Benjamin Studebaker

Yet Another Attempt to Make the World a Better Place by Writing Things

Candidate Evaluations: Donald Trump

Donald Trump is running for president. A few people have told me I shouldn’t do an evaluation for Trump, that to write one for him treats him with a level of seriousness he’s not entitled to. But here’s the deal folks–as of late May and early June, Donald Trump polls at 4% among republican primary voters. That may not sound like a lot, but he has roughly twice as many supporters as George Pataki, Carly Fiorina, Lindsey Graham, or Rick Santorum. In some polls, he also tops Rick Perry. And as we’ve seen over the course of this series, there are a great many serious candidates for president who have said outlandish things or taken reactionary positions. So I’m going to do an evaluation for Trump, because he really isn’t that much crazier or that much less popular than many of the republican candidates I’ve already done. Before we begin, here’s a quick reminder of what we’re doing. I’ll be evaluating Trump’s background, policy history, and explicit statements to determine whether or not he would make a good president. I won’t be paying attention to electability or likeability, as is often common elsewhere on the web. Read the rest of this entry »

Candidate Evaluations: Jeb Bush

Jeb Bush is finally officially running for president. He delayed a while so that he could set up his super-PAC, Right to Rise. Bush plans to outsource the operation of his campaign to Right to Rise so that he can circumvent existing campaign finance laws. There is no limit to the size of donations to super-PACs, and donors can remain