June 25, 2015

Which of the 13 GOP candidates Should Canadian conservatives take seriously?

David M. SwindleRebel Blogger

I sympathize with Canadians confused by the craziness of the American political culture and its system. Most of us down here are confused and annoyed by it too. It's just that it seems normal to us and some of us have come to regard "constrained craziness" - aka "Ordered Liberty" - as preferable to the Behemoth Boot of Beloved Mama Welfare State. The way the parties pick their candidates is far from perfect but it still mostly works, even if it enables too many annoying charlatans and narcissists to enrich themselves too.

So who are the serious contenders and who are the clown car candidates?

Here’s the Full List of Declared GOP Candidates so far:

  • Jeb Bush
  • Ben Carson
  • Ted Cruz
  • Carly Fiorina
  • Lindsey Graham
  • Mike Huckabee
  • Bobby Jindal
  • George Pataki
  • Rand Paul
  • Rick Perry
  • Marco Rubio
  • Rick Santorum
  • Donald Trump

And now here’s how I would categorize them for my Canadian friends. Please tweet to me @DaveSwindle if you have questions or you’d like me to blog more about any particular candidates or specific issues in future posts.

Who Has a Serious Chance of Becoming President?

  • Jeb Bush
  • Ted Cruz
  • Bobby Jindal
  • Rick Perry
  • Marco Rubio
  • Donald Trump

Yes, I think any of the 6 people above could potentially hack it to get the nomination and then challenge Queen Hillary or whichever Democrat is clever and vicious enough to beat her in the primary.

Even Trump. If he was serious and really wanted it he could restrain himself and beat Hillary in the general. And he knows it. (Trump isn’t as crazy or clownish as he might seem -that’s just a media act for the naive, like what Charlie Manson does. If he wants to be a real candidate then he could buy that opportunity too. Maybe he has...)

Ideologically-minded activists drooling over candidates tend to underestimate the importance of campaign strategy, new technologies, and Get-Out-the-Vote (GOTV) techniques for actually winning elections. How the campaign is waged is more important than the ideology and personality of the candidate when it comes to winning elections. Politics is war by other means and one needs a whole army to win, not just a single amazing leader at the top who can magically hypnotize voters into worshipping them.

Who Has Almost Zero Chance of Becoming President?

  • Ben Carson
  • Carly Fiorina
  • Lindsey Graham
  • Mike Huckabee
  • George Pataki
  • Rand Paul
  • Rick Santorum

These 7 are all amateurs punching way above where they’re at in their careers and political skills. Some - Graham, Huckabee, Pataki, Paul, Santorum - are examples of the Peter Principle in action: those who didn’t even make for very strong governors or senators but who now want us to believe they’re qualified to lead the country.

Who Is Actually Running for Vice President?

  • Ben Carson
  • Carly Fiorina

I am deeply disgusted at how affirmative action thinking now pervades the Conservative Movement and the Republican Party. (Corporatism is to blame. Corporate culture embraced political correctness long ago and it has now seeped into the broader “conservative” and GOP culture.)

Being a woman or ethnic minority should mean nothing in assessing who is most qualified to lead our country. The pandering to groups through tokenism is revolting. Both Fiorina and Carson have to know that professionally they both should be running for congress, the Senate, mayor of a big city, or governor instead. The only reason they’re running for president is because they saw how corporatist Fox News Republicans picked Sarah Palin in 2008 and know they might get lucky the same way too if they position themselves effectively.

Who Has a Serious Chance of Further Sustaining Their Narcissistic Personality Cult and Making More Money?

  • Rand Paul
  • Ben Carson
  • Mike Huckabee
  • Rick Santorum
  • Donald Trump

In America a lot of people nowadays just run for president as a business strategy to pump themselves up and then make money off of the idealistic rubes following them. Related, see my previous Rebel Media post: “Three reasons why I hate the Old Right (and all decent people should, too): A helpful primer for Canadians, Part IV.”

Who Has a Serious Chance of Acting as a Ross Perot-style Spoiler Who Enables Another Clinton Narcissist To Become President?

  • Donald Trump

If Trump wants to he could very much jackass his way into stealing off a sizable chunk of the far-right, anti-establishment, and low information votes. Jeb vs Hillary with Trump in jumping around like a guy in a gorilla suit and then the Matriarchal Age can really begin...

Who Would I Actually Like to See as President?

