Niche Candidates Announce For President: Ben Carson – Mike Huckabee – Carly Fiorina

Yeah – NBC/WSJ poll: Democrats still supporting the one realistic choice they have, or something. So, Hillary’s still way ahead. Bill Press takes Beanie Sanders seriously (seriously?) but few others think Bernie Sanders is anything but a leftist niche Kook. No surprise there.

No surprise either that more Republicans are in announcement mode. We promised ourselves we would write an article per candidate announcement but here we are in early May and we are already pooped. Today it was Mike Huckabee who announced he was a candidate for president.

Mike Huckabee announced in Hope, Arkansas. Huckabee sells himself as the man that took on the Clinton machine repeatedly, in Arkansas even, and beat Bill Clinton. Mike Huckabee of course never ran against Bill Clinton let alone beat Bill.

We don’t think Mike Huckabee is a serious candidate. Huckabee is a niche candidate for certain social conservatives who “like Mike” and… well… not much else. Mike Huckabee’s social conservative credentials are what make him and what break him.

For Republicans who want to nominate Mike Huckabee we have two words of warning: Todd Akins.

In 2012 Barack Obama enabler Claire MaCaskill was enemy #1 and should have been defeated. McCaskill wanted the weakest opponent so she helped Republican Todd Akin become her opponent. Soon enough McCaskill’s ploy turned profitable when Todd Akin made some stupid comments about women and rape.

Just about every Republicans demanded Todd Akin withdraw from the race. Karl Rove pulled ad support. Ron Johnson, Scott Brown, John Cornyn (of the National Republican Senate campaign committee) all demanded Todd Akin withdraw so that McCaskill cloud be defeated. There was one Republican who demanded Todd Akin stay in:

Now Mike Huckabee says ‘forcible rapes’ create ‘extraordinary’ people as he comes to Todd Akin’s defense

Mike Huckabee has added to the furore Rep. Todd Akin unleashed with his ‘legitimate rape’ comments by pointing out that ‘extraordinary’ people can be born out of ‘forcible rape’.

The one-time presidential candidate made the claim, which will no doubt stoke the fires of outrage, on his radio show on Thursday as he gave the beleaguered Akin a platform to explain his comments.

‘Ethel Waters, for example, was the result of a forcible rape,’ Huckabee said of the late singer, as reported in the Los Angeles Times. [snip]

Akin, a Republican who is running for Senate in Missouri, stunned Americans when he explained his opposition to abortion for pregnancies caused by rape on KTVI-TV in St. Louis at the weekend.

‘It seems to me, first of all, from what I understand from doctors, that’s really rare,’ he said. ‘If it’s a legitimate rape the female body has ways to try to shut that whole thing down.’

If Republicans want the 2016 election against Hillary Clinton to be about rape, please do nominate Mike Huckabee:

Former Arkansas governor and radio personality, Mike Huckabee, appeared on Fox News Channel with Neil Cavuto on Friday to defend Missouri Senate candidate Todd Akin. Huckabee said that the party is being unfair to the Missouri Congressman. He also said the GOP is squandering an opportunity to frame Akin’s comments as a battle over right to life issues, which he believes the party can win on as easily as they can on economic issues.

Huckabee said that Akin apologized for his remarks and he should be forgiven for them. He went on to say that, on abortion issues, the nation is closer to Akin’s position than then are to President Barack Obama and Akin’s opponent, Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO).

Huckabee went on to say that it’s difficult to ask a candidate who has spent the past two years fighting to win a primary to drop out right after victory.

“Do you think the party has been unfair to him,” asked Cavuto.

“I do,” replied Huckabee. “This can be a teachable moment. It’s not that this is unrecoverable.” He advised the party to make abortion issues a central point in the Missouri Senate race.

Mike Huckabee got his wish in 2012. Todd Akin stayed in the race. Senator Claire McCaskill reelected.

If Republicans want to see Hillary Clinton reelected in a massive landslide (we don’t usually talk landslide for Hillary or anybody because American elections tend to be close) nominate Mike Huckabee for president.

