A Republican Looks at the Other Republicans Who Want to Represent the Party of Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt in the 2016 Election

Four score and many months ago, options have been explored, relatives consulted, dedicated followers’ bank accounts examined, latest polls scrutinized, farmer’s almanacs consulted, chicken entrails read, and now, during inaugural week, potential candidates are day after day ending the suspense.

It is a strategy best described as rolling thunder, with one candidate after another making the announcement, the lull before the lull of the primaries.


I must say I am disappointed at the paucity of my fellow Republicans who have had the courage to say they are willing to put other options behind them, make sacrifices for the good of their country, and say, yes, I am a candidate. Some may think that the field in 2016 will finally include every Republican, except Dennis Hastert and Bill O’Reilly. However, there may be less here than meets the eye. In this continuing series, I will be taking a closer look at the meager field.


I was looking forward to George S. Pataki joining the race. The ex-governor of New York, whose name today is usually found as an answer in a trivia contest, had spent eight years (1995-2006) laying the foundation of the crooked legislatures in Albany, now blighting the administration of the noted reformer, Honest Andy Cuomo. Making his contribution to the public good, serving as a lobbyist, Pataki had been waiting for the right moment to reveal his presidential intentions.

This was not the first time Gov. Pataki had considered diving into the Republican presidential pool. He had been poised on the edge of the diving board in 2008 and, again, in 2012. But it was never the right moment.

The New York moment, so to speak, arrived on May 28 in New Hampshire.

The candidate did a beautiful 107-B, a forward dive with 3 ½ somersaults in a pike position, and while still in the air segued into a 305-C reverse dive with 2 ½ somersaults in a tuck position.

With the usual organized spontaneous demonstrators and paid volunteers ready to carry him through the streets of downtown Exeter and Manchester, with rallies and traditional barnstorming across the state, Pataki’s dive landed without a splash. Somebody must have pulled the plug in the pool.

The hard-landing speech was filled with the usual political claptrap about what the country needs is more Patakism and other platitudes. It was so boring, it put me to sleep reading the third paragraph in the papers the next day.

When would it have been the right moment for Pataki to jump into the race?

Try never.

He turns out to be just another moderate in the Republican Party, which may end up being the party of moderation by the time the announcement race ends.

What I want is not only a candidate who has the courage to say he can win, but can be an inspiration. I want to be inspired.

I give Pataki four Sominex pills.


A few days earlier, I was thrilled to learn that Rick Santorum had decided to run again. It wouldn’t be the same without him.

The only candidate in 2012 with a Latin name; the only candidate to make a fashion statement wearing a sweater vest; the only candidate who went to all 99 counties in Iowa in his sartorial splendor. He also was the only man who said reading JFK’s speech in 1960 about the separation of church and state made him want to throw up.

In his honor, I was able to launch a new way to judge political speech: the vomit index. This year’s Rick Santorum model--which I call Santorum.02 for identification purpose—may evoke similar queasy emotions.

In the last campaign, Santorum.01 appealed to God-fearing folks with his positions on divisive social issues. It will be hard to fearlessly play the religion card against earlier avowed candidate Rafael (Ted) Cruz. The senator from Texas already has called on believers to join him in getting down on their knees in prayer to stop the Supreme Court from legalizing same sex marriage.

Judging by his self-nominating speech, Santorum.02 will be calling for an increase in the minimum wage, and asking Republicans to reach out to the majority of Americans who aren’t rich or have trust funds.

To Republican primary voters, he may sound like that communist, Dwight Eisenhower.

What I like about him, though, is the way he holds up a lump of coal to remind people his grandfather was a miner in Pennsylvania, where I also come from. The question: is it bituminous or anthracite? The Kitmans have always been bituminous voters from Western Pennsylvania.


Gov. Huckabee was the earliest to make the dive into the Republican natorium in January, a premature ejaculation caused by the indignity of his jumping or being pushed out of the seat of power at Fox News. Holding that chair, quadrennially awarded by Boss Ailes is the real point to the exercises in futility called the Republican primaries.

A leading candidate for the biggest hypocrite in the race, Pastor Huckabee is the former governor of Arkansas who has taken heat for hustling the gullible public by selling a phony cancer cure supposed to be hidden in the Bible. He also raised eyebrows profiting from renting his Fox-promoted MikeHuckabee.com email list to a wide range of shady characters, including a medical quack claiming Alzheimer’s disease cures.

Most recently, Pastor Huckleberry has come up with a theory, via Maimonides, as to where the ark is located, later discussed with rabbis, theologists and archeologists in Israel. Apparently, it’s been in Israel all this time, buried underneath the courtyard of the Temple of Solomon.

Mike the huckster especially caught my ear when he expressed Jenner- envy. ‘I wish that some one had told me when I was in high school,” he confessed at the National Religious Broadcasters Convention, “that I could have felt like a woman when it came time to take showers in PE. I’m pretty sure that I would have found my feminine side and said, ‘Coach I think I’d rather shower with the girls today.”’

Clearly, an attempt to appeal to the transgender vote. Pastor Huckabee, have you no shame?

I think the Republican Party would be better off if the pastor lead an archeological dig in Jerusalem this time around. There’s always 2020.

(To be continued)


Marvin Kitman
June 18, 2015

The writer ran for president in the Republican primaries of 1964. He lost.

 Creative Commons Licensed Photo "Mount Rushmore 7-24-2014-19" by Flickr user Josh Grenier