There are so damned many candidates, I think this is a good question. On the Democratic side, Larry Lessig is running an issue campaign, except no one on the Democratic side really disputes his idea, so… Marty O’Malley certainly seems to be running for Veep. Bernie might be running for President, or he might be running to advance his issue agenda – to inject some new ideas into American politics. Hillary is really the only Democrat clearly running to work out of the Oval Office for the next four-eight years.
The GOP side is much more muddled naturally. One of the issues is that a lot of “movement conservatism” is really just a personal enrichment scam. Sarah Palin pioneered this, with help from people like Glenn Beck, but it’s now spread throughout the GOP primary field.
I’m having a hard time believing that Donald Trump or Ben Carson are really running to be President. They are running to advance their “brand.” Trump and Carson are trying to tap into a large field of potential investors and dupes to buy books and watch shows on Fox News. Once they start getting asked governance questions, they collapse with the look of a child who has just been asked if they can recite for Grandma that book report they haven’t done.
The same goes for many of the third tier candidates. Rick Santorum is running, because his wife is tired of him sitting on the couch all day watching Seventh Heaven re-runs. Gilmore and Pataki…I mean, hell if I know. Graham is running to be Secretary of Muslim Killing.
On the main stage, Huckabee seems to be running again in the grifter mode. He’s compiling a database of people he can hit up for cash for a crusade against whatever it is that conservative Christian will be outraged about in a year or four. Trump and Carson, too.
Jeb! seems to be running a campaign to rehabilitate the family name. Or something. At this point, there is really no rationale for his continuing to run. Rand Paul actually stopped running for president as soon as it got hard; he just keeps showing up for the debates. Kasich and Christie are trying to be John Huntsman with balls, but that doesn’t seem very viable. They think they’re Mitt Romney Republicans, and maybe they are. But Romney lost to the Negro, so the only solution for the GOP is to move further right, because reasons.
So, Carson, Trump and Huckabee are doing “brand work.” Paul and Jeb! are lingering around out of inertia. Kasich and Christie are running for Mayor of Wall Street, or maybe the GOP nomination in 1996.
That leave Fiorina, Cruz and Rubio. Fiorina is an ego-driven, falsehood-engine. She is almost incapable of opening her mouth without lying.
This could make her a viable frontrunner.
But in all likelihood, she’s running for the Veep slot, so that they can have a woman to say incredibly sexist and cruel things about Hillary from the stump.
That leaves Cruz and Rubio. Rubio seems to be the media’s safe bet to replace Jeb! as the establishment’s choice. He’s pretty slick on camera, telegenic and has a passing familiarity with how government works. I don’t think he’s the safe bet to pick up Latino votes they think he is, because he’s Cuban, and other Latino groups aren’t real fond of the special treatment Cubans get. But if I had to put money on a candidate, it would be Rubio.
However, last night, Cruz may have vaulted into position to steal the Trumpenproletariat and the Carsonians, should those two frauds decide that they’ve bilked the rubes of enough of the money they were saving for Franklin Mint collectibles and can move on to sinecures within the Wurlitzer.
Cruz has a vicious cunning and a link to the right wing hive mind that could move him rapidly up in the polls. The fact that he is hated more than sexual harassment laws within the halls of Congress only adds to his appeal.
Cruz is the outsider who actually understands how politics works. If you were to ask Cruz about the debt ceiling, he will likely give you a batshit insane answer, but unlike Carson, he will actually know what the debt ceiling is.
At some point, they are going to have to narrow the GOP field. Bush’s supporters naturally gravitate towards Rubio. But the outsider’s vote would seem much more comfortable with Cruz.
He is an odious, toadsucker of a “human being” who looks like some combination of a prison snitch, the villain of a 1980s movie starting Ralph Macchio and a slumlord. But I’m not sure there isn’t an appetite for that among the people who wildly throng to hear Donald Trump and Ben Carson blather inanities for $50 a ticket.
Cruz just might be the douchebag they have been waiting for.