It should be a rule that if you want to announce whether you’re running for president, no less than five people have to know who you are and what you do for a living. Reporters in Washington don’t count.
A man named Chris Sununu declared in a Washington Post op-ed this week that he will, in fact, not be seeking the Republican presidential nomination, and I honestly doubt that even three people reading this could identify Sununu in a lineup of pudgy white men. I’d heard of him before but had no idea what he looked like and wasn’t even sure if he was still an elected official. As it turns out, he’s the sitting governor of New Hampshire.
But more importantly, if you’re going to announce a campaign or explain why you’re not running, the reasons for it shouldn’t be maddeningly stupid. That Sununu chose the Post to lay out his thought process was already a clue that this wasn’t something Republican voters needed to be concerned with. But his explanation was equal parts delusional and pathetic in declaring how noble he believes he is by not running because he will instead be more effective on the sidelines lecturing the base about what should and shouldn’t be important to them.
“To win, Republicans need our message to appeal to new voters, and we can do this without sacrificing classic conservative principles of individual liberty, low taxes and local control,” wrote Sununu. “But we must abandon the issues that are solely made for social media headlines, such as banning books or issuing curriculum fiats to local school districts hundreds of miles away from state capitals.”
Yes, Sununu is one of those Republicans who still believes winning national elections can be done with slogans about tax cuts and “free markets.” In other words, he is the kind of Republican who believes he’s elected to do nothing.
See? I’m not doing anything. Limited government!
Former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie is also set to make a puzzling campaign announcement this week, having spent the last couple of months indicating that the sole purpose of his running would be to politically damage Trump as much as possible before next summer.
After all, isn’t that exactly what this country needs? Yet one more Republican with no shot at becoming the nominee sucking up to the media by attacking the former president?
Trump is currently averaging more than 50 percent support for the nomination, with his closest competitor about 30 points behind. That’s in the context of at least one criminal indictment, a jury finding him liable for sexual assault, and, of course, the entire media trying to ruin his life. How cute that Sununu and Christie think there’s anything they can contribute to the mission, either by running or not.