Organizing the 2016 Republican Field

Many of us like to call ourselves independent, libertarian, conservative or some other unique variation while vehemently denying any affiliation with the Republican party. This is motivated by the identity crisis the republican party is facing and the scattering of so many souls who feel disenfranchised from politics. This is the very conflict that prompted the creation of the Bull Gator Party, and one that deserves MUCH discussion. It doesn’t change the fact that the majority of the possible candidates representing our views are currently camping under the republican banner. For better or for worse, this is the framework we have for this election.

14 of the 17 candidates met for a “Voter’s First Forum” in New Hampshire last night. This was not a debate, but a low-key introduction to each candidate. A premier of sorts. It was refreshingly simple and honest. The production value was low, and this gave the viewer an insight into how these candidates can adapt to a setting they are not familiar with.

One of the goals of the Bull Gator Party will be to discuss these candidates from time to time, during this long campaign season. The following is an initial attempt to organize the candidates into some categories or “camps”. There are so many of them that this might help spark some discussion. Within each category is a very brief (20 words or less) impression of each candidate’s forum performance. Feel free to comment on moving candidates between “camps”, and any other observations you may have made.

The Establishment 

Bush – Bumbling. Several bombed jokes. Difficulty with casual forum.

Christie – Promised to help a lot of people. Spoke well, but no sign of conservative principles.

Rubio – Polished. Charismatic. No sign of conservative principles other than an aside on Obamacare.

Graham – Slick. Sarcastic. Several jokes fell flat. Claimed to understand the common man when he was 22.

The Evangelicals

Huckabee – Absent.

Santorum – Upbeat. Optimistic. As in the past, not a lot of depth.

The Moderate Conservatives

Kasich –  Balanced Budget Amendment. Smiled genuinely. Mature leader. Expressed need for republican compassion.

Perry – better than 2016. Strong personality. Seems to struggle thinking on his feet.

Jindal – Stronger than expected. No stuttering, no dancing around issues. Intelligent and articulate with a smile.

The Private Sector

Fiorina – Stronger than expected. Well spoken. Speaks like a leader. Fangs out on Hillary.

Carson – Very intelligent, very soft spoken. Very deep. Some people might not ‘get him’.

Trump – Absent.

The Hardline Conservatives

Cruz – Very intelligent. Slick, plastic, and ideological. Staunchly principled, but slightly creepy.

Walker – Easy going. Spoke well. Personable. Talks a lot about beating unions and recall election.

Paul – Intense. No smile. Lots of privacy talk. Tried with some difficulty to deflect the isolationist slur targeting his sane foreign policy..

The Forgotten

Gilmore – Absent.

Pataki – Looked out of place and uncomfortable.

That’s it for now. For the record, Perry is difficult to place into one of the camps. Watch for more details as the stories unfold!


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