And the Republican establishment as well as many non-establishment Republicans think he'd be a terrible candidate. Personally, I think that for the most powerful - whether in elected or unelected positions - it's less about his policy and more about the fact that they don't control him and he doesn't owe them anything. They fear for their power, positions, and access to the inner workings. After all, he merely says what they've been using code to say all these years. (OK, there are rational Republicans who are sincerely repelled by what he says as well as concerned about losing power.)
And they aren't too excited by the number two man Ted Cruz. After all, he thumbed his nose at the Senate leadership with a 21 hour filibuster against Obamacare against the party leadership's wishes.
So now things seem wide open to find a candidate wh will appeal to the leadership and to the American voter (not just Republicans.) Paul Ryan's just emphatically said he wouldn't run or be drafted. So who's left? In the Senate there are 55 Republicans. The ones with the most name recognition are from places like Alabama . Then there are few folks whose names will cost them 5% of the vote - like Flake and Crapo. Sorry, this is not a cheap shot, but the reality of life, like the fact that good looking people get an advantage. [Trying to find some study to support the idea that a weird name will lose votes was distracting and unsuccessful. Maybe Johnny Cash was right and I'm wrong.]
And then there are former Republican officials who weren't elected - like Condoleeza Rice or Colin Powell. Republicans do like conservative blacks. I think it's because they think it proves they aren't racists. They can say things like, one of my best friends . . .
So who's out there? There are the Republican governors. Unlike legislators, governors actually have to govern, not just talk and posture. The FiveThirtyEight blog has a list of governors by popularity ratings. Here are the top few:
|From FiveThirtyEight blog|
So we start off with a governor from a coal state, in this day and age of climate change with coal being one of the biggest culprits. Then we get a governor from the state that Bill Clinton was governor of. The last presidential candidate who was governor of Arkansas was, oh yea, Mike Huckabee. Nice try, but Beebe is a Democrat. Utah's Gary Herbert. He's two months younger than the last Republican nominee and he's also a Mormon. Are the Republicans ready to try that again? The governor of North Dakota? That state was hot when oil was $100 a barrel, but things aren't so good there any more. Oklahoma has a woman governor.. Didn't McCain pick a woman governor with high popularity ratings? As I recall, that didn't work out too well.
There may or may not be some good Republican politicians out there who would make good presidents, but name recognition matters. I suspect that Republicans will do what they've done several times before - pick a celebrity candidate with name recognition. You know, like Reagan, Schwartzenegger, or even Sonny Bono.
So, what Republican celebrities are out there? I found a list. None of these on the list has held office to my knowledge. Reagan at least had been governor of California. ((If you're looking for another celebrity governor, Jesse Ventura, well, he was in the Independence Party, not the Republican.) Here are some from a list I found at Buzzfeed.
- Sylvester Stallone
- Tom Selleck
- Wayne Newton
- Bruce Willis
- Chuck Norris
- Clint Eastwood
- Mary Lou Retton
- 50 Cent
- Robert Duvall
- LL Cool J
- James Earl Jones
- Gloria Estefan
- Adam Sandler
Some we'll just ignore.
From my way of looking at this, there are only a couple of names here that have any traction, but really only one that is solid.
Not even the Academy Awards could find its way to give Sylvester Stallone his long denied Oscar this year, so he's out.
Bruce Willis, Chuck Norris, and Clint Eastwood all could give strong performances as president. "Make my day!" is so Trumpish, but with much more style.
Robert Duvall seems to have a little more depth and breadth.
Gloria Estefan would allow the Republicans to nominate a Cuban, since they wanted Rubio so bad and, well, the leadership did. Except Jeb! And since they'd be bumping Cruz too.
|Jones image from E|
[I want to put up an Irony alert on this post, but I'm afraid this could happen.]