This Is a Blog: Losers in Brief: Revenge of the Boring

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Losers in Brief: Revenge of the Boring

(part 12 of 12)

Since 1789, 112 men have won at least one electoral vote. Of that group, 65 never became President or Vice President. Of them, 30 were a bunch of ambitious losers who tried for the most powerful office in the country and failed. The other 35, you’ll have to read to find out. These are their stories.

John Forbes Kerry (Senator, Democrat-MA) Lost to W. Bush-2004

In 2004, George W. Bush was wildly unpopular. In the few years since 9/11, Bush’s overly aggressive foreign policy turned almost universal support for the War on Terror into world-wide backlash against American imperialism. Before the election, it had become public knowledge that the administration outright lied about Saddam Hussein having weapons of mass destruction in order to manipulate the country into war with Iraq. For a moment, it seemed like a trained monkey would beat “Dubya” this go ‘round.

So why’d he lose? One word, hyphenated: flip-flop. In his 20 years in the Senate, Kerry had, through deep thought and measured consideration, changed his position on several issues. This would seem like the behavior of an intelligent man, well worthy of the presidency. The Kerry campaign allowed Bush’s people to paint him as indecisive. When they attacked Kerry for saying he “voted for the war before he voted against it,” Kerry should have fired back with, “Yeah, jerk-face. I voted for a war you told us was justified, then when it came out that you fucking lied to us, I decided my duty as a leader in the Senate was to de-fund your illegal war and bring our boys home. Next question, fucker.” He didn’t.

John Sidney McCain (Senator, Republican-AZ) Lost to Obama-2008

In 2000, the country watched in confusion as a smart, compassionate Vietnam veteran somehow lost the Republican primary to a frat boy, coke-head baseball team owner. Despite hailing from the frighteningly conservative Arizona, McCain was a breath of fresh air in his insight and honesty. In a Republican Party that was leaning more and more insanely right, McCain seemed like a guy who could bring everyone together.

So why’d he lose? Because “McCain 2000” was nowhere to be seen in 2008. I think it would simply be too easy to blame his failure on Sarah Palin. She was a last ditch effort by a campaign that knew they didn’t have a chance in hell. Gone was the integrity and in its place was patronizing cynic who was now maverick only in name. Even Karl Rove said his campaign went too far with its misleading and dishonest ads and speeches. I think eight years try to live in Bush’s America took away a piece of his soul.

Willard Mitt Romney (Former Governor, Republican-MA) Lost to Obama-2012

A middle of the road Republican like Romney seemed like the perfect alternative to Obama's seeming inability to get anything he wanted done right. We seemed to like Obama's general direction, but he clearly lacked the leadership skills to get it done. Unlike the last two candidates, Romney had actually run something before. He was a CEO. He saved the Salt Lake City Olympics. He was governor of a liberal state. Finally, we had a candidate who seemed like he could get stuff done.

So why’d he lose? In 1994, Ted Kennedy pretty much summed up Mitt Romney: "I am pro-choice. My opponent is multiple choice." In the age of the internet and instant fact-checking, the worst thing a candidate can be is disingenuous. Running for office in Massachusetts, he seemed like a centrist. Running for the Republican primary, he swung deep right. By the general election, no one knew who he was. He opposed Obamacare, which was based on his healthcare plan as MA Governor. Obama was not that popular going into this election, but Romney didn't even put up a good fight.


Vice Presidential Candidate John Edwards (1 vote-2004)- Minnesota electors vote by secret ballot, so the reasonfor this vote is unclear. Best guess, someone fucked up, as evidenced by the fact that the name on the ballot was written “John Ewards.”

Who's going to be the next Big Loser? Chris Christie? Hillary Clinton? The whole country? Yeah, I'm going with that one. We're kind of fucked.

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