The 2016 Presidentail Derby is off and running (column)
“And they’re almost off.” Yes, the entrance to the 2016 Presidential Derby has officially been flung open wider than the gap between George Bernard Shaw and Pee Wee Herman. Backstage at the Bolshoi Ballet and the snack bar adjacent to the Professional Bowlers Association Hall of Fame gift shop. Horseshoes and mirrors.
At the Republican Leadership Summit in New Hampshire, various contenders staggered out to the starting gate testing the footing of the track with cries of trainers still ringing in their ears: “The race may be many things, but it is not a sprint. A marathon. A steeplechase. A twisted cross-country endurance run on a course designed by masochists, fueled by obscene amounts of cash and overseen by clowns and contortionists. But not a sprint.”
Establishing position on the far outside rail, Doctor Senator Indian Chief Rand Paul, followed in the hoof prints of Ted Cruz by announcing his candidacy for the GOP nomination wearing the red, white and blue silks of the Tea Party. And visually, the race promises to get awfully giddy with those colors.
Paul tied his campaign to defeating Congress, which is odd, since he is a member. Track touts might describe this attack as a patriotic form of self-loathing. But in his stable, this is referred to as expedient positioning. AKA: sucking up to the punters.
Rand Paul, son of Ron Paul, not RuPaul, has chosen the slogan, “Defeat the Washington Machine. Unleash the American Dream;” at least 11 syllables too long for your typical spectator’s attention span. Might as well be a racing form printed in Greek.
From a barn in the deep wrinkled shadows of America’s dangling appendage comes Florida Sen. Marco Rubio, who claims to be running as the young whippersnapping colt come to steal the reins of government back from those old nags who refuse to throw off the saddle. No names. (Jeb and Hillary.)
The 43-year-old son of Cuban immigrants is camera-ready but untested, with the gravitas of dandelion fuzz. And viewed as vulnerable from his right after suggesting an immigration compromise, which ticked off hardliners in the Party- of- No so badly, they nearly dropped a wreath of burning crosses. The good news for Rubio is he doesn’t have to worry about peaking too early.
Nosing around the paddock contemplating a stretch run are almost 20 more potential entrants including a gaggle of governors, a female CEO and some guy with aerodynamic hair. Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, whose both sire and mare are first-time breeders, the Koch Brothers, is not only chomping at the bit but also taking nips at field favorites.
Donald Trump has officially announced plans to form an exploratory committee that will investigate the possibility of him considering a run. Why? Because America needs decisive leadership, that’s why. The publicity-seeking dandy donkey vows to make a decision in June or July, or whenever NBC decides to premiere the new edition of his silly reality show.
In the other closely watched contest, the Democratic Sweepstakes, the only entree so far is that old warhorse, Hillary Clinton, who could very well win in a walk. But don’t lose track of long shot Bernie Sanders who looks to be setting up a table near the final stretch, piled high with monkey wrenches and whips.
Will Durst is an award-winning, nationally acclaimed political comic. Email Will at email@example.com.
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