OK, who ISN’T running for the GOP nomination? Anybody?

Iowa-Republican-debate-007

The 2012 Republican primary field in Iowa may almost double in size for 2016.

 

Over the weekend, Chris Christie, Ted “The Texas Show Pony” Cruz and Marco Rubio all traveled to Athens to court the GOP base at the Georgia Republican convention.

Scott Walker spent the weekend in Iowa, where Rick Perry will be all week. Jeb Bush, in an interview with Christian conservative media over the weekend, says he’s against gay marriage, and also not too happy with any more questions about Iraq.

Lindsey Graham trotted out his tough-guy persona for Iowa Republicans and says he’s running for sure. Bobby Jindal has also formed an “exploratory committee,” although I don’t think it has to explore beyond the Louisiana budget mess to get the answer that he doesn’t want to hear. Carly Fiorina, believing that nothing qualifies you for the White House better than a failed tenure as CEO and a double-digit loss in a Senate race, nonetheless stole the show at the Lincoln Dinner in Des Moines on Saturday night, which is hard to do when you share the bill with Donald Trump’s hair.

Oh, and former New York Gov. George Pataki, Rick Santorum and Ben Carson were there in Des Moines too.

Did I overlook somebody? Oh yeah. Rand Paul. Anybody else? John Kasich? That’s right, the governor of Ohio? How could I forget? He’s now “virtually certain” to run as well, with trips already planned to New Hampshire and here in Georgia. So that’s 15 by my count, and I may have missed a few. (UPDATE: Huckabee! I missed Mike “You Don’t Need No Stinking Diabetes Medicine” Huckabee! So that’s 16.)

And here’s the scariest thing you’ll read today: The first Republican presidential debate is just 11 weeks away, with Fox News as its host. It is scheduled for the Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland, with a capacity of more than 20,000. So it might be a little tight, but I suspect they’ll be able to fit all the GOP hopefuls.

You may recall that as part of its autopsy of its 2012 presidential loss, the Republican Party decided that it needed to take a much stronger hand in running its debates, with RNC Chairman Reince Priebus suggesting that the party would go so far as to hand-select moderators. Alarmed by its huge field, the RNC was also talking last week about trying to limit the number of debate participants to a dozen or perhaps as few as nine, which even then would be extremely unwieldy and unpredictable.

But which nine? And who would select them? Could a party trying to highlight its alleged diversity beyond white middle-aged men really ban Carson, Jindal and Fiorina from participating, even though they are clearly on the bottom rung of credibility? Could a party struggling to reconcile its establishment and Tea Party wings allow that establishment to arbitrarily define Tea Party-type candidates out of the debate?

All of a sudden, the prospect of party-run debates began to seem much less appealing. “Ultimately it’s the networks’ decision,” RNC chief strategist Steve Spicer told National Journal. “There’s an obligation for the party to make sure the standard is fair. But it’s not our decision.”

As some Republicans like to spin it, their huge field is evidence that the Democrats are eminently defeatable next year, that Hillary Clinton will prove to be such a weak candidate that everybody wants a shot at her. I don’t buy it.

Look at the last cycle: At various points in the primary season, 11 different GOP candidates or potential candidates led in at least one national poll, including Sarah Palin, Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, Trump, Michele Bachmann, even Herman Cain. Most of that crowd were no more qualified to be president than the average person walking down the street, but for at least a time, their ability to tell the GOP base what it wanted to hear turned them each of them into the frontrunner. It was pure show biz.

And frankly, much of the country watched that revolving set of frontrunners with a combination of horror and amazement. You cannot sell yourself as a party that is ready to govern when Herman Cain is leading in Republican polls. Priebus and his colleagues have hoped that they could avoid a repeat of that in 2016 by tinkering with the debate schedule, primary schedule, moderator selection process, etc.. But those variables didn’t create the problem, and changing them can’t fix it.

Don’t get me wrong: The potential 2016 GOP field is considerably deeper than its 2012 field, which consisted largely of Mitt Romney and a succession of pretenders. The 2016 field, in contrast, has three to five people whom you could legitimately see as the party’s nominee. In one sense that’s a sign of strength for the party, but given how much turmoil the party suffered in 2012 trying to winnow the field to the only credible person they had available, it may be suggest an even more trying winnowing process come 2016.

Reader Comments 0

1242 comments
juvenal
juvenal

to the person who called me a liar when i pointed out she supported t-pp as sec state, check npr TODAY on the 7th Q........

td1234
td1234

These are actually suppose to be smart people. 


"Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Vanita Gupta’s remarks to a group of Colorado lawyers Tuesday claimed black people don’t trust police largely because they once enforced slavery and Jim Crow laws.

