Dem 51
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GOP 49
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Gasping for Oxygen

Donald Trump still gets plenty of publicity, in service of his already announced 2024 presidential run. Gov. Ron DeSantis gets plenty of publicity, in service of his sure-to-be-announced-eventually 2024 presidential run. And between them, they suck up so much of the oxygen that there isn't much left for other wannabe Republican presidential nominees.

This, in turn, forces the second-tier folks to flail about wildly in search of some attention. Consider, for example, Mike Pence. He has been hinting all week that he might just launch a 2024 presidential bid. Yeah, no kidding Mike. That's like us hinting that we might have a posting on Wednesday of next week. Everyone already knows. Anyhow, as he tries to build some momentum, Pence has been glomming on to anything he can in order to try to get people talking. In the past 48 hours, he's whined about Joe Biden not sharing enough information about the Chinese balloon saga, called for Social Security to be (partly) privatized, railed against "crazy" transgender policies in schools, and announced that he is launching a $1 million initiative to combat "the left's obsessions with race and sex and gender" in education.

And then there is Nikki Haley, whose just-announced presidential bid already appears to be stuck in the mud. Her angle, over the past day or two, has been to attack Joe Biden's mental state, and to demand that the President undergo a mental competency test. We suppose that if anyone has expertise in what it looks like when a president has lost some of his marbles, it's Nikki Haley (and about 1,000 other members of the previous administration). Still, this is just empty posturing, since no president is going to start jumping through hoops just because a second-tier member of the opposition party insists upon it. Plus, Biden just passed a neurological exam (see above).

And finally, there is Sarah Palin. That's right, Palin believes she still has a political career and a future in Washington, despite the fact that she lost two elections in a row in 2022... in the red state of Alaska. She is not so far gone that she thinks she could be elected president, but she is so far gone that she thinks she's an excellent VP candidate. Hm, how well did that work out the last time?

In any event, in an effort to curry favor with would-be running mate Donald Trump, Palin has made it her personal mission to persuade DeSantis that 2024 is not his year and that he'd be much better off running in 2028. "I envision him as our president someday, but not right now," Palin explained during an interview on Newsmax. "Everybody I speak with in Florida, they all love him. And he does set the tone for, I'd say every other governor in the nation. I think he's our best governor and he should stay governor for a bit longer." In politics, you strike while the iron is hot, which means that this is just about the worst political advice we've ever heard. Who knew that serving as mayor of a tiny town in Alaska does not guarantee that a person will develop a keen mind for political strategy? Naturally, DeSantis doesn't give a tinker's damn about what Palin thinks. Trump either, quite probably.

We pass along all of this bloviating because there has been a lot of it in a short period of time, and because it allows us to point out that there is going to be a whole bunch more of it as these folks try to suck up whatever crumbs are being left by DeSantis and Trump. On a related note, Amazon will sell you 500 pairs of ear plugs for just $44.60. Could be a wise investment in your mental health. (Z)

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