Tag Archives: GOP field

Now it’s ‘only’ 15 in the GOP field

Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker speaks to the Illinois Chamber of Commerce Tuesday, April 17, 2012 in Springfield, Ill. Walker says he's using Illinois and its many problems as an argument for keeping him in office. The first-term Republican faces a recall election in June primarily because he restricted union bargaining rights for state employees.  (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

Scott Walker wasn’t supposed to call an end to his Republican presidential campaign … so early.

Wasn’t the Wisconsin governor at or near the lead in Iowa? Didn’t he appeal to those Christian evangelicals? Isn’t he the guy who stood up to those unions in Wisconsin, which plays well with the GOP base?

Well, then he started talking.

He equated those union workers to the Islamic State.

He then decided it is worth discussing the possibility of building a wall across the nation’s border with Canada.

Then along came Donald Trump, Ben Carson and Carly Fiorina — three political outsiders — to knock the wind out of Walker’s “establishment” message.

The end of Walker’s campaign comes only a week or so after former Texas Gov. Rick Perry’s swan song.

It’s becoming a bit of a guessing game now.

Who’s next? Ex-New York Gov. George Pataki? Former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore?

While the media are fixated on polls and whether any of the still-large GOP field is able to reel in Trump, many of the rest of the GOP field are trying to have their voices heard.

Unfortunately for Gov. Walker, those times he actually was heard … he managed to make declarations that exposed him to ridicule.

Let the culling of the field continue.


Perry drops out of campaign

Texas Governor Rick Perry made his final appearance (in office) at a Texas GOP convention on Thursday, June 6,2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. (David Woo/The Dallas Morning News)

And then there were 16.

OK, it doesn’t sound much different from 17, which was the number of Republicans seeking to become president of the United States.

Today, though, former Texas Gov. Rick Perry “suspended” his campaign. He’s out of money, out of staff, out of momentum.

“When I gave my life to Christ, I said ‘your ways are greater than my ways, your will superior to mine,’” Perry said in a speech in Missouri. “Today I submit that His will remains a mystery, but some things have become clear. That is why today I am suspending my campaign for the presidency of the United States.”

It wasn’t supposed to be this way for the one-time Texas political juggernaut. He said he’d learned his lessons from his short-lived and disastrous 2012 GOP primary campaign. He just didn’t figure out how to cope with all the other who outflanked him on the right — which is tough to do, given Gov. Perry’s own conservative credentials.

But they did. And, of course, a guy named Trump has sucked all the air out of the proverbial room.

Perry’s out

You probably think I’m crying crocodile tears over Perry’s departure. OK, maybe a tear or two are of croc variety. But I am disappointed he didn’t do better this time out.

I believe in redemption and I hoped Perry could redeem himself from that hideous “oops” moment four years ago.

It isn’t meant to be.

As for his “suspending” a campaign, I wish political flacks could come up with another word for it. To “suspend” something connotes a temporary condition.

Hey, here’s another way he could have said it: I quit.

Non-pols fare best among GOP faithful

Image #: 21630241    Dr. Benjamin Carson, director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, speaks to the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in National Harbor, Maryland, March 16, 2013. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS HEALTH)       REUTERS /JONATHAN ERNST /LANDOV

As long as we keep talking about polls and their importance — or non-importance — allow me this brief observation.

Many commentators and analysts are suggesting that the top two Republican presidential primary candidates have one thing in common: They aren’t “career politicians.”

I refer to real estate mogul/reality TV star Donald Trump and esteemed neurosurgeon Ben Carson. They’re running first and second in most of the reputable polls.

Let’s not stop there. A third candidate also seems to be surging. The name? Carly Fiorina. Her background? Former CEO of Hewlitt-Packard. Fiorina, though, did run for the Senate in California, but she got thumped by Democratic U.S. Sen. Barbara Boxer. However, Fiorina doesn’t talk about that on the stump; instead, she talks about her business acumen and the many personal acquaintances and friendships she has with foreign dignitaries and/or heads of state.

The rest of the GOP field is languishing in single digits. Their background? They’re all “career politicians.”

Some analysts have wondered when we can throw every bit of conventional political wisdom out the window.

That time might have just arrived.

Oh … my.

GOP field now appears complete

Pssst. I’m about to let you in on a secret.

The Republican Party’s presidential field now appears set. Sixteen men and one women are running for the White House.

