The Presidential Candidates We Lost in 2015

From Scott Walker to George Pataki, let us now pause and remember the political careers that died over the past few months.

12.31.15 5:01 AM ET

Another year has passed, and so have the hopes and dreams of many 2016 POTUS hopefuls. It is only fitting that we pay them our final respects.

To Our Presidential Campaign Fallen


Let Whatshisface, Whoizis and Wuddayacallit Never Be Forgotten

Scott Walker
July 13, 2015—September 21, 2015

Fare thee well you dreamy, idealistic youth, America’s chance to have a President who gets carded every time he orders a beer, even in the White House Mess.

Walker was a great campaigner. He was so good at running for Governor of Wisconsin that he even ran against himself in the 2012 Wisconsin gubernatorial recall election. And won!

Walker was once considered a frontrunner for the GOP nomination. Then, in an attempt to, as it were, “Trump” the other Republican candidates, Walker proposed that we build a wall not only along the Mexican border but also along the border with Canada.

I predict Scott Walker will have the last laugh as America is flooded with smuggled maple syrup, pulpwood, Hudson Bay blankets and immigrants competing for American jobs the way Ted Cruz, born in Calgary, is competing for the American job of being President of America.

Lindsey Graham
June 1, 2015—December 12, 2015

Support for the Lindsey Graham presidential candidacy was limited—to Lindsey Graham. Even his wife wouldn’t vote for him and that’s only partly because he isn’t married.

Conservatives don’t like Graham because he’s soft on climate change, gun control and immigration.

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Liberals don’t like Graham because he’s strong for NSA, Gitmo, and American military intervention overseas.

Then Graham alienated everybody else by going on Face the Nation and saying, “Congress might have to explore the need to limit some forms of freedom of speech.”

Congress didn’t need to bother. The American people did it for them, responding to Graham’s speeches with, “Oh, shut up.”

Graham positioned himself as a “Reagan-style Republican,” forgetting one key aspect of Ronald Reagan: He’s dead. And so is Lindsey Graham’s presidential campaign.

Lawrence Lessig
September 6, 2015—November 2, 2015

What was the problem with Democratic presidential candidate Lawrence Lessing?

Was it being a professor at Harvard Law School? Voters forgave Barack Obama for being at Harvard Law School.

Was it opposing laws protecting intellectual property rights? That would make all of Harvard’s intellectual property free—and worth it.

Was it wanting to convene a Second Constitutional Convention when, after 228 years, we’re still not done arguing about the first one?

You say, “No, the problem with Doris Lessing… Boris Blessing… Laurie Stressing… Lawrence of Arabia… Who are we talking about?”

And you put your finger right on it.

Jim Webb
July 2, 2015—October 20, 2015

Speaking of utterly forgotten Democratic presidential contenders, did somebody say something about Jim Webb? Nope.

Bobby Jindal
June 24, 2015—November 17, 2015

The Bobby Jindal run for president brought diversity to the Republican race, proving that the GOP isn’t just a club for dumb white guys. Or, anyway, proving that anybody can be a dumb white guy these days, e.g. Chaz Bono and Ben Carson.

Bobby Jindal is the best governor Louisiana has ever had—the blue ribbon show pig at the Rihyad Livestock Roundup.

For instance, when Hurricane Katrina did not strike New Orleans during Jindal’s governorship, New Orleans was not destroyed.

Jindal improved his state’s bond rating, cut the state deficit and did not get sent to jail as is customary for Louisiana politicians.

Jindal dropped out of the presidential race to avoid bringing shame on his family. Jindal’s father is a civil engineer and his mother is a nuclear physicist. And here was their son Bobby, who’d showed so much promise, looking for a job shoveling America’s trash in the Oval Office.

Rick Perry
June 4, 2015—September 11, 2015

Rick Perry has forgotten more than you’ll ever know about cutting the size and cost of the federal government. Literally forgotten, as in the November 2011 GOP presidential candidate debate where he promised to eliminate three government agencies and then couldn’t remember which.

But Perry was running so hard in the 2012 presidential race that even after he ran into a wall of mud (full name, Mitt Romney) he kept on going—right off the edge of the cliff in the 2016 presidential race. He hung in midair for a while, legs flailing.

Perry wears glasses to look intellectual. He should have used the glasses to watch what happens to Wile E. Coyote in Roadrunner cartoons.

Lincoln Chafee
June 3, 2015—October 23, 2015

Lincoln is so unmemorable that his rich WASP mother apparently—with stylish debutante absent-mindedness—forgot to name him. My guess is that a couple of years after he was born Mummy was pulling a five-dollar bill out of her purse to pay the gardener and the gardener asked, “What’s the kid called?”

Lincoln does not have much of a memory himself. He can’t remember what party he belongs to. He said he was a Republican when he ran for the Senate in 2000, but then he voted the Democratic Party line so well that the American Conservative Union gave him a rating of 12 out of a 100. Senator Barack Obama got an ACU rating of 17.

After Chafee lost his Senate seat to a real Democrat in 2006, he became an “Independent.” An Independent is a person who doesn’t know what to think and is proud of it.

Chafee was governor of America’s most insignificant state. The list of famous people born in Rhode Island begins with one Farrelly Brother and ends with the other. The poverty rate is 0.7 percent higher than West Virginia’s. The economy is the same size as Uzbekistan’s. Rhode Island ranks 48th in state GDP, failing to be 50th only because everyone in Vermont is stoned with their faces buried in tubs of Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia, and nobody lives in Montana.

Rhode Island fields no major league sports teams. Its most prominent university hasn’t played in a bowl game since 1916. (Rose Bowl final: Brown 0, Washington State 14.) Culturally, Rhode Island once had a bad nightclub fire. Local cuisine features clam cake, quahog chowder, snail salad, and pizza without cheese.

A Chafee—something between a wedgie and a noogie.

George Pataki
May 28, 2015—December 29, 2015

George Elmer “Fudd” Pataki is a political hack. The only novelty being that the hackney cab of his career has been pulled by an elephant instead of a donkey.

Pataki served four terms in the New York State Assembly. (“Don’t tell Mother I’m a New York State Assemblyman, she thinks I play piano in a house of ill repute.”)

As New York’s governor Pataki cut a few taxes and curtailed some spending. Moody’s credit rating for the state went up (just in time for the 2008 fiscal crisis, to show what Moody’s knows).

Pataki approved Native American casinos in places like Buffalo. “The food sucks, no real restaurant or entertainment,” reads a Yelp review of Buffalo Creek Casino.

With the fair and balanced approach that being a hack requires, Pataki lobbied for gay rights and opposed gay marriage.

Pataki promised he’d only serve two terms. He served three.

Pataki privatized the World Trade Center—a few weeks before the 9/11 attacks. (Truther alert.)

And Pataki signed some of the nation’s toughest gun control laws, causing fellow Republicans to tell him where to conceal his weapon.

Pataki is one of a long line of New York Republican moderates—moderately honest, moderately stupid, like Nelson Rockefeller, a minor vice of a vice president, or the little man on a wedding cake, Thomas “Dewey Defeats Truman” Dewey.

Pataki never came close to getting that much media attention. His only moment in the national limelight was during his inauguration as governor. Howard Stern stood next to him on the podium.

So we bid adieu to these well-qualified men—or sort of well-qualified or maybe qualified, or not—who boldly sacrificed, um, spending more time with their families or something to serve their nation… that is, to hang around waiting to be asked to serve their nation… by blotting the landscape with ugly yard signs, pestering voters with dinner time robo-calls and raising money from dopes.

Here’s your hat, what’s your hurry? Don’t let the door hit you in the ass on your way out.