  • Bobby Jindal
  • Rick Perry

How about that as a ticket? Perry/Jindal? And throw on John Bolton for Secretary of State and then we’re good to go? That’s a ticket that could beat Hillary and then get America on a focused, economy-growing, states-empowering agenda, right?

Both Perry and Jindal - governors from Texas and Louisiana - have the potential to position themselves as their generations’ Ronald Reagan. The open question is whether they have the political skills to make use of the opportunity. In the past few years both have had a number of fairly minor missteps that have suggested they do not. I’m more optimistic, though - they’ve probably learned from their errors and Perry can jokingly dismiss the worst of them to having to debate on painkillers while recovering from back surgery. Whether they want to win in 2016 is up to them…

Or after eight years of Barack Obama channeling the ghost of Franklin Roosevelt then America can just endure another eight of Hillary invoking Eleanor in the White House again. Is that what it will take before the baby boomers can finally give up their ‘60s dorm room socialist dreams?


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commented 2015-08-08 14:11:56 -0400
I’m not on the popular social media sites. So I’ll just ask here. What would you have to say about Carly Fiorina? I’ve watched videos of her speaking and she seems very rational and professional.
commented 2015-06-29 11:55:36 -0400
Yeah Jimmy, thankfully I’m not drinking your Kool-Aid.
commented 2015-06-28 22:05:19 -0400
Good choices. I could see Ted Cruz replacing either of you two choices and I’d never turn my nose up at seeing John Robert Bolton as Sec of State or even VP.
commented 2015-06-28 10:32:01 -0400
“These 7 are all amateurs punching way above where they’re at in their careers and political skills. Some – are examples of the Peter Principle in action: those who didn’t even make for very strong governors or senators but who now want us to believe they’re qualified to lead the country.”
The same thing as Obama was when he was elected President? In Canada we have PET 2.0 who also rocks the unqualified never, who didn’t even make for very strong substitute drama teacher. And strangely, even after waving off a valid question on foreign policy, he still seems to have a shot at the PMO.
We might just see the two biggest heads of hair as heads of state in our respective nations. Hair care product futures soar…
commented 2015-06-27 22:06:15 -0400
Neil, trust me, this isn’t me in “real hate” mode. Palin seems to have a good heart and she does more good than bad. (And she and I probably have more views in common than we differ on. We’re both Tea Party. She’s pro-Israel and has said some decent counter-Jihad points that have endeared her to me.) But she just hasn’t made the right moves to position herself as a serious candidate for 2016. She made the choices that were best for her family and her fan base, not her political career. Maybe in 15 or 20 years she’ll have the experience and credentials to be a Reagan, but right now she’s hard to take seriously any more as a a political leader. She was elevated to the VP slot just because she was an attractive woman. Come on, I’m sorry, but I hate to say it, but the 2008 VP slot was cast in much the same way as picking another pundit on the cable shows. She was given an almost impossible task and doomed to fail. That she still did as well as she has and remains with many fans and influence still is to her credit and why I don’t rule her out completely. But the 2016 cycle is such a long shot for her at this point. I won’t rule her out further down the road, though, if she does something substantive to get more serious than being a reality TV star and a punch line.
commented 2015-06-27 12:08:07 -0400
David, you’re really starting to show a real hate for Palin here. Name me one Republican candidate that has not published books? And you said specifically, selling product to ME. Why do you think I buy her products? Is having Fox News in my Cable News package considered “buying her product”? I’m going to take the last word here and explain why I got into this discussion in the first place. Based on the standards you set yourself in this very blog post, Gov. Palin ranks higher than any of the people you recommend.
commented 2015-06-27 10:42:57 -0400
Neil: “David Swindle, what product is Gov. Palin selling to me?”

She was also paid very well for her Fox News appearances. I am more cynical about the power of money in politics now than I used to be. So many people go into politics as a profession and then just milk it. That’s America too — we have a long tradition of snake oil salesmen. I encourage you to be more suspicious of the images that people in media are trying to sell you before you gulp it all down.
commented 2015-06-26 21:11:11 -0400

Unfortunately you are too stupid to realize that America dodged a bullet twice with Obama winning. Things would be much worse in America right now if it was McCain/Palin and Romney/Ryan.
commented 2015-06-26 21:06:57 -0400

