Oops, I did it again. Who can forget this classic moment from the 2012 Republican presidential primaries when former three-time Texas Governor Rick Perry could not name the third federal agency he would have eliminated if he had been elected president. Well, apparently he's hopeful Republicans are a forgiving and forgetful bunch as he has declared his intention to seek the Republican nomination once again in 2016. On paper Perry meets all of the qualifications for the nomination and presidency and should appeal to a broad spectrum of the Republican field. His state, when compared to the states of all the other governors expected to run, produced the fastest job growth during his 14 years in office, which is impressive since his time in office encompasses the years before, during and after the Great Recession. And he did all of this while keeping taxes and spending to one of the lowest in the nation. So why isn't he getting more attention or traction? Part of it is the huge primary field—10 declared candidates with another five expected to officially announce. The other factor is his disappointing campaign run in 2012. Many conservatives that year saw Perry as the great hope to topple the moderate Mitt Romney. In fact, Perry arguably had the biggest collapse of any candidate in modern political primary history, so he will have a huge hurdle to overcome this year. If Perry gets his way there could be another Republican governor from Texas in the White House who also happened to be a cheerleader in college, despite the fact that President Bush and him don't exactly get along.
Moving beyond Rick Perry, on Wednesday, yet another candidate announced his candidacy—the hawkish Republican senator from South Carolina, Lindsey Graham. The rare and only bachelor running for president, Senator Graham plans to hinge his candidacy on being the most war ready and trigger happy of all the candidates, proclaiming on Fox News “don’t vote for me because I’m telling you what’s coming,” when asked about how Americans feel worn out by war. This might appeal to those on the hawkish side of the Party, but his centrist views on climate change and immigration may turn off the rest of the Party.
Don't let all the attention on the Republican field fool you, there are actually other Democrats running against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. Granted, they don't stand much of a chance versus the Clinton juggernaut. The first to announce this past Saturday was former Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley who hopes to offer an establishment candidate alternative to Clinton. O'Malley's best path to the nomination is a major scandal breaking in the race that gives Clinton supporters some pause. The second candidate who declared last weekend is former Republican and independent senator and now Democratic Governor Lincoln Chafee of Rhode Island. Chafee comes from a political family dynasty, but there appears almost no path to the nomination. At this point, Chafee is in the race to raise certain issues important to him by taking an "internationalist" approach to policies that include changing the U.S. to the metric system.
Lastly on the congressional side, there is a new Republican congressman from the great state of Mississippi. District Attorney Trent Kelly won a special election on Tuesday night to fill the seat left by the late Representative Alan Nunnelee. Kelly won with 70% of the vote, defeating Democrat Walter Zinn. Kelly was the front-runner of the contest from the get go, including the 13 candidate primary. A colonel in the Army National Guard, Kelly was endorsed by the widow of Representative Nunnelee. Now only one seat out of the 434 in the House remains unfilled. The remaining seat is Illinois 18th district, which will be filled by a special election on September 10.
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