In a speech in Denver about policing and the Black Lives Matter movement, Gupta pointed out a breakdown in trust between black communities and the police that serve them.

“Let’s start with the first question and consider the source of the mistrust,” Gupta said, according to her prepared remarks. “Mistrust can’t be explained away as the kneejerk reaction of the ill-informed or the hyperbolic.  It’s in part the product of historical awareness about the role that police have played in enforcing and perpetuating slavery, the Black Codes, lynchings and Jim Crow segregation.  As FBI Director James Comey noted, ‘At many points in American history, law enforcement enforced the status quo, a status quo that was often brutally unfair to disfavored groups.'”

Paul42
Paul42

@td1234

So you now trust the IRS regardless of your perception of their actions in 'targeting' Tea Party groups seeking tax-exempt status?


'Cause what they 'did' to conservatives in the past by enforcing the law on who qualifies for tax-exempt status has no bearing on how conservatives view them now, right?

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@td1234


These are actually suppose to be smart people. 


annnd I couldn't stop laughing

td1234
td1234

@Nick_Danger The entire bigoted context that blacks are somehow "disfavored" by the community as a whole. Total BS. 

Nick_Danger
Nick_Danger

@td1234 @Nick_Danger 

Hmm...

I think I gotta disagree with you on that.  Law enforcement has historically enforced Jim Crow, kept "those people" away from places where they were not wanted, and generally treated them worse than a "normal" US citizen would be treated.  Black people have good historical reason to believe that they will not get a "fair shake" from an LEO.

In my opinion, of course.

Philo_Farnsworth
Philo_Farnsworth

Bammie ME strategy is arming ISIS to facilitate more Ramadis. MSM meme:

1) No big deal

2) Bush

IReportYouWhine#1
IReportYouWhine#1

You know, dear dummycrats, she can't escape these questions in a presidential debate. I'm imagining 90 minute debates where no policy issues are discussed and we run out of time rehashing all the clinton family crimes. 


Just informin ya....

IReportYouWhine#1
IReportYouWhine#1

 There’s a grain of truth here -- roughly 85 percent of the foundation’s spending was for items other than charitable grants to other organizations, and a large chunk of this 85 percent did go to Clinton Foundation staff for travel, salaries and benefits. However, the foundation says it does most of its charitable work in-house, and it’s not credible to think that the foundation spent zero dollars beyond grants on any charitable work, which is what it would take for Limbaugh to be correct.


Yeah, "charitable work" like her campaign, for instance.


uh huh

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@IReportYouWhine#1

Thanks for finding that teensy bit that Politifact felt they had to throw the Big Fat Idiot in order to keep from awarding him the Pants On Fire award.

IReportYouWhine#1
IReportYouWhine#1

Some people can watch their leaders make zillions off of "public service" and as long as they get free abortions, they're mmm, mmmm, mmmmm, good! with it.

ZAZ
ZAZ

@Visual_Cortex @IReportYouWhine#1 Visual, are you comfortable with how the foundation seems to be functioning? From what is reported [and not in question] most money raised is paying salaries, eating, and travel. Are you that blinded by the concept of political party alliance that you just can't objectively observe/assess anything in an honest manner if it doesn't fit a party-loyalty narrative. Some of you folks are so shallow.

IReportYouWhine#1
IReportYouWhine#1

I'll bet that the isis sleeper cells in AmeRica vote for hillionaire.

IReportYouWhine#1
IReportYouWhine#1

"We came, we saw, we took 90% off the top of the Libyan people's suffering."

Paul42
Paul42

Tom Morrell, who was CIA's deputy director and acting director, was on Hardball last night discussing events when he was Pres Bush's CIA briefer on the runup to the Iraq invasion.  Many on this forum have asserted Pres Bush, VP Cheney and other administration officials made decisions solely on the intelligence they were given, that they got the intel and presented it to the American people.

That, according to Mr. Morrell, is a lie perpetrated on the public.

"Appearing on MSNBC's Hardball on Tuesday night, Morell made it clear: The Bush-Cheney administration publicly misrepresented the intelligence related to Iraq's supposed WMD program and Saddam's alleged links to Al Qaeda.

Host Chris Matthews asked Morell about a statement Cheney made in 2003: "We know he [Saddam Hussein] has been absolutely devoted to trying to acquire nuclear weapons. And we believe he has, in fact, reconstituted nuclear weapons." Here's the conversation that followed:

MATTHEWS: Was that true?

MORELL: We were saying—

MATTHEWS: Can you answer that question? Was that true?

MORELL: That's not true.

MATTHEWS: Well, why'd you let them get away with it?

MORELL: Look, my job Chris—

MATTHEWS: You're the briefer for the president on intelligence, you're the top person to go in and tell him what's going on. You see Cheney make this charge he's got a nuclear bomb and then they make subsequent charges he knew how to deliver it…and nobody raised their hand and said, "No that's not what we told him."

MORELL: Chris, Chris Chris, what's my job, right? My job—

MATTHEWS: To tell the truth.

MORELL: My job—no, as the briefer? As the briefer?

MATTHEWS: Okay, go ahead.

MORELL: As the briefer, my job is to carry CIA's best information and best analysis to the president of the United States and make sure he understands it. My job is to not watch what they're saying on TV.

The discussion went on:

MATTHEWS: So you're briefing the president on the reasons for war, they're selling the war, using your stuff, saying you made that case when you didn't. So they're using your credibility to make the case for war dishonestly, as you just admitted.

MORELL: Look, I'm just telling you—

MATTHEWS: You just admitted it.

MORELL: I'm just telling you what we said—

MATTHEWS: They gave a false presentation of what you said to them.

MORELL: On some aspects. On some aspects.

"There's the indictment, issued by the intelligence officer who briefed Bush and Cheney: The Bush White House made a "false presentation" on "some aspects" of the case for war. "That's a big deal," Matthews exclaimed. Morell replied, "It's a big deal."

And there's more. Referring to the claims made by Bush, Cheney, and other administration officials that Saddam was in league with Al Qaeda, Morell noted, "What they were saying about the link between Iraq and Al Qaeda publicly was not what the intelligence community" had concluded. He added, "I think they were trying to make a stronger case for the war." That is, stronger than the truth would allow.""

http://www.motherjones.com/politics/2015/05/michael-morell-bush-cheney-iraq-war

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Paul42

[golf clap]

Well done, Tweety. 

This might mitigate your flightsuit gushing by as much as 5%.

Paul42
Paul42

@IReportYouWhine#1

Copy and paste rather than think about and respond to the substance of what Acting Director Morell said?  

Paul42
Paul42

@Visual_Cortex

I watched the exchange.  That's the kind of Q&A I hope to hear during the debates or in interviews.  Not going to happen, I know, but it's a nice ideal.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@Paul42


This is an example of what can happen when citizens, who must have all the "facts" before they can think for themselves, can be led to accept lies.  Many of us knew what you have shared was more than likely happening at that time in Bush's tenure, just as many of us can "read" body language and decipher truth from it.  We must learn to think for ourselves outside of programmed, conventional thought, or we will continue to be manipulated as citizens of this nation.

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@Peachs 


It was a very close election that year, with the U.S. Supreme Court making that call, ultimately.

Peachs
Peachs

@Paul42 @Visual_Cortex The Republican hand pick their moderators, Newt about gave King ,of CNN, a heart attack in that South Carolina debate, rode all over him, very weak and that is what the right want.s   It explains some of their choices for wives. 

MaryElizabethSings
MaryElizabethSings

@Peachs 


Sad to say, Peaches, imho, it was the Bush Administration's "tail" that was wagging its own "dog" regarding "facts" in order to accomplish its own devious and predetermined ends, not FOX News that was feeding these "facts" to the public, in this particular case.


I further believe that, one day, these actions will be seen as crimes against humanity.

Peachs
Peachs

@MaryElizabethSings @Paul42 truth is the Republican Party has never shown much respect for the voter, how else can you explain offering people like Palin for a major office, "let Mikey eat it he will eat anything."

Peachs
Peachs

@TomMiddleton @Paul42 after Jeb said Iraq was not a mistake and these guys think that defending a position that has largely gone uncontested until now should piss all of us off. We need more Matthews, if this press was around in the 70s we would still be in VN. 

Peachs
Peachs

@MaryElizabethSings @Peachs the Democrats were like the Republicans are now, no talent in the wings just idealistic flag bearers carrying special interest colors.  

TomMiddleton
TomMiddleton

@Peachs @TomMiddleton @Paul42 

Cable news has its good talking heads for sure, Peachs. Mathews overdoes it on occasion, but I still watch him whenever I can. He at least is honest and probably less of an ideologue than anyone else on MSNBC

Paul42
Paul42

@TomMiddleton

Which was a good thing, because he didn't let up.

Last time I saw him like that was when this excuse for a Congressman appeared and thought he was talking to his constituents and made an idiotic remark to the effect Pres Obama is not a legitimate president.  Mathews kept boring in and it appeared Farenthold didn't know what happened.

https://farenthold.house.gov/