Of course she is not running. She knows that she would be destroyed in the debates with other Republicans – never mind Hilary. Nope – Palin’s future will be as a media whore in whatever capacity to keep her name out there.
commented 2015-06-26 17:56:26 -0400
Cruz has no governor experience? Explain to me what experience the Messiah has? He was a community organizer, ie. shakedown artist and shit disturber. Oh, right, and a senator. Anyone, and I mean a one handed scrotumless monkey could do better than the current occupier of the White House. My stapler would do better. At least a stapler wouldn’t praise our enemies and betray America’s allies every chance it gets. But that doesn’t matter. As Tocqueville warned, the population has found it can use voting levers to enrich itself at the expense of those that produce. And they are not about to jump that gravy train.
commented 2015-06-26 16:57:57 -0400
David Swindle, what product is Gov. Palin selling to me? I don’t get this passive aggressive tone, “fans like you”. I’m just telling it like it is as a neutral observer from Canada, Palin is a household name, attractive female to go up against Hillary to neutralize the “historic 1st woman” narrative; a former VP candidate who in my opinion was the only thing saving McCain from losing 49 of 50 states, a successful governor who left before her term ended but I remember reading she was railroaded out by a flood of outside ethics complaints that needed to be defended out of her own pocket, $$ she didn’t have, and all were frivolous and dropped once she left office. Why is it OK to decry lawfare when it’s used against everyone else, but deny it victimized this Governor? Why not give a good conservative benefit of the doubt that she had good reasons for leaving a year early? Anyway I keep saying, this is academic, she runs or she doesn’t, and if she does, we’ll see what happens. Perhaps you have the inside secret that she’s not running, I don’t know.
commented 2015-06-26 12:08:43 -0400
Neil, there are lots of people of diverse views on the Right who don’t think that Palin should be President. Many of us defended Palin from the unfair, over-the-top attacks on her for years and for what? So she and her family could make millions of dollars selling product to loyal, true-believer fans like you?

Honestly, she really never should have been picked for McCain’s VP choice in 2008 and McCain shouldn’t have been the nominee, either. She had her chance, her moment has passed, she picked the easier Tea Party Oprah path. Move on.

Jimmy: the electorate and range of beliefs in America is very wide. Conspiracy theory websites like those of Alex Jones and World Net Daily get more traffic than most conservative websites. Take a look at any legit poll about conspiracy theories and weird, out-there-beliefs and chances are there’s at least 5-15% of the country believing something really bizarre and at least 30% or so with some variety of kooky ideology. Ross Perot got a big chunk of the vote in 1992, enough to let Clinton get in. That’s just the way it’s always been. America with its roots in 13 colonies stretching from the far north through the South is a giant culture clash of very diverse beliefs influenced by regions, religions, and cultures.
commented 2015-06-25 23:33:59 -0400
LOL David Swindle, enjoy your new best friend.
commented 2015-06-25 23:27:11 -0400

Yes – the dope is the guy who is impressed with Sarah Palin and thinks she would be a great President. David doesn’t support her either.
commented 2015-06-25 23:12:02 -0400
Do you have a source for that Palin “quote”? Didn’t think so, because it doesn’t exist. I did rather enjoy our exchange, thanks. You don’t have to be either a fan or a hater of Palin to figure out who’s the dope in this exchange.
commented 2015-06-25 22:05:54 -0400

There is nothing that I would love more in politics than for Sarah Palin to run for President. Please God make it happen.

Politifact isn’t a leftist blog – it’s called fact checking. They fact check Obama too and call him out when he is wrong or lies.

Dinosaurs and humans walked the Earth at the same time 6000 years ago — Sarah Palin

I am glad you enjoyed a speech that even Fox News thought was insane. Thanks for proving my point about you. You are dumber than Sarah Palin.
commented 2015-06-25 21:26:56 -0400
1. Again, not a single specific. 2. More non-specific smears, then a link to a leftist smear blog. Please. I could link to an Obama smear blog too if I wanted to. 3. No reference to the “6000 years old” lie, and a link to a speech that I watched and enjoyed very much. Thanks, I’ll watch it again.

Keep on proving my point Jimmy. You leftists smear her because you fear her. If you didn’t fear her, you wouldn’t invest so much time in her. Perhaps it’s secret infatuation.
commented 2015-06-25 21:22:52 -0400

I am glad that we agree on Palin. It actually scares me that there are people like Neil walking around thinking that Sarah Palin is this intelligent person that would be a great President.
commented 2015-06-25 21:12:24 -0400

Sadly – everything is the answer, which is why she is constantly mocked by both the right and the left.

1. She clearly doesn’t understand politics, foreign policy, how government works and everything in between – and that is from people who worked with her. So no bias there.

2. She constantly shows that she doesn’t know what she is talking about in pretty much every single interview she does. She often rambles incoherently. And it doesn’t even have to be tough subjects like what magazines and newspapers do you read.

