Not his own, mind you. Not yet.
We’ve had this sneaky suspicion ever since Obama’s ambassador to China gave up his cushy sinecure to run an utterly doomed from the outset, long shot campaign to get the Republican nomination.
We couldn’t quite put our finger on it, all that we knew was that something was off and, based on our occupational hazard-induced refusal to let go of the dog that didn’t bark because everything, in our experience, has to make sense even if we can’t see it at the moment, we instinctively knew that there was something we didn’t yet know. “Give it time”, as we always tell ourself in those situations, “it will come to you.”
After all, why would somebody like him give up a nice, comfortable chair in order to run against his own employer (and surely somebody with an inside line to the current occupant of 1600 Penn Ave, since ambassadorial positions aren’t handed out by randomly picking names from the telephone directory), particularly when even the dumbest of the dumb knew that his was a doomed quest from the outset? Yes, we repeat ourself, but it bears repeating.
Like a pebble in our boot, it kept annoying us. So you, at least if you have an annoying tendency like us to refuse to let go of stuff that doesn’t make sense, start throwing up scenarios under which all of the pieces would fit together. Most of those are wrong and easily shot down, but slowly something starts taking form and congealing in your noggin. At least that’s how the Imperial “mind” works, for better or worse.
Let’s say that you had a president who knew that his own policies would be wildly unpopular and likely to doom his re-election chances. Let’s further say that he realizes that his only hope of simultaneously doing what he wanted to do and surviving his re-election was to split the opposition, just enough so that they couldn’t muster a coalition of votes stronger than his own. It doesn’t really take all that much. Let’s further say that he has somebody who isn’t obviously tied to himself (which would only serve to split his own coalition) who could run as a credible alternative to said president’s obvious enemy coalition. But said individual has a problem: Running third party or independent requires some sort of name recognition in order to be more than just a joke.
What better way for such an individual to accomplish the goals of A) being seen as an alternative to the current president and the “official opposition candidate” AND B) get name recognition than to enter the primaries of the opposition party, all at the same time? Your stalking horse establishes his Not You™ bona fides, ensuring that he won’t be bleeding away votes from your base AND, with the aid of a complicit media, gets all the name recognition in the world.
Click, click, click… All of the pieces of the puzzle falling into place. Which still doesn’t mean that it isn’t all bullshit, it’s a trap that is all too easy to fall into, but at least it offers up a scenario where things start making sense and, on top of that, allows you to get some damn sleep instead of endlessly trying to eff the ineffable into the wee hours of the night.
And now we hear Huntsman starting to talk about “third parties” after having stayed under the radar for a bit since his dropout from the primaries.