Huckabee has other problems. We don’t think he is a serious candidate because there are better versions of candidates who espouse socially conservative views. Also, Huckabee sort of shifted away from social conservatives in his first ad of the season as he expanded his girth to better include economic issues. The days when Mike Huckabee could do well in Iowa and become a real contender for the nomination are long gone. Oh, and did you know that Mike Huckabee is under attack for being a liberal? A tax and spend kind of glutton?


Yeah, Huckabee is going nowhere.

A more interesting candidate who’s chances are just as dim as Huckabee’s is the decent Dr,. Ben Carson. Carson is a good man with a remarkable story to tell. We wrote about him back in February 2012 and why he is going nowhere in a presidential run:

Asked about his life story and the possibility of a run for public office the good doctor said there was nothing in his personal life that could come back to haunt him and “de-legitimize” him (at the 35 minute mark on the video). The doctor said he had a “clean” life. Poor deluded creature.

This is Ben Carson’s first run for political office. He will be eaten alive. As we wrote at the time, his religion will be used against him. His life story will be smeared. Every public utterance will be examined and used against him. Every “gaffe” as he speaks off the cuff will be enlarged to gargantuan size.

Ben Carson is a decent man. He is also a black man. We are happy to see Ben Carson run because it is important to see a decent black man run for president. But Ben Carson will not be the Republican nominee.

Another niche candidate is Carly Fiorina. Fiorina is a niche candidate but she is much more than that. Fiorina might be running for vice president. Fiorina is the anti-Hillary.

Carly Fiorina has a great story to tell. She started out going to law school but dropped out after one semester when she discovered that was not what she wanted to do. Fiorina became a temp worker and worked as a secretary.

Carly Fiorina received graduate business degrees from Maryland and from M.I.T. Carly Fiorina married a tow truck driver who went on to become an executive at AT&T. Fiorina went on to become the CEO of Hewlett Packard.

In 2009 doctors told Carly Fiorina she had breast cancer. Carly Fiorina underwent a double mastectomy.

Almost immediately, in 2010, Carly Fiorina ran for senate against Senator Barbra Boxer of California. Boxer was reelected.

None of the above facts really matter in the race for the Republican nomination as far as Carly Fiorina is concerned. Carly Fiorina is the woman candidate in the Republican race and that is what matters.

Carly Fiorina will run as the Hillary attacker.

As a woman Carly Fiorina will be able to continue her attacks against Hillary with less harm to herself than if those attacks came from a man. It did not do Fiorina much good in her election against Boxer but that was in deep blue California. Maybe in less blue states her attacks will resonate. Maybe.

Carly Fiorina is a very articulate woman. Fiorina’s attack against Hillary have “bite” and a tough snap.

As a business leader who has run a major corporation Fiorina’s critiques of the economy and taxes have credibility.

Carly Fiorina’s background in business might be the ticket for a country tired of politicians. Maybe. We doubt it. Combined with her one failed run for statewide office Carly Fiorina has assets that someone like Ben Carson does not.

We are almost sure that Carly Fiorina will not get the Republican nomination for president. What about vice president?

Carly Fiorina is the sole woman running for president on the Republican side. But in a race for Vice President the Republicans have many women to choose from. There are women governors like Indian-American Nikki Haley of South Carolina and Susanna Martinez of New Mexico. Martinez in particular might be an asset in key states such as Colorado with its large Latino population as well as in all the southwest states.

But neither Martinez nor Haley have the “bite” that Carly Fiorina’s attacks on Hillary display. This might be good or bad depending on what will be needed in 2016 against Hillary. Carly Fiorina might have too much “bite” to be vice president but that is what a vice presidential candidate should have. Paul Ryan was too nice to be a candidate for VP in 2012. In 2016 Republicans might want an “attack dog” to support their nominee.

Carly Fiorina is a good fit as an “attack dog” for whomever the Republicans nominate as their candidate. We can be sure that that Republican nominee will not be one of the niche candidates that announced their presidential runs this week.

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