17-person GOP pres. field is down to 16; Rick Perry quits the race


The race for the Republican nomination for President has dropped from 17 candidates down to 16. Former Texas governor Rick Perry has quit the race. 

This is no surprise, rumors had been flying for weeks about his campaign’s money troubles and how they had to lay off staff, and how badly the fundraising was going for them and so on. The polling had been awful, and to add insult to injury he wasn’t even getting invited to the top-tier debates.

The reality is that Perry was bringing nothing to the race. I guess he tried to be the true “conservative” option, except that’s hard to do when at least a dozen or more of your competitors are as conservative as you say you are. The real problem for Perry is most of this field was saying pretty much the same thing he was saying. 

If you are going to survive as a GOP contender you really need to distinguish yourself in some fashion, for better or worse. Donald Trump is the “populist outsider”, Ben Carson is the “Christian outsider”, Mike Huckabee is simply “the Christian”, Jeb Bush is “the Establishment”, Rand Paul is the “liberty” candidate, Ted Cruz is the “Tea Party”, Carly Fiorina is the “feisty businesswoman”, and so on. 

They’ve all got varying degrees of traction right now because they all bring something to the table policy-wise that is unique. The ones that don’t are the ones in the biggest difficulty. For Perry, he couldn’t claim to be the “conservative” in a race full of them; he couldn’t be the “Christian” candidate with so many candidates supporting “family values” and seeking approval from the religious right; and he couldn’t even claim to be the “Texas candidate” with Cruz also in the race. What’s worse, Cruz seems to be doing pretty well at the moment.

In short, the message just didn’t stand out. Plus, Perry has all kinds of legal problems at home, and is a famously lousy debater. 

So that’s that. One down, and 15 left to dispose of before we finally get a GOP nominee.

Now the question is who is next to go? I have seen rumors that Lindsey Graham could quit the race soon, his campaign has almost nothing going for it. In fact, Graham actually visited Saskatchewan this year to see that carbon-capture facility in Estevan, and the province’s press was playing up how our great and important province was being visited by this great American presidential contender. I was going “contender? That’s a stretch.” 

At least one non-contender is not going down without a fight: Bobby Jindal

This week the Louisiana governor just unloaded on Trump, calling him a “narcissist” and a “non-serious carnival act.” So now Trump is feuding with Jindal now, which is exactly what Jindal needs to lift up his sinking ship of a campaign. The story about Jindal’s remarks here — it’s pretty funny stuff.