The Other Candidates

American media is focusing on the race to find a Democrat to take on President Donald Trump in November’s election and ignoring what may be a more interesting race. There is a contest for the Republican nomination.

Maybe contest is too generous a description. No-one expects Trump to lose his party’s nomination. That just doesn’t happen to a sitting president.

The fact that Trump is being challenged though shows that just perhaps there is hope for the Republican party. Trying to find information about the campaign is a challenge though – a Trump victory is seen as a forgone conclusion.

Former Illinois Representative Joe Walsh (no relation I presume to the guitarist from The Eagles and The James Gang) abandoned his presidential bid earlier this month. You probably didn’t even know he was running.

I must admit, I hadn’t really followed his campaign – but there is no doubt of his dislike for Trump. When he decided not to continue his presidential run he suggested his supporters work to elect a Democrat instead.

Former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford didn’t even make it to the primary season. He abandoned his candidacy last fall, though I didn’t see any indication of that on his website.

That leaves former Massachusetts governor Bill Weld as the last person challenging Trump for his party’s nomination. If that name seems vaguely familiar, he ran in the last presidential election too. He was the vice-presidential candidate for the Libertarian party, picking up about three per cent of the vote.

Weld managed to pick up one delegate in the Iowa caucuses, but was shut out in the New Hampshire primary. His chances of winning the nomination are statistically improbable, but his continued candidacy is a reminder to Trump and his supporters that not everyone thinks they walk on water.

Given the space and personnel constraints of media organizations, I understand why these quixotic attempts to challenge Donald Trump have gone largely unreported. Which may be why in the eyes of most of the world Republicans are seen as, as best Neanderthals. (I won’t tell you what the worst is – I don’t use that sort of language.)

That’s a pity – but I doubt it is going to change anytime soon.



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