Here's to Bill de Blasio, Kirsten Gillibrand and the Rest of the No-Hopers!
I made the mistake of donating money to the Democratic Party several years ago in a desperate, ultimately doomed attempt to get Hillary Clinton elected. I really thought the seventy-eighty dollars I gave the party would ultimately prove the difference between a Trump presidency and a Hillary victory. Turns out I was wrong and when I asked for my seventy-eight dollars back they flat-out refused on the basis that they get to keep the money whether their candidates win or lose. That does NOT seem fair.
So I get regular emails “from” big timers like Elizabeth Warren, Joe Biden and Bernie Sanders from the Democratic Party but also no-hopers like Michael Bennet, Bill de Blasio, John Delaney, Mike Gravel and Tulsi Gabbard. These curious, Quixotic figures similarly assault me on a regular basis in the form of sponsored Facebook posts introducing themselves, then begging for money so that they can raise enough scratch and generate enough signatures so that they can stand on a debate stage alongside eight other no-hopers with zero chance of getting elected president, alongside maybe Joe Biden or Elizabeth Warren.
These appeals tend to sound interchangeable. They’ll go something like, “I’m Peter Semmingwhich and for the last eight years I’ve had the honor of serving Pittsburgh as its comptroller and my constituents have a message they want me to bring to the White House after I’m elected president: there are too many darn windmills, and it’s about time someone did something about it. That’s why I’m asking you, someone who understandably has never heard of me because I am a nobody with no chance of getting elected, to donate 100 dollars so that I can qualify to stand on that debate stage and angrily tell Marianne Williamson that “love” means nothing with excess windmills giving everyone Cancer.”
I always have the same response to these desperate pleas: I don’t give money to people I do know, mainly because I don’t have it, so I sure as shit not going to give it to Mike Gravel because he dreams of some day scoring two percent in a poll, any poll, even of his immediate family members.
There’s something poignant and more than a little heartbreaking about the innately doomed campaigns of would-be Commanders-in-Chief, something deeply sad and bittersweet about their willingness to devote considerable personal, political and economic resources towards something with no chance of succeeding.
Some candidates are sadder and more poignant than others. I remember being morbidly fascinated by the late-stage career of “Please clap” presidential candidate Jeb Bush, to the point where I scoured eBay for a Jeb Bush hoodie to no avail. The quasi-candidacy of Starbucks owner Howard Schultz, who was prepared to run for president and spend a fortune winning zero percent of the vote under the curious logic that what the American public desperately needed was safe, centrist candidate to occupy that crucial wishy-washy center was similarly fascinating to me in its bone-headed impossibility.
Then there’s Bill de Blasio. How embarrassing is his campaign? Why on earth is he still in the race? Every day he remains a presidential candidate is another day the public’s respect for him diminishes further.
Who could have imagined that the presidential campaign of the Mayor of New York would generate a tiny fraction of the excitement of the campaign of a 37 year old gay mayor from South Bend, Indiana?
Yet that lack of name recognition did not keep Mayor Pete from becoming a force in the Democratic race. The race so far has had its share of surprises, from Beto O’ Rourke burning out quickly to Marianne Williamson receiving a whole lot of attention from rubberneckers and a morbidly curious press.
Obviously Biden is the front runner, followed by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren but at this point the race is still wide-open. After all, going into the 2016 race, conventional wisdom held that Jeb Bush would cruise to the nomination, and then face off against Hillary Clinton in a battle of political dynasties. At one point in the Republican 2016 presidential race, Ben Carson was the front-runner, seemingly on the basis that he seemed nice and mellow and had an impressive job as a brain surgeon.
That’s the crazy thing about long shot presidential candidates. Sometimes wild card figures with absolutely no chance of winning shock the world by getting elected president, like Donald Trump. And sometimes/often, safe, establishment figures who have spent much of their adult lives waiting patiently for their turn to be president, like Bob Dole, John McCain and Hillary Clinton, end up getting defeated.
That said, Bill de Blasio, get the fuck out of the race. You’re just embarrassing yourself. That goes for plenty of you other no-hopers as well. Follow the lead of Kirsten Gillibrand, who dropped out when it became achingly apparent she had no choice.
I worry instead that these deluded souls will follow the example of Donald Trump. The Apprentice host horrifyingly did not let the fact that he shouldn’t, and for much of his campaign seemingly couldn’t get elected president keep him from not only running for president, but staying in the race and winning.
That motherfucker has given a whole lot of other crazed narcissists false hope and set the bar for qualifications to be president so low that seemingly everyone can meet it, including pre-verbal babies and people who have been in coma for years. They may not be able to communicate with the outside world, but they’re still more qualified to be president than Trump, a man who regrettably CAN communicate with the outside world, largely via tweeting, and abuses that privilege constantly.
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