Following the 2016 race, it’s important to note that as we are entering the final stretch with Trump and Clinton seeming more and more poised to stand before America with their messages of tyranny and economic moans, we need to reflect on the people who had some fun in the race and sadly/thankfully didn’t make it. The guys who walked in hoping it’d be their time to become president, but just ended up as political losers who wasted time and money. The people, who in 2017 will be nothing more than a “Yeaahhhh!” from Howard Dean, and say “Oops” with Rick Perry over thinking they could hold the Oval Office.
I’m going to set a few points on this list. The first being that it is both Republicans and Democrats included. The second being that Marco Rubio shockingly didn’t make the list for reasons I’ll get into at the bottom. The third being that it should be noted the election isn’t quite over yet, and some of these people can make recovery efforts.
Let’s look at the people who I wish could have Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders join their loser circle right about now.
- Rand Paul
This is the one that pains me to mention. Rand Paul has been the greatest representative of liberty in the Senate since Robert Taft. A man who ran against an establishment Kentucky Republican and an establishment Kentucky Democrat, and using a grassroots-oriented campaign managed, to crush them both. The man who walked into the Senate as someone people never thought would go anywhere and became an ally in many unlikely alliances putting out some great bills. Rand Paul really was the most bipartisan man in the Senate having worked with everyone from Cory Booker to Mike Lee to Mitch McConnell to Barbara Boxer to Kirsten Gillibrand to Jim Demint and still be the man representing libertarian values. I donated to him. I helped set up fundraisers for him. I cheered for him. I praised him in social media and articles. I also had the pleasure of casting a vote for him in the 2015 CPAC straw poll and getting to rally in victory with his fans.
With that said, he became political road kill in the 2016 election. And while Donald Trump might have been a factor, his demise was destined long before the Combover Clown got into this. With a first quarter raise of only $6 million and lackluster debate performances where friends and family told me they forgot he was even there, he fell and fell very hard. It was a sad joke of a campaign and many people such as myself felt embarrassed at Iowa that after all that planning and money, we couldn’t even make the top three in Iowa let only break 10%.
So, with that failure, why is Rand only number ten on the list? Well, unlike everyone below here, Rand has a future which might still include a presidential race in 2020 or 2024. The difference this time is he won’t have hundreds of thousands of people begging him to do it in social media and at events. He won’t have people take bus rides on their own dime from North Dakota to D.C. in order to vote for him in straw polls. He won’t be the assumed libertarian candidate anymore. He will be someone who needs to re-earn confidence with the base and give a presence that he can actually do it right next time.
For that, he’s a 2016 loser…
- Lincoln Chafee
Now really, when did this guy ever have a future? A mayflower family New Englander with the thickest accent imaginable telling stories about how everyone in his family since his great great grandfather has been a governor or senator who comes off as the nice, socially awkward guy. A guy who was a failed one term senator knocked out of the GOP and managed to lose reelection to his roommate in college. A one term independent governor who despite switching to the Democrats in affiliation was still lingering at 30% approval ratings in one of the bluest states in the nation. This was Lincoln Chafee.
Despite a long family and personal history in politics, he was met at the first DNC debate with many going “Who the hell is this guy?” or “Why does his voice sound like the mayor from Scooby-Doo and the Witch’s Ghost?” He raised only $30,000 for his entire presidential run in which his campaign was essentially just him, his wife and one assistant running around the country flying coach and doing minor appearances at whatever speaking opportunity would take him. It was a complete joke.
Luckily enough, no one bothered to learn who he was and for that, no one will remember him managing to be lower tier over Jim Webb and Martin O’Malley.
- Mike Huckabee
I have a sad truth to admit. There was a time I once liked Mike. I knew he was a social conservative lunatic. I knew he had no idea how to discuss basic economics. I knew he was an arguably bad governor who took a right wing state and acted like a left wing Republican. I didn’t care. He just had a personality which won me over. That and I preferred him much more to Romney.
Yet with his 2008 run having him at an arguable third place, and polls for 2012 showing him leading Romney nationally, he managed to take a credible and a nationally-known name and succeed to throw it in the garbage. He completely failed and managed to go from the winner of the 2008 Iowa caucus and turn himself into the seventh place man for Iowa. He even went so far down that despite national recognition, he had to eventually go and fight for the chicken fingers (he eats a lot of them) at the kids table debate.
The only reason he’s so low on this list is due to him only seeming to run as a way to get a new deal for a second TV show and also perhaps write a few more books. Now while it’s not clear if Fox will bring him back for another season of Huckabee, he still has a chance at that and it isn’t a total political doomsday.
- Hillary Clinton
This one is probably the funniest. Why? Because well, she’s probably going to end up as the President of the United States. I have no freaking idea on why or how, but she’s most likely going to end up sitting in the White House.
That said, why is she number seven? Why is she marked as politically destroyed?
Well, despite being a nationally-known name for two entire decades with never leaving Washington for a second and previously holding 65% public approval ratings, she managed to have a bad experience with the 74 year old poor man from Brooklyn that no one ever heard of, and have 52% of Americans outright say they don’t like her. She has become a political pariah on her own party on the left and is the ultimate enemy of the right. In that, she sits with doomsday for her political career and will likely never fully recover from this disaster of a primary campaign.
Plus, in the unlikely event she doesn’t become president, it’ll be marked as her being the worst politician in American history having lost to the guy without a resume whose name sounds like a terrorist and the reality show host with at least one wife saying he beat her.
- Jim Webb
Webb had one good moment in this entire election. Saying he killed communists! Not that I remember anything else about that long talk he gave or really do not know what the hell he was trying to get across, but him talking about killing commies with Bernie Sanders standing next to him very likely moving his feet in preparation for things to take a turn for the worst just, wins him laughs from me. It’s just too funny to not remember and praise about the guy.
Besides that? He was the Democrat saying he’s fine with the Confederate flag flying on state grounds, wants more gun rights, wants the keystone pipeline and held a series of other bizarre stances which made me wonder if he just accidentally found himself in the wrong primary debate. His campaign was bizarre, poorly managed and witnessing that Rocky Anderson could attract more third party support over him, he has seemed to do a complete retirement from politics and I can’t imagine anyone missing him.
- Rick Santorum
First off, thank the lord I don’t believe in!
Rick Santorum walked in as a guy who just felt a little too confident for 2016. He set up a run really holding onto the rule of seconds on the Republican Party. A rule which has up until 2016 always seemed to hold where the person to come in second place will get the nomination at the next turn. Santorum thankfully broke that rule and broke it with a humiliating eleventh place showing in Iowa (a state he won in 2012).
He has no future in his home state of Pennsylvania and it seems that he’s too scared nationally to ever give a White House run again.
Yet, hey! He still had his last name get into the dictionary!
- Chris Christie
For this photo, I just decided to put up a photo of him pouring a bag of M&Ms into what appears to be a larger box of M&Ms. For Chris Christie, the man was put as political road kill and giving the “What have I done?” face to backing the humiliation of Donald Trump just puts things into perspective here. He’s now going home to a state that has long lost their love affair with him and he has lost all hope of being able to do a future run of any kind there.
With all of this over, he is however still vying for a spot as attorney general to a Trump administration. But let’s face two things. One, Trump isn’t going to become president. Two, Christie won’t win the battle he will have with Judge Judy for that spot.
- George Pataki/Bobby Jindal/Lindsay Graham
What happens when the three-term governor of the third largest state in the country who defeated a three-term incumbent and witnesses the 9/11 terror strikes, runs for president?
What happens when a young two-term governor who won reelection with 85% of the vote and was assistant HHS secretary runs for president?
What happens when arguably the most influential member of the Senate, backed up by his party’s former nominee, runs for president?
With the three-way tie of Graham, Jindal, and Pataki, it could be noted that these guys, despite mega resumes that in any other race would have put them in the top tier, they each never for a single day in the 2016 cycle held polls putting them above 2% of the vote. They never built any momentum, never really achieved anything and just time and time again embarrassed themselves at the kids’ table debates doing nothing. They watched Carly Fiorina who ran as a failed CEO surge past them and had to go out competing with the unheard of Jim Gilmore for the race.
These people, in a sane world – well, in a sane world they’d still lose badly. However, in a more sane world over what we have now, but not a perfectly sane world in which we’d have libertarianism, they’d all be people in the top tier. In 2000, 2008, or 2012, anyone of the three with the resumes and history they had could have walked in and become a frontrunner. Yet this time around, they lost hard and lost any real future of being viable nationally again.
- Jeb Bush
$170 million wasted; 170 million dollars literally flushed down the drain.
Just to put that in comparison, let’s list some films which were box office bombs of the mega that still didn’t suffer as much.
The Lone Ranger – $110m lost
Fantastic Four 2015 – $125m lost
Mars Needs Moms – $150m lost
Tomorrowland – $100m lost
Garbage Pail Kids The Movie – $25m lost
Jeb Bush as a campaigner is just something which showed how out of touch K-Street was. A guy who never for a single moment was able to rally a forty year old nationally-known family name and turn it into anything close to genuine support. Jeb always found himself as an unpopular and unwanted default pick grandparents would put when deciding if Marco Rubio was too edgy for them.
Jeb was in every sense a political disaster coming sixth in Iowa, a distant fourth in New Hampshire and a distant fourth in South Carolina. The man lost in New Hampshire to Ted Cruz despite having outspent Cruz in that state alone by $50 to every $1 that Cruz spent. He went from the kid who everyone always called the smarter brother and now people moving him into the “special” member of the family.
- Martin O’Malley
Where to begin? This guy began his 2016 run as the youngest Democrat seeking the nomination by almost 15 years to any other candidate. He was the “hip” two-term governor and had a leftist platform to go against Hillary. He opened this getting far more support over Bernie Sanders by the mainstream media and was always viewed as the man who’d give Hillary the fight that Bernie gave.
However, he never for a single day polled above 5% in the primary; he did poorly in every single debate; he was met with a laughable 1% in the Iowa caucus; and he now faces millions of dollars in personal debt that he took for the campaign putting him in total financial ruin.
In short, he was the biggest loser of 2016 and rightfully so.
I want to give single sentence reasons on some others who didn’t make it onto the list and I’d not call losers in this election cycle.
- Scott Walker – Left so early that no one even remembered he ran.
- Rick Perry – Same as Walker.
- Jim Gilmore – Had no shot from the get-go.
- Carly Fiorina – Did way better over what anyone ever imagined.
- Ben Carson – The guy actually managed to outperform Jeb Bush and Chris Christie in every metric, despite visibly having no idea what he was talking about this entire election.
With that, all I can say is I hope there’s some reality wherein Donald Trump, Hillary Clinton, and Bernie Sanders can all find themselves in a losers’ circle one day.
This article was edited for grammar, style, and spelling, but not for content. The views expressed are that of the author, Charles Peralo, exclusively, and do not reflect that of BeingLibertarian.com or Being Libertarian LLC
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