The final candidate — I hope! — announced his candidacy today. It’s former Virginia Gov. Jim Gilmore. I know, I know. Your enthusiasm is boiling over.


Gov. Gilmore’s message: We’re heading in the wrong direction. He’s going to strengthen our place in the world. He’s going to reverse the “Obama-Clinton” foreign policy debacles.

The problem with Gilmore’s announcement was that no one heard it. Donald Trump, the party frontrunner, was in Scotland today, of all places. And the public is still talking about him.

The rest of the field? It doesn’t matter, apparently. The Donald is sucking up all the attention — as if that’s a surprise.

Meanwhile, Jim Gilmore has climbed into the arena.

Does this complete the field? Let’s hope so.

What happened to the Gipper’s 11th commandment?


Republicans these days fall all over themselves to wrap themselves in the mantle of the late Ronald Reagan, 40th president of the United States and one of the truly “transformative figures” of 20th century American politics.

OK, so the benefits of the transformation can be debated, and they certainly have been since Jan. 20, 1981, when the Gipper took office after thumping President Jimmy Carter in that historic landslide.

But why have we forgotten one of Reagan’s most cherished mantras? It’s the 11th commandment, in which the president urged his fellow Republicans to “not speak ill of other Republicans.”

Welcome to today’s reality, Mr. President — wherever you are.

One of your political descendants, Donald Trump, has tossed the 11th commandment into the crapper.

He’s trashed Jeb Bush for being a “lightweight,” Lindsey Graham for being an “idiot,” Mitt Romney for being a “loser,” John McCain for not being a real war hero, Rick Perry for wearing glasses in an effort to “make him look smart.”

There will be others who’ll receive verbal grenades from Trump.

And yet …

With all of that embarrassment spewing out of Trump’s mouth, he continues to enjoy relatively high poll ratings among all the GOP candidates running in 2016.

I find it impossible to believe that the Trump supporters actually want to disinherit the legacy that President Reagan left behind. However, by continuing to support this clown, that’s precisely what they’re doing.

Ronald Reagan sought to build a stronger Republican Party, partly by encouraging GOP pols to refrain from tearing down their fellow Republicans. He wanted a positive image to carry them through.

The strategy worked, more or less.

Now comes Donald Trump to rewrite the rules as he sees fit.

It’s a new day, yes?

Should all these governors quit?

Let’s count ’em up.

Ohio Gov. John Kasich just joined the Republican Party’s ever-expanding presidential primary field.

He joins Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker — am I missing anyone? — as the sitting governors seeking to become the 45th president of the United States.

Of the gaggle of current governors mentioned, only Christie appears to be the target of those who want him to resign while he runs for president. It seems that some in the Garden State don’t think he do both things — run for president and devote enough time to governing the state.

Of course that’s utter nonsense.

But hey, why stop there?

Several Republican U.S.senators are running as well. They include Ted Cruz of Texas, Marco Rubio of Florida and Rand Paul of Kentucky. While I’m at it, let me mention that Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont is running for the Democratic presidential nomination. Should they all quit their day jobs while they run for president?

I don’t think so.

I’ve long fired back at critics of presidents — past and present — who gripe about the frequency and length of presidential vacations. I’ve noted that presidents are never off the clock. I will say the same thing about governors and senators.

They’re hooked up continually to whomever and whatever they need in case of emergency.

So, welcome to the field, Gov. Kasich. Good luck trying to be heard over the ruckus created by a certain loudmouth real estate mogul.

Diversity marks GOP field in 2016

You want diversity in a presidential campaign?

The growing Republican Party field is turning to be as diverse as any I’ve seen in oh, maybe forever.


Carly Fiorina has just announced her candidacy; she’s the first woman in the GOP field.

Ben Carson followed her into the arena later in the day; he’s an African-American neurosurgeon.

Ted Cruz is running; he’s a Cuban-American.

Marco Rubio also is running; he’s also a Cuban-American.

Mike Huckabee is going to run; he’s a former Baptist preacher.

And … what about the Democrats? They’ve got Hillary Rodham Clinton and Bernie Sanders. I suppose you can say that a card-carrying socialist — Sanders — gives the Democrats a scintilla of diversity.

But the Republican field is looking like a diverse bunch. It’s ethnically diverse. There’s a hint of gender diversity. Occupational diversity is showing up as well. Many of the rest of the expected GOP candidates, though, appear to be run-of-the-mill politicians.

I do like the looks of the GOP field as it’s developing.