The Spectacle Blog

This is the Republican Field

By on 10.25.11 | 10:57PM

Quin: I agree that Jen Rubin's post hits the mark; this was indeed "not a day to be proud of the GOP field." But I feel you aren't sufficiently succumbing to despair. I hate to break it to you, but this is the GOP field, and neither Bobby Jindal nor anyone else is going to ride to the rescue. There's a key phrase missing from your feature urging Jindal to jump in: filing deadlines.

The deadline to get on the ballot in Florida is October 31; in South Carolina, November 1. Unless a candidate has literally already begun the process, it's too late to jump in. And if a candidate had begun the process, we'd know about it -- staffers and lawyers would already have been hired. This Politico report from a couple months ago (which focused on Sarah Palin's non-candidacy) went over this; here's the key quote:

"It isn't inconceivable that somebody could get into the race as late as the first or second week in October and manage to get it all done," provided they knew what they were doing, said Matt Seyfang, a Democratic lawyer who's handled ballot-access and delegate issues for five presidential campaigns, including Bill Clinton's 1992 effort - which didn't get started until October 1991. But any later than that, he said, would probably be impossible.

So Republicans are stuck with the current crop of remarkably weak candidates. And incidentally, this also means that Obama -- unlike all three presidents who lost their reelection bids in the past three quarters of a century -- won't be facing a primary challenge.

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