Friday, January 2, 2015

Is anyone else tired...

...of hearing about the Republican Party's "deep bench" for 2016?

Joseph Curl, writing in the Washington Times yesterday, says:

...the Republicans are sitting on the deepest bench they've had in decades. Bill Kristol, the editor of the Weekly Standard, counts some 26 potential candidates: "John Bolton, Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, Chris Christie, Ted Cruz, Carly Fiorina, Lindsey Graham, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, John Kasich, Pete King, Mike Pence, Rick Perry, Mitt Romney, Marco Rubio, Paul Ryan, Rick Santorum, Joe Scarborough, Scott Walker, and Allen West ... Dick Cheney, Tom Cotton, Mitch Daniels, Joni Ernst, Newt Gingrich, and Rudy Giuliani."

John Bolton, Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, Pete King, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, Joe Scarborough, Allen West, Newt Gingrich and Rudy Giuliani? Seriously?

Dick Cheney? Really?

Let's consult Paddy Power for the GOP's five leading candidates at this point.

1. Jeb Bush. The Republican frontrunner shares a last name with the most unsuccessful president in recent years. And the former governor of Florida has been out of office since 2007. Is this really the quality of the field?

2. Marco Rubio. The one-time darling of the tea party has seen his star diminished since he took the lead on immigration reform and then voted against his own bill. How can Rubio hope to make a run for the White House if his mentor, Jeb, is vacuuming up all the same money and talent from Florida? Never mind the Oval Office; speculation is that Rubio might have trouble getting reelected to his Senate seat in 2016.

3. Rand Paul. The freshman senator from Kentucky has taken great pains to distance himself from his gadfly father. But all it takes is one picture like the one above to sink his nascent campaign. (That's Ron Paul posing with Don Black, a former American Nazi Party member turned KKK Grand Wizard and owner of the white supremacist The GOP would be better off with Steve Scalise at the top of the ticket.

4. Chris Christie. I never thought the New Jersey governor's "Tony Soprano" schtick would play well outside the east coast, but now it doesn't seem to matter. Forget bridgegate; Christie's bigger problems are the sluggish economy and his falling poll numbers at home. And the establishment must agree or we wouldn't be hearing so much about Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney.

Which brings me to:

5. Mitt Romney. Are we really talking about this retread? Would Mitt want to be a modern-day Adlai Stevenson? Who? Exactly.

Who else is on that "deep bench" of Curl's? Paul Ryan? He'd rather be House Ways and Means Chairman. Ted Cruz? Too extreme. Lindsey Graham? Too many rumors. Mike Huckabee? Another retread from 2008. Bobby Jindal? Hasn't recovered from that disastrous State of the Union rebuttal speech back in 2009. Scott Walker? Can you imagine the "stupid party" (Jindal's words, not mine) nominating a guy without a college degree? Me neither.

So is this what Curl and others mean by the GOP's "deep bench"? Please.

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