Today, the Allegedly On The Issues Podcast tackles an important issue: ridiculously sad Presidential candidates. Below, you will see 8 polls to vote on. Why? Simple, it’s March Madness. We’ve put together a 16 candidate bracket, splitting the field into Republican and Democratic contenders. This week on the podcast, we break down all the first round match-ups, as well as getting into our normal podcast format. Check out the podcast below, or, just hop on down to the voting on the Saddest Presidential Candidate Since 2000 March Madness Bracket.
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Criteria. Criteria for the selection committee was loose, but, it should be stated off the top that certain candidates were excluded for not having longevity in their campaigns. For instance, any candidate who withdrew from contention before getting to a 3rd contest was not considered. The idea is not to pick the candidate who was simply least Presidential, or the worst damn President ever.
Mainly, we’re looking for candidates who held on too long, didn’t understand their role in the process, thought way more highly of themselves and then got burnt, or, well, were just all around sad.
4. Rick Santorum vs. 5. Alan Keyes
Rick Santorum makes it into the rankings for his 2012 campaign. Anyone who eventually loses out to Mitt Romney should get strong consideration on a list like this. Santorum managed to win 11 contests while never once becoming a viable candidate.
Key Wins: Iowa
Alan Keyes makes the list for his 2000 and 2008 Campaigns, as well as having the strongest Wikipedia Picture of any Presidential Candidate. Keyes hung around until deep in the primary process in 2008 despite doing so poorly that wikipedia hardly includes him on the results page. He fared better in 2000, finish 2nd place in a handful of states and getting to speak more. Which, really, just makes his holding on in 2008 that much more sad.
Key Wins: 20% of the vote in Utah!
2. Fred Thompson vs. 7. Duncan Hunter
A lot of Republicans thought that Fred Thompson was a strong, Presidential-ish character in his role on television’s Law & Order. This propelled Fred into thinking he was a strong, Presidential-ish person. Very few agreed with Fred. Fred had to take a break from acting to lose this Presidential election.
Key Wins: 25% of the vote in Wyoming
The only thing I remember about Hunter’s campaign is that he desperately wanted to build a border fence with Mexico. Which goes to show that this platform will end in failure, UNLESS, accompanied by over the top vitriol and denigration of the folks on the other side of the wall.
Key Wins: Wait, you thought Duncan Hunter won something?
3. Steve Forbes v. 6. Jeb Bush
Steve Forbes is on this list for his 2000 campaign. Which can be marked by one thing: taking the complete opposite approach to every single issue outside of his main flat tax proposal. Forbes started with second place finishes in Iowa and Alaska, but, his hope was quickly and decisively knocked back, which is why he makes the list over a guy like Gary Bauer.
Key Wins: Lost Alaska by only .11%
What can be said about Jeb Bush that already has not been said about a hibernating bear?
Key Wins: The first day he did not need to be on a stage with Donald Trump
1. Ben Carson v. 8. Rudy Guiliani
Ben Carson was thought of as a really nice, really smart guy when he entered the 2016 Republican Presidential Campaign. Really good at being a neurosurgeon, and such. Carson thought that the many, many dollars being thrown his direction by extreme conservatives would translate into success in the polls. Fortunately for Dr. Carson it still translated into money in his pocket. But, as for the race itself, Carson showed up at Debates. He spoke occasionally, but, not very often. He pleaded with his opponents to attack him, simply so he could speak. He held on too long, of course, and sentiment for Carson started to shift from, this guy does not know how to speak on the issues to, why is this guy putting himself through this s***?
Key Wins: Check the New York Times Bestsellers list for the Non-Fiction category in a couple of months when Carson’s new autobiography (with Foreword by Donald Trump!) hits shelves
Giuliani had two things going for him heading into the 2008 Campaign: First, he seemed the most like George W. Bush of the candidates, and, Second, he really, really thought he could win in the swing states. Maybe he could have, which is why, for a period of time, Giuliani was actually the alleged frontrunner. He wound up with 0 delegates.
Key Wins: Florida. Not that he won Florida, of course, but, it was his best showing, at 15% To which Giuliani’s response was to drop out of the election.
4. Dennis Kucinich vs. 5. Wesley Clark
Our goal in criteria was to weed out the pretenders. Only candidates who lifted themselves up before their disappointment, and such. Kucinich had dogged determination with his campaign, however. In 2004, he was the last candidate to drop out of the race. Did this determination pay off by the building of momentum at any point in time? No, of course not.
Key Wins: Withdrawing after only 3 contests in 2008.
Wesley always seemed like a nice military dude. If you’ve seen House of Cards Season 4, there’s a comparison in there which should be obvious, but, I don’t want to provide spoilers for even minute details. Clark did decent early on, but thought his best states would be in the South. He dropped out when he started to lose in the south to John Edwards. So, really, he needed that Edwards affair and felony charges thing to happen MUCH sooner
Key Wins: Oklahoma
2. Joe Lieberman vs. 7 Martin O’Malley
Lieberman is just an all around sad dude. Pretty much all of his political positions outside of Israel relations are weak and malleable. In 2004, Lieberman’s campaign acted as if he was the presumptive nominee simply because he was Gore’s running mate in 2000. He got rolled. Finished behind Al Sharpton in popular vote overall, even, and resented the Party for this treatment, eventually endorsing John McCain in 2008.
Key Wins: Saying that his campaign had “Joementum” and then immediately losing.
O’Malley was an after-thought in a three-candidate race in 2016. That’s kind of hard to do. He never distinguished himself in any way, and took every moment possible at the debates to ask for cash instead of conveying his points in a way that could lead to someone giving him cash.
Key Wins: That one debate where he only spoke in quotes from Mayor Thomas Carcetti off the televison show “The Wire”
3. Howard Dean vs. 6. Bill Bradley
Dean raised so much money in early 2004. Then, he did the only thing you remember Howard Dean doing:
He lasted way too long after that.
Key Wins: When Dave Chappelle parodied the scream on Chappelle’s Show.
How sad is a guy who lost an election to Al Gore? I mean, come on, right? Bill Bradley won NO states and only 20% of the popular vote against Gore in what was basically a head-to-head race. He stayed in for 20 states, though!
Key Wins: Received an endorsement from Michael Jordan
1. Mike Gravel vs. 8. Al Gore
This guy’s wikipedia page for his 2008 Presidential Run features a picture of him and a sign that reads: “Vote for Grandpa Mike.” This pretty much sums up Mike Gravel. He had been out of the senate since like the 70s when he decided to run in 2008. He won 0% of the vote on all ballots he was on, and then, did not withdraw until the end of March. Wait, technically, he didn’t withdraw…he did, however, switch to the Libertarian Party at this time, seeking their nomination. Which, he also lost.
Key Wins: Ha.
Most people who made viable, deep runs in their campaigns are not involved with this bracket. Which, you would think would eliminate Gore from contention. But, no, f*** that. Gore is the saddest of the sad, despite accomplishing something none of the other 15 candidates accomplished.
Key Wins: 2000 Presidential General Election Popular Vote
Listen to previous Episodes of the Podcast: