It’s time to Slim Down the Competition

Currently in the Democratic and Republican Presidential races there are too many people running for President and wasting people’s time. I categorize the candidates into three groups: 1. Candidates who have relatively legitimate shot at the nomination, 2. Candidates who are in the race based on principle and have a message to get out AND know they can’t win, and 3. Those who are only in it because, well no one knows, they are delusional. The parties break down like this:

Group 1: Hillary, Barack, John Edwards, and Bill Richardson
It is still too early to fully discount Edwards and Richardson, and while they seemingly have no shot, we will keep them here for now.

Group 2: Dennis Kucinich – he has no strange illusions about his chances, but he is making a point by running. I think he’s nuts, but I can respect that.

Group 3: Chris Dodd, Joe Biden, and Mike Gravel

GOP Candidates:

Group 1: Rudy, Mitt, McCain, Thompson, and Huckabee

Group 2: Ron Paul, Tom Tancredo (?)

Group 3: Duncan Hunter, Sam Brownback, Tom Tancredo(?)-He could go in either group, he is riding the fence.

Now, let’s just get rid of the group 3 folks. There is no reason for them to be in, they have not shot, and they have no message. I recognize that some of them may have good ideas and be solid Presidents but they are not going to win the nomination, so it’s time for them to go.

As for group 2, it is healthy to have candidates that are out there to push a message and to provide a different point of view, Paul and Kucinich do this for their respective parties. As annoying as the Paul supporters can be, they are dedicated and sold on his message. Both of these candidates are welcome to stay in the race as long as they are content wasting money on their candidacy.

Often, people complain that there is not a candidate that they like or can give their support to. The most popular phrase in electoral politics from the voters is, “I don’t like any of ’em.” The people that say that in this election either hasn’t really paid attention or will never like any candidate, regardless of how good one might be. The only group of people that I can think that arguably do not have a candidate to support are moderate Democrats (Hillary is not a moderate, stop fooling yourself); although I would argue that Giuliani would fill that niche nicely.

So with at least four candidates in each party’s group 1, there is a candidate out there for nearly everyone, the others all support Ron Paul. There is no reason to have 10 candidates running around and stepping on each others’ toes, let’s slim down the competition already.



Filed under Barack Obama, Bill Richardson, Brownback, Conservative, Democracy, Democrats, Election 2008, Fred Thompson, Hillary Clinton, Liberal, Liberalism, McCain, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, Politics, Progress, Progressive, Republicans, Romney, Ron Paul, Rudy Giuliani, Sam Brownback

3 responses to “It’s time to Slim Down the Competition

  1. Interesting that you’ve included Huckabee in group 1. I don’t disagree, but he is very borderline. You almost need to make a subgroup, call it group 1.5, and put McCain and Huckabee in it.

  2. Let’s not forget that it’s very early in the election cycle still. It’s not even 2008. This cycle has began absurdly early. I think in that respect it’s appropriate to have many candidates at this point and there need be no big rush in narrowing it down.

    And honestly, I’m not sure I really understand the need to weed people out now. You say “it’s wasting people’s time.” How? No one has to bay attention to a candidate that doesn’t interest them, for whatever reason. You also criticize your category 3 candidates for having “no message.” Does a candidate have to have a clear overall message to add to the debate? I think Biden and Gravel have made meaningful contributions to the Democratic party debate. Biden right now is adding an element of straight talking to the campaign, because as a long shot that’s usually a good strategy. And Gravel is pointing out that no one is being honest about where they get their money from. I think that is certainly also an important message.

    I guess I just don’t see the harm to the process of having all these candidates. It’s a sign of how vital this particular election cycle is. Also, how are we to decide who should go? People may not disagree that much about who fits into group 1, but one person’s group 3 candidate could easily be another’s group 2 candidate.

    Ultimately, I think it’s always a risky proposition in a democratic process to take a position against participation.

  3. Aaron

    Just a thought: One of the incentives for campaigning is increased name recognition and public allure. Two paramount factors when charging speaking fees. I don’t want to be overly harsh towards Mayor Giuliani but he has earned a fortune in this respect. I don’t think this applies currently to Giuliani’s campaign but the other day when entering Barns & Nobles I noticed several 2nd-tier candidate’s books on display. Of course I am not saying they’re simply money hungry, as book releases can help one’s shot at winning the nomination but it’s possible that some candidates (who know they don’t have a chance at winning) are hoping to gain something aside from the nomination in this election: namely $.

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