never will. Oh well, at least they have plenty of money.
So after all that carnage, who remains to step up to the presidential podium? A mere three white men remain: Donald Trump, who is leading the race by several hundreds of delegate votes; Ted Cruz, who most Republicans are so “viscerally” disgusted by, in the words of Gawker, that they only support him because he’s their only chance of preventing Trump setting up a steak outlet in the White House, and then only grudgingly; and finally, John Kasich, the Governor of Ohio who is the only bastion of good sense, and I use that term liberally, in the remaining Republican candidates.
Kasich is doing pretty badly compared to the other two, but could do well if neither Trump nor Cruz gets enough delegate votes to win at the Republican convention in July. If that turns out to be the case, and it will all depend on the big states to come in the next few months such as New York, then the delegates who received their voting mandate based on which of the three got the most votes in each of the many, many counties in America will have the opportunity to vote for whoever they want. In which case, no one really knows what will happen, which pretty much sums up the American presidential candidates race so far.
*Words by Mat Drogemuller. Follow him on Twitter.