People tell me all the time, “Rob, I’m definitely not running for the Republican nomination. No way.” But are you sure? More and more Republicans are throwing their hats in the ring, and as the race fills up with 2016 hopefuls, the statistical likelihood that you’re one of them shoots up accordingly. “But Rob,” you’ll say, “there’s no way. I’m not even a Republican.”
Again, are you positive? I’ve heard rumors that former New York Governor George Pataki only yesterday found out that he was officially a Republican presidential candidate. “Really? Well that’s certainly news to me,” Gov. Pataki was heard to have said upon seeing his name in the papers for the first time in years. 2016 is reportedly still wide open for the GOP. Here’s how to find out if you’re in the running for the Republican bid.
1. Are you from Texas?
I only ask because, aside from insisting that Dr. Pepper is the best soda on the market, or spreading lies on the Internet that “real chili doesn’t have any beans,” there’s nothing Texans love to do more than run for President. George W. Bush was President, and that guy habitually screamed “Texas!” a minimum of 10 times at random points throughout the day. Yee-haw!
This year isn’t any different. So far we’ve got Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Texas Governor Rick Perry, Texas born businesswoman Carly Fiorina, and Texas former Governor of Florida Jeb Bush all officially in the race. And this is still early. There are dozens of Republicans expected to join in before the week is over. How many more will be Texans? Enough is enough. We get it Texas, you’re big, you were once your own country, Austin’s weird, and you don’t like to be messed with. Can we please give some other states a shot? It’s like America is trying to watch a movie, and Texas is always swaggering in, sitting right up front in the very first row, and refusing to take off its giant cowboy hat. We can’t see back here!
2. Do you think you’re tougher than Hillary Clinton?
Have you ever tried to convince someone else, or yourself, that you’d be tougher on national defense than Hillary Clinton? That’s a red flag. Do you feel in your heart of hearts that the Hillary Clinton Secretary of State email scandal made America less strong at home and abroad? That’s another red flag. And although you’d never admit it, do you look at Hillary and think to yourself, I could totally rock that pantsuit better than her? That’s three red flags.
If there’s one defining characteristic uniting the entire Republican field, it’s that Hillary Clinton is not so tough, and that you’d be a lot tougher. So while your insisting that you’d be tougher than Hillary Clinton doesn’t necessarily mean you’re running for President, there’s got to be some reason that you won’t stop talking about her toughness, and if you’re going to keep saying “Hillary” and “tough” over and over again, it’s a little less weird for everyone if you just admit that you’re running for President.
3. Have you recently lost your wallet?
I only ask because, ever since the Supreme Court did its whole Citizens United business, it’s been easier than ever for anonymous organizations to raise money on behalf of political candidates. With very little oversight governing this brave new world of campaign finance, criminals and scam-artists alike have been preying on the victims of identity theft to generate unprecedented sums of cash.
It used to be that when you lost your wallet, you had to cancel your cards and make sure that nobody was using your identity to ruin your credit score. In addition, now you have to double check to see if any shadowy super PACs have used your name to set up a non-profit 5168c. In other words, you could be running for President, and you’d never even know. Worse, that’s technically how these operations are supposed to be run, without any communication between PAC and candidate, so good luck trying to convince your family and friends that you’re not interested in running.
4. Have you ever seen a billion dollars?
I’m not saying you have to be a billionaire here. But there’s something borderline spiritual about actually seeing a billion dollars. Legend has it that when that much cash is accumulated and gazed upon, the seeker is instantly imbued with the seeds of an idea that eventually culminates in the announcement of a run for the Republican nomination for President.
I don’t even know how you’d go about seeing a billion dollars. Most billionaires are careful to keep their money separated in quantities totaling less than one billion, lest curious onlookers accidentally sneak a peak and start having dreams about presidential exploratory committees.
5. Are you Donald Trump?
If you’re Donald Trump, take a deep breath: You’re not running for the Republican nomination. In fact, with all of the data at our disposal, being Donald Trump is so far the only conclusive evidence of not holding legitimate Republican Presidential aspirations. Sure, you’re going to say that you’re running for President. But you’re not running for President, and everyone knows it. At this point you’re more like the guy who says, “I’m in,” every year when I try to organize the annual ski trip. Then come January when I start collecting money, you’re just like, “Eh, actually, I’m out, I can’t make it.” Every single year. And then I have to email the group and try to explain why everyone needs to chip in another twenty-two bucks.
But if you’re not Donald Trump, you can’t definitively say that you’re not seeking the nomination. Sure, you could say it, but nobody’s going to believe you, and if you’re not running, what’s with all of that campaign paperwork? Why do you have the Federal Election Committee web site in your browser history? Why are you all of the sudden taking such an interest in the Syrian civil war? You’ve never taken a stand on Common Core before, why now start insisting that it needs to go? Entitlement reform? You’ve never mentioned entitlement reform before. Come on, just admit it, all right? Just admit that you’re running for President.