Peter Funt Peter Funt, 6/3/2015 [Archive]

It's a GOP Stampede

By Peter Funt

Every concerned American — or, at minimum, Jimmy Kimmel and John Oliver — is eager to learn who's next in the Republican presidential free-for-all.

True, anyone entering at this point faces an uphill battle in a field that seems to be growing at the rate of roughly one new candidate every hour. The list is so long that not everyone will have an opportunity to participate in debates, beginning with the absurdly early one sponsored by Fox News on Aug. 6. Fortunately, this helps candidates who have little familiarity with the issues.

But why run? Politicians in the Modern Era have an Exploratory Committee that develops a Master Plan, beginning with a...

Book Deal. A savvy candidate takes mental notes during the campaign and reviews them at least briefly with the professional ghostwriter hired to craft their story. A book helps with the...

TV Series. As Mike Huckabee has slickly proved, nothing impresses cable-TV executives more than a genuine former presidential candidate. Huckabee ran a laughably lame campaign in 2008, which led to a laughably poor talk show on Fox News Channel, which has led, laughably, to his running again in the current campaign, which will soon lead to another television show for even more money. This generates interest in...

Speaking Engagements. Although GOP candidates can never hope to achieve Clinton-level speaking fees of up to a half-million dollars a pop, running for the presidency will definitely boost their fortunes. As will...

Free Publicity. For some reason, numerous cable channels and websites are willing to cover the presidential campaign for longer than the Founding Fathers ever dreamed possible, despite the absence of anything newsworthy. Most days the big story is that someone else — like, say, Lindsey Graham or Donald Trump — has tossed a hat in the ring. TV crews gather on their front lawns until they emerge from their homes wearing TV makeup and pretending to be surprised. This generates tons of free publicity, which could attract...

Major Donors. The big prize, of course, is to have the arch-conservative Koch brothers, Charles and David, write a fat check. They're each worth more than $40 billion and have been called the two most powerful people in American politics. The trick to winning their support is to advocate for legislation that protects their pollution-producing chemical plants and paper mills. A kind word from a Koch can help launch a...

Nonprofit Foundation. As Chairman the candidate draws a hefty salary for doing practically nothing — that is, if you don't count all the speaking engagements, which pay large fees above and beyond his salary. Besides making money, the goal of the foundation is to secure a gig as an...

Adjunct Professor. Utah State University or perhaps Bob Jones University in South Carolina, would happily allow an actual presidential candidate to teach a government class in return for a lot of money and a better chance to seek...

The Vice Presidency. As Illinois Governor Peter Florrick artfully explained to his wife Alicia on "The Good Wife," some people run for president just to better position themselves to run for vice president. Unfortunately, now that Florrick has blabbed this on CBS, it seems to have become the chosen strategy of every current Republican presidential candidate. Most will have to settle for a major cabinet position or plum ambassadorship. It doesn't really matter considering the likely...

End Game. Overstuffing the GOP's presidential field is creating chaos of epic proportions. What Hillary Clinton needs at this point is to get some of her chums to announce that they're running as Republicans.

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Peter Funt is a writer and speaker. His book, "Cautiously Optimistic," is available at Amazon.com and CandidCamera.com.©2015 Peter Funt. Columns distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons, Inc., newspaper syndicate.

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