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OPINION

2024 Candidates: The Good, The Bad, And The Pointless

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
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AP Photo/Patrick Semansky

The GOP presidential race is already plenty of fun, with everyone awesomely competing to be the least woke, except that New Hampshire maple syrup fungi Chris Sununu, who believes opposing leftists is not who we are oh well I never we’re better than that why is there a moose in my living room? We now have Vivek Ramaswamy in the race saying a bunch of great things but not being electable this time because 1) he does not know what the nuclear triad is and that seems important, and 2) because he looks like he just got his driver’s license. Sure, it’s pretty bad that most of our politicians are old enough to have partied with Coolidge – and we wish they had because Calvin was based – but I’m not sure I’m ready for a commander-in-chief who first heard Nirvana on a Jack FM classic rock station. The CPAC rumor was that he really wants to be the Treasury secretary, so there’s that.

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But the Republican race is not the only game in town. There is a lot of action in 2024 besides Trump, DeSantis, and the Asterisks. The Dems have their own nomination race, and there are a bunch of Senate showdowns. Some of the candidates are great. Some are not so great. And others are inexplicable. Here’s the state of play 20 months to election day.

Of the Democratic presidential candidates, those who are not Methuselahs are full-blown morons or towering mediocrities, and some are all three. Biden is teetering, and every time Kamala sees Biden is going on a trip, literally, where he has to climb steps into AF1, she hustles down to the Oval Office and starts measuring the drapes. No one wishes ill on the President, except all the Democratic contenders in secret. He just keeps going and going, incoherently and corruptly, but he refuses to stop and you know his wife, whose doctorate you should take very seriously because it is super impressive according to her, will Weekend at Bernie’s her desiccated husk of a hubby through Inauguration Day 2029 if she has to to stay parked at 1600 PA Ave.

It's got to be frustrating for Kamala, who knows that her path to the presidency lies through a cruel twist of fate. But Pete Buttigieg is there too, circling, calculating, unaccountable, hoping to take a shot if the path gets cleared by destiny. And then there’s Gavin Newsom, who hopes to spread California’s promise of a hobo squatting on every porch to all of America. Hillary, who is turning 137, might get in – I hear it’s her turn. And people worry about Michelle Obama being unbeatable if she decides to leave her shorefront, climate change-defying mansion to run, and that concern is proof that Americans have lost their faith in their fellow Americans. 

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And we should lose our faith in our fellow Americans because there are a substantial number of them who will vote for any mutant, commie, weirdo, or clinical imbecile with a (D) after his/her/their/xir name. They elected John Fetterman knowing he was a barely cognizant ogre and then were stunned that he stopped doing the senator thing about a month in exactly as they were warned. But hey, he was open to killing babies and that’s what mattered.

Speaking of Pennsylvania, its other Senate seat is open in 2024 and there are some people circling the GOP nomination. Doug Mastriano is supposed to be considering a run. I like Doug – he’s an ex-colonel too and he’s also from the Schlichter family region, but he got crushed in the governor’s race and without evidence that he will swing 20 points the other way in 2024, it’s time for someone else to go. Dave McCormick may run again after barely losing the nomination to Dr. Oz, another nice guy who failed to get it done. McCormick is a serious cat with a serious book, a guy who went from West Point, which I will overlook, to the Gulf War, which is awesome, to making a zillion bucks in business, which is what we should all strive for. He’s normal and competent, which is important, and he’s based when you talk to him. The 2024 race is going to be about normality and competence, and that’s his lane. I hope he gets in.

My home state of Ohio is now deep red, so whoever wins the nomination is likely to pummel Sherrod Brown in the general. But it will be a primary race between the Rob Portman sissy caucus and the Vance based base. It’s baffling to me how red states generate so many soft simps – actually, it’s pretty obvious why that happens. Portman was Buckeye Jeb. Governor DeWine is weaksauce too. And we will no doubt see Matt Dolan run again in that invertebrate lane. This is the guy who pearl-clutched over Trump in the 2022 primary and who changed the name of the Cleveland Indians to something stupid instead of telling the leftists where to shove their Louisville Sluggers. If you’re a rich guy and you fold like that, you’ll always fold. We don’t need a Mitt Romney with a baseball team. Nor do we need multiple retreads. Josh Mandel’s a good guy, but after losing so often he should take “No” for an answer.

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I like Bernie Moreno, the car dealer magnate who dropped out last time to clear a path for JD Vance. I met him at CPAC. He’s cool. He’s based. He and my wife spoke to each other in Spanish and I think they were talking bad about me. His immigrant pro-American dream agenda is infectious – it’s genuine, and that’s hard to fake. He’s another candidate in that normal/competent frame that voters want right now. Yet he’s got no use for commie nonsense. Cool.

In Montana, we have an opportunity to take out John Tester, who looks like a farm supply company salesman from 1965. Rep. Matt Rosendale might run for the GOP nomination, though he was kind of obnoxious in the speaker fight and that might hurt him. So might rich guy SEAL Tim Sheehy because there just are not enough SEALs in Washington (I kid my Navy friends – the Navy is an important supporting branch that ably assists America’s decisive military force, the Army). Governor Greg Gianforte could also run. He is best known for body slamming a reporter, and that powerful resume enhancer is a major plus.

In Arizona, who the hell knows who will run against alleged independent Kristen Sinema in that insane state? There are several Republicans eyeing the race. It could be Kari Lake or maybe Blake Masters again. I like them both, but if they are going for Round 2 they will need to demonstrate a plan to both win and take office. There are others, but right now the real question is the incumbent. Will she run as an independent? If she does, it’s an uphill fight for her. Regardless, let’s not let Arizona elections be chaos three elections in a row, okay? 

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I’d like to see Adam Laxalt run again in Nevada – he’s normal and competent – but he’d probably slug me for suggesting it. With a young family, it’s hard to campaign 24/7. It’s unclear who else might be able to win for the GOP in the Hookers ‘n Blow State.

Indiana’s Jim Banks masterfully cleared the GOP primary field of elderly squishes and should march directly into the Senate. Glenn Youngkin should run in Virginia, though he stepped on his Schumer cavorting with the enemy, inexplicably going on a CNN town hall and being embarrassed by a succession of weirdo, loser, and mutation planted questioners. Rookie mistake. Never interact with the regime media except to mock it.

I don’t have any idea of who is running for the GOP nom in that other Virginia, but short Joe Manchin. No one likes him and he will lose to pretty much any sentient being – or, if Fetterman is any indication, any inanimate object. We have opportunities in Michigan and Wisconsin – not good ones, but opportunities nonetheless. Finally, kudos to Ric Scott and Ted Cruz for seeking to keep their seats instead of trying to be president. Putting the team first – bravo. I like that. We need more of it. Because the next election could mean the difference between freedom + prosperity, and the United States of California. 

Follow Kurt on Twitter @KurtSchlichter. Get Inferno, the seventh book in the Kelly Turnbull People's Republic series of conservative action novels set in America after a notional national divorce, as well as his non-fiction book We’ll Be Back: The Fall and Rise of America.

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