August 13th, 2015

The forgotten ones

Quick: name all seventeen Republican contenders.

Whom do you leave out? I leave out Gilmore, who barely has gotten in, as well as Graham and Pataki (yes, had to look them all up). Sorry Jindal; you’re a good man, but I tend to forget you, as well. Santorum, too. In the beginning Perry was more of a presence, but now he’s faded into the woodwork. And Kashich doesn’t register for me.

That’s seven. I listed my seven before I read this article at The Hill which lists seven, because I was curious whether it would up being the same seven. It is for the most part, with one difference: the author says Rand Paul and I say Kasich.

I disagree about Paul because I think he’ll have a bit more staying power as the only libertarian choice, or at least the designated libertarian choice, and the heir apparent to his father Ron who had such die-hard supporters. But to me he looked and sounded like a peevish imp at the debate.

I think the more interesting question is: who will be the last three or four standing? A long time ago I would have said Walker, Cruz, Rubio, and Bush, in no particular order. Now I’d have to add Trump, and perhaps Fiorina or even Carson. Which of those will fade first? That’s a difficult one to answer, so I won’t even try.

My first choice for a long time was Walker. I’m still fine with him, but I don’t think he’s my first choice any more. Now it’s between Cruz and Fiorina.

29 Responses to “The forgotten ones”

  1. Tonawanda Says:

    The big problem with Paul at that debate was his curly hair, which always raises all sorts of questions.

  2. neo-neocon Says:



    Whatsamatter, you don’t like curly hair? I have curly hair.

  3. Tonawanda Says:

    Most of my critics are weak-minded slobs whose mothers wear army boots and probably work for Fox news. They better be careful because I will whack them with a curling iron and make them watch ten hours of championship curling just to show them who is the greatest. Or whatever.

  4. SpellChecker Says:

    “And Kashich doesn’t register for me.” Obviously, since you can’t even spell his name right! It almost makes me feel sorry for him.

  5. G6loq Says:

    I will whack them with a curling iron and make them watch ten hours of championship curling just to show them who is the greatest. Or whatever.


  6. T Says:

    Cruz, Walker, Fiorina — I could easily live with any combination of those three.

  7. steve.c Says:

    “And Kashich doesn’t register for me.” Obviously, since you can’t even spell his name right! It almost makes me feel sorry for him.

    Neo is FAR from the only current writer to misspell the name of Mr. Kasich. In fact, I (most unscientifically) observe that I’ve seen it misspelled more often than I’ve seen it spelled correctly.

    Which should speak volumes with respect to his campaign success…

  8. Irene Says:

    I like Walker, but I love Florina. She’s sophisticated, knowledgeable, and tough (albeit with a light touch). Importantly, she knows how to stay on topic and get her points across – and entirely on her terms, not the media’s.

  9. Bumsrush Says:

    “And Kashich doesn’t register for me.” Obviously, since you can’t even spell his name right! It almost makes me feel sorry for him.

    “I never though much of a man that could think of only one way to spell a word.” Mark Twain

  10. neo-neocon Says:


    That’s funny 🙂 .

    Actually, it was a careless error—I do know how to spell his name But maybe the careless error was emblematic of what I think of him.

    Thanks, will fix.

  11. Ann Says:

    I really don’t get the animus toward Jeb Bush among so many conservatives. He has a record, an actual record, as a very conservative governor in Florida. Doesn’t that count for anything?

  12. Geoffrey Britain Says:

    I could only name 11 though I recognized all, once named. Fiorina is my current favorite and IMO, potentially the most electable.


    A familial dynasty is inherently offensive to Americans but it is Bush’s democrat-lite position on the issues that most grates. To Bush’s great credit, he’s forthright about it, unlike most politicians but it dooms him as a candidate.

  13. Frog Says:

    Fiorina clearly, very clearly has by far the most executive skills required to do the job well. Cruz has the intellect, the driving philosophy. Neither Walker or Rubio stand up well to either.
    Carson is a fine, fine man, but I would place him second, with Fiorina and Cruz tied for first.

  14. Ann Says:

    A Carson problem now surfacing: Ben Carson Once Studied Fetal Brain Tissue, Now Calls the Research ‘Disturbing’

  15. Matt_SE Says:

    I would like any of Walker, Cruz or Fiorina. Walker and Cruz seem to have slight charisma problems, Fiorina doesn’t have a governmental track record, though you might substitute her record in Silicon Valley.

