These Lesser-Known Candidates (Also) Want to Be President

There are more people running for president than you see in debates. The Lesser-Known Candidates Forum at the New Hampshire Institute of Politics offers these, well, lesser-known candidates a very small platform for getting their ideas out.

In some cases, it’s a shame that such voices can’t join the herd of politicians polling above 1% nationally. They can’t get media coverage because no one knows about them, and no one knows about them because they can’t get media coverage.

In other cases, well, get 18 Democrats and 5 Republicans running for president in a room and there are bound to be a few head-scratchers.


Most Deja Vu Proposal

My suggestion is that we re-draw the map of the Middle East, so that we create Sunni countries and Shia countries. – Eric Elbot (D)

This suggestion came immediately after explaining how “old colonial powers” drawing arbitrary borders had screwed up the region, but presumably this time would be different somehow. Elbot also “simulation gamed the war with Iran 12 times,” cautioning that “it doesn’t turn out very well for us”. He later urged his supporters to vote not for him, but for Bernie Sanders.

Most Tenuously Tech-Savvy Statement

I propose we reboot America. – Richard Lyons Weil (D)

As part of a metaphor describing Washington, D.C., as “completely frozen” with nothing getting done and comparing it to a computer, this almost sort of works. But what does it mean? Clear our recent memory? Shut down the government for a minute? Weil’s next sentence proposed reinstating high pre-Reagan tax rates on the wealthy, which seems more like uninstalling a resource-sucking browser bar than rebooting, but sure, okay.

Fastest Second Amendment to Holocaust Pivot

I don’t like seeing gun deaths of children, but also, there’s six million reasons in Europe that we shouldn’t have gun laws. – Tim Cook (R)

He later joked that he’d send Hillary Clinton to Guantanamo Bay and wondered pointedly if Islam were “really a religion”, comparing it to, surprise, Nazism. A Twitter poll that showed Cook beating Hillary Clinton 57% to 43% was posted by Cook.

Most Precocious Recollection

I wanted to vote for Jimmy Carter when I was five years old. – Jon Adams (D)

Aww. He must have been a cute little wonk. If only he hadn’t, moments before, taken credit for Barack Obama sending Special Forces into the Middle East, and for Bernie Sanders saying that working with Russia to handle ISIS was a priority. “Priority was my word,” Adams said.

Boldest Departure from Subject Matter

I majored in accounting business in college, and I know how to add. One and one make two, not three like Congress thinks. – Stephen Comley, Sr. (R)

Feisty and down to earth, sure, but this was in response to a question asking which past or present Supreme Court Justice represented the kind of person each candidate would appoint to the bench. Comley did not hear the question the first two times it was asked, so he might not have heard it the third time either and just decided to roll the dice. (It also contradicts Pete Townshend’s postulate in The Who’s “Bargain” that “one and one make one”, but it’s possible that’s British math.)

Best Dueling Huge-In-Japan Moments

I’m like synonymous with the game of chess. – Sam Sloan (D)
I started the poker craze. – Steven Roy Lipscomb (D)

A question about how to garner more attention for less famous candidates prompted two Democratic candidates to point out their notoriety in certain very specific circles. Both Sloan and Lipscomb are legitimately prominent in their respective worlds, though their claims might be a tad inflated.

Plenty of other logical leaps and more rambling rants – along with a fair amount of cogent reasoning, it must be said – are available in the full 3.5-hour video at, and tonight at 8:00 PM EST on C-SPAN 2. I’m the fidgety dude in the second row of the audience.


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