Here is a collection of Palin’s comments that are fact checked. She is either wrong or completely lies most of the time.


3. She thinks the Earth is 6000 years old.

Enjoy her recent laughable speech – which both conservatives and liberals said she rambled incoherently.


So why are you so impressed with her and think she could actually be President?
commented 2015-06-25 17:41:42 -0400
Ted Cruz “stood with Rand”. Ted Cruz was never governor of anything and is running halfway through his first term in the Senate. Pursuing a media career makes her a household name, crucial for a National run. Next…
commented 2015-06-25 17:40:01 -0400
Jimmy: Hillary is not a sure-thing. Perry is smarter than he appeared last time around while he was on painkillers. And Trump while yes, he is a media jackass who doesn’t believe in anything beyond himself and I would never vote for him, is not actually the silly cartoon that he plays on TV. His public persona is just an act and he’s much smarter than he appears. If he wants to discipline himself such that he could win then he could. He does have potential to beat Jeb for the nomination and then he does have the potential to beat Hillary. As far as I’m concerned he and Jeb might as well be the same person. They’re both just narcissists who wear political positions like T-shirts.

Neil: " Can you name me three of these so-called missteps she’s had that puts her lower on a list than, say, junior Senators from Florida or Texas?"
1. Endorsing and supporting Rand Paul.
2. Resigning as governor of Alaska.
3. Signing a Fox News commentator gig and pursuing reality TV shows, etc.

She went for the easy money and the personality cult route, not the serious leader route. Sorry. She doesn’t have “Tea Party cred” anymore. She hasn’t done anything with her opportunity except become a celebrity.
commented 2015-06-25 17:21:51 -0400
Focus now, young man. “Everything” is not an answer to my question, nor is linking to a Talking Points Memo liberal snuff film. I’ll give you one more chance: list three specific things that make you treat this woman with such misogyny.
commented 2015-06-25 17:18:17 -0400

Everything that comes out of her mouth is absolute idiocy. I don’t even know where to start. You can start here:


See this is what I find so entertaining about The Rebel – finding people that are actually impressed with Sarah Palin.
commented 2015-06-25 17:01:37 -0400
Hey, cliche angry left guy – name me three specific things that make you draw that conclusion, and I bet I could find far worse that Lord Obama has done.
commented 2015-06-25 16:52:51 -0400

You do realize that she is a complete fucking moron right? I certainly hope you know that, because you if you don’t – I can’t believe that you are actually dumber than her.
commented 2015-06-25 16:36:30 -0400
See, Palin makes lefties like Jimmy quake. Joke would be on you.
commented 2015-06-25 16:25:30 -0400
I hope Sarah Palin does run – it will be great comedy.
commented 2015-06-25 16:13:11 -0400
David: Palin would certainly have a perception hurdle to leap, but the perception is not reality, so that hurdle isn’t that high. Can you name me three of these so-called missteps she’s had that puts her lower on a list than, say, junior Senators from Florida or Texas? Anyway it’s all academic, she either runs or she doesn’t, and if she does, I don’t even think you would deny that her campaign becomes the story. None of the rest, not even Ted Cruz, has the Tea Party cred – the movement solely responsible for retaking the house and the senate.
commented 2015-06-25 15:56:37 -0400

First of all – Hillary Clinton is going to be the next President, so let’s just get that out of the way now. Republicans are ultimately wasting their time and money.

Secondly Rick Perry is an absolute moron who will be slaughtered in the debates and you don’t really get much credit for running Texas – America’s Asshole State.

As for Trump – he is just a media whore jackass , who is just using this opportunity to further the Trump name – not to better the country. Trump will also come unhinged during the debates and what the fact checkers get a hold of him. Many of the things he claims he would do as President – cannot be enforced by the President. Anyone can just spew out all this shit that they would do, but you need to know what you can and can not do as President.

Trump is a punchline – do you really not see that?
commented 2015-06-25 15:29:15 -0400
Jimmy: “This entire article is negated by the moronic position that… could become President.”

I am dead serious that the strategy/message/tactics of the campaign are infinitely more important than the personality/ideology of the candidate. And I’ll go to the mat defending that position. The candidate who knows how to wage political war better than the other is the one that wins. It’s that simple.

Any of those 4 individuals has enough professional competence and innate abilities that if they wanted to focus on figuring out how to win a presidential campaign this time then they could hire the right people to help them make it actually happen.