    I’m leaning Fiorina ever so slightly, as she’s more exciting. I’ll wait for the other debates though.

  16. Tonawanda Says:

    G6loq @ 2:32 PM – – the paramilitary wing of the SPCA will be battering into your home at 3 AM this morning. You will be charged with Aggravated Improper Humor in the First degree, which when passed was called the Amos and Andy law.

    I suggest you remove any canines beforehand so they don’t get killed in the process.

  17. liz Says:

    I like Cruz, Carly and Walker.

    A fun game is the Cabinet what-ifs – I can see Carson at Health, Mitch Daniels at Education, Walker at Labor, Cruz for Atty Gen’l (Justice) or Supreme Court, Carly at State, Inhofe at EPA.

    Since Romney seems to have predicted so many things correctly and has the reputation for corporate turnarounds, I would recruit him as a consultant (aka czar) to trim the government, eliminate the duplicate programs and outdated regs.

    Give everyone three years to cut their costs and streamline the programs. Then they get to hand the jobs over to the next fresh batch of managers.

    And – get rid of the federal unions in order to be able to cut the bad and ineffective people.

  18. parker Says:

    Can’t keep the entire list in focus, only those I like which includes Walker, Cruz, Fiorina, and perhaps the often IMO squishy Rubio. Jindal has a good record, and is as smart as anyone in the field, but will gain no traction.

  19. Oldflyer Says:

    It is really rather amazing that accomplished men such as Pataki, Gilmore, even Jindal, are having so much difficulty gaining traction with the public. I also think that Santorum is a very good man, but he never had a chance. Why doesn’t he realize that?

    Then there is “The “Trumpet”. Cannot watch a FNC program without him being featured at some point. I have given up on Hannity; and Limbaugh as well. (Well I gave up on both awhile back.)

    Walker has been my main man; and he still is. He is overshadowed at this point; but I think this is a phony period.

    I do like Cruz and I love Fiorina, in a political sense. But, I am queasy about running/electing another first term Senator, or a political novice. I do want their voices heard. I want Cruz in a position of influence; Attorney General maybe, if he willing to give up his feather bed. I want Fiorina as VP; and I am sure she will be unless Hillary pulls out. In that case, the ticket may be balanced with Dr Carson–and that is ok, too.

  20. blert Says:

    I think that Cruz and Walker are wise to NOT get in the Trump-rump era.

    Fiorina’s only mistake has been to take aim at Trump.

    And it’s a big mistake.

    One should stay ENTIRELY focused on the target: HRC.

    The MSM will at first boost Trump — and then destroy him.

    Sometime next Spring his candidacy will be in Chapter 11; in dire need or re-organization.

    I can’t believe that the Donald will dare plunge into a shameful third party – bull moose endeavor. Ross Perot stunk up the concept.

    I would not be surprised if Sanders goes third party. HRC has to cause any moral Democrat to spit blood. These are the folks that he’s drawing to his flag.

    I’m simply astonished that Webb or O’Malley have not gained traction. Neither would seem to have the horrific baggage of HRC. — Who could?

    Webb figures to be the most unstoppable Democrat candidate. He does not have a lot of negatives. He’s not a party outlier — like Sanders.

    Don’t be surprised if Webb ends up being the last Democrat standing, as his real competition appears to avoid campaign entry.

    Jeb and HRC are about to prove that money can’t buy everything.

    Jeb couldn’t defeat a baby rattle. He’s been born with a golden spoon in his mouth. Look at his debate performance. Yuck.

    Walker seems to have the personality to roll over the unions. He’s NOT polarizing.

    I don’t think that either Fiorina or Cruz have that knack.

    Walker-Fiorina as the ticket… Cruz as master of the senate… the ultimate ticket.

    ‘Tis to dream.

  21. Ann Says:

    You got to hand it to Jeb, though, he’s taking it to Hillary and in the process irritating the heck out of David Corn over at Mother JonesJeb Bush Is Trying to Blame the Iraq Crisis on Hillary Clinton: He just set a new standard for chutzpah.

    My favorite part is the piece is this:

    Jeb Bush could pick an honest policy fight with Obama and Clinton about moves they made in the Middle East. Instead, he’s mounting an assault of distraction and false accusation that ignores basic historical facts.

    Seriously, how in the world can someone like Corn say stuff like that with a straight face?

  22. The Other Chuck Says:

    I belittled Walker previously and am now thinking he would be the best. Go figure. He is steady as a rock, took on Democrats in a blue state and won, and he’s not an ideologue. As I examine all the other candidates he is the only one who has the least negatives. I still think he has a very tough road to travel given his union busting. And he is lacking financing. Maybe I’ll contribute. Trump is the perfect foil to Walker. We could do a lot worse.

    Trump is getting very tiring. We’ve had our fun and it’s time to get serious.l

  23. Paul in Boston Says:

    I’m still rooting for Scott Walker. Yes, he’s low key, but that’s typical of the Midwestern men that I remember from when I was growing up. He’s the only candidate who’s mentioned eliminating an entire Department of the government, the Education Department. Image the earthquake in D.C. if 200,000 bureaucrats were dismissed and all theirs laws, rules, and regulations were dismembered and flushed down the toilet. It’s an outcome that could really begin to turn the Federal government around and restore more freedom to the public.

  24. The Other Chuck Says:

    BTW, Neo, as much as I’m libertarian at heart, this election is so important that I’ll vote for ANY of the Republican candidates, including Jeb & Christie if it comes to that, over the Dem candidate!

  25. Jimmy J. Says:

    Like many here I like Walker, Cruz, Fiorina, and Carson.

    I watched Trump being interviewed on Hannity. Trump had some details about his positions on the issues, but they were sketchy at best. I kept trying to put my finger on his appeal. Then it hit me – Trump is rich and a part of the 1%, but he acts and talks like a “New Yawk” construction worker or cab driver. He’s a rich man with a common touch. He’s the antithesis of an intellectual or buttoned down politician. He talks results, not ideas. He presents himself as a doer, not a talker. He hits back at anyone who criticizes him and is a fighter. All this is resonating with a lot of the angry conservative base. Other candidates should be emulating him by speaking boldly, being willing to hit back (in a classier way – like Fiorina) at critics, and talking about results, not just ideas.

    His unfavorables seem too high for him to ever win the nomination, but who knows what can happen. If elected, I’m afraid that he might be the right wing version of Obama.

  26. Ackler Says:

    Rubio remains my first choice and I don’t see that changing anytime soon. Cruz and Fiorina are my second choices (pretty much tied). I’ve contributed to all three of these campaigns.

    I’ve made my views on Walker very clear in the past: he will do far more good as a happy warrior reforming governor serving three or four terms (Wisconsin does not have term limits) than as President.

    I’m indifferent to most of the rest, but I’d happily support any of them in the general election (except Trump and…maybe Bush). However I’m impressed by the wide variety of choices and the fierce competition which has ensued. The contrast with the other side and the apt metaphors it engenders are just too delicious: A free market GOP selection, featuring a plethora of choices and vigorous competition therein vs. A statist Democrat selection where the “consumer” (voter) has largely one choice which is rather worn out, not very effective and corrupt to boot; many of these consumers don’t really like this product but they’ve been goaded into accepting it.

  27. expat Says:

    liz brings up something I’ve been thinking of–the cabinet. I just can’t imagine any competent person wanting to work for Trump. He even mentioned Palin as VP and later said he might consider a woman in that spot. This shows clearly that he is not thinking about qualifications. It is a gross insult to women to be mentioned in this way.

    The other top tier candidates would be certain to consider some of their now opponents to fill slots based on their expertise. Trump acts like he can rule the world just by shouting. The others know a lot better than that and will find people with good ideas and the ability to implement them.

  28. blert Says:

    Trump as Commerce Secretary works for me.

    It’s the road that Hoover took.

    It would be VERY hard for the Donald to turn it down.

  29. Jimmy J. Says:

    Ackler: “A free market GOP selection, featuring a plethora of choices and vigorous competition therein vs. A statist Democrat selection where the “consumer” (voter) has largely one choice which is rather worn out, not very effective and corrupt to boot; many of these consumers don’t really like this product but they’ve been goaded into accepting it.”

    That is just so apt. Sending it far and wide – with attribution of course.

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Previously a lifelong Democrat, born in New York and living in New England, surrounded by liberals on all sides, I've found myself slowly but surely leaving the fold and becoming that dread thing: a neocon.

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