Becoming president of the United States is something only a small handful of individuals are capable of achieving. But simply declaring oneself a candidate for the highest office in the land is at the opposite end of the spectrum – anyone can do it, and thousands have. Indeed, history is replete with virtually anonymous men and women who filed the paperwork to become presidential candidates for no apparent reason beyond any attendant self-generated publicity and the ability to tell their friends at the Kiwanis Club or at cocktail parties that they ran for president. In other words, sheer vanity.
That said, what do the following names have in common? Steve Bullock, John Delaney, Mike Gravel, Joe Sestak, Richard Ojeda, and Wayne Messam. The answer is that they are actually among the most recognizable of the hundreds of individuals who put their names forward as candidates for president in 2020 alone. And as Election 2024 approaches, the names of Mike Pence, Chris Christie and Doug Burgum, all of whom are set to announce this week, are likely to join that voluminous list of candidates destined for the ash heap of presidential campaign history.
2024 Republican Presidential Race: Elephants and Midgets
Let’s see if we can unravel the mind and motives of one Chris Christie, former governor of New Jersey, who plans to announce his candidacy on Tuesday, June 6. He ran for president against Donald Trump in 2016, and dropped out after the New Hampshire primary. Then, once Trump captured the nomination, Christie became a vocal supporter of his one-time rival, and was tapped to run President-elect Trump’s transition team. But he was ultimately denied the one position he desired, attorney general. And so he reversed course again and eventually added his voice to the anti-Trump chorus. Finally, he completed a full 360 by calling Trump a coward, setting the stage for his own 2024 campaign in which he will likely spend most of his time seeking media coverage for attacking the frontrunner.
Revenge, as they say, is best served cold, and Christie demonstrated his propensity for it when he shut down the most well-traveled corridor between New Jersey and New York City to punish a small-town mayor who refused to endorse him. His public approval immediately tanked to a degree rarely seen in politics.
If there is anyone who believes Chris Christie is the answer to the question of how to fix the party and recapture the White House, they might also make the case for Mike Pence, who, like Christie, will attempt to polish his own tarnished legacy by running for president, with his announcement set for Wednesday, June 7. But with no identifiable constituency beyond neoconservatives desperate to regain control of a party now dominated by America-first populism, he will have to be content with setting himself apart from the man who selected him to be vice president – because he has as much chance of becoming president as, well, Chris Christie – or Doug Burgum.
Who is Mr. Burgum, you say? Well, he is the 66-year old former software executive and current second-term governor of North Dakota who will also throw his hat in the crowded ring on June 7, running on a platform of small town values, energy independence and entrepreneurialism.
Some might argue that these three candidates could have actually have convinced themselves that they have a path to the White House. After all, Jimmy Carter in 1976 and Bill Clinton in 1992 were both relatively unknown governors of small southern states before rising to the presidency. So if they could do it, so can I, they tell themselves. But in both cases, those two upstart candidates prevailed in wide-open primaries with no clear frontrunner. For 2024, it is the opposite, with two elephants in the room (pun intended) named Trump and DeSantis.
If Trump wins the nomination, he has a number of attractive choices for the number two spot on the ticket. If he can set his ego aside and select a rising star and second-most popular figure in the party, he would choose Ron DeSantis. If he wants to try and reverse his poor standing among those pesky suburban women famously turned off by his personality, he could select Nikki Haley. If he wants to up the ante on winning over more black voters while securing his evangelical base, he could choose Tim Scott. But he, or whoever the eventual nominee turns out to be, is not going to select Pence for obvious reasons. The choice of a second outspoken white guy from the New York area, a Trump-Christie pairing, also makes zero political sense. And Burgum will surely have to settle for finishing out his time as governor of the Peace Garden State (yes, that is the official nickname of North Dakota).
So, with the entry of this trio, you might ask, how many candidates have filed altogether? Well, with the next presidential election still 17 months away, literally hundreds of individuals have officially entered the 2024 race, including more than 200 Republicans and over 100 Democrats. The overwhelming majority are completely unknown outside of their own communities. In 2020, no less than 1,212 candidates filed for president – counting independents and members of more than a dozen parties – including Libertarian, Green, Liberal, Progressive, American Independent, Constitution, United Citizens, Human Rights, Citizens’, Peoples’, Conservative, American Solidarity, We the People parties – and more. Finally, there are those who identify as “nonpartisan” or “unaffiliated,” which sounds like the political equivalent of non-binary – and the opposite of the hilariously named Independent Conservative Democratic Party which must fancy itself as all things to all people.
Now, you might say, why bother to enumerate all those fringe parties and unknown candidates who have zero chance of victory? Well, even though they are not unknown, do Mike Pence, Chris Christie, or Doug Burgum really have any better chance of becoming president?
Liberty Nation Today:
BREAKING: McCarthy Speakership Falls - The Office of Speaker of the House is now vacant. - Read Now!
NASA’s Climate Change Metrics Need Fixing - Loving your lawn comes with an expensive but unseen cost. - Read Now!
Matt Gaetz Makes His Move on McCarthy - The House begins a precarious game. - Read Now!
Trump Defiant in New York Fraud Trial - The former president makes his Manhattan appearance a campaign stop. - Read Now!
Hunter Biden to Face the Music on Gun Charges - A bid for preferential treatment was shot down by the judge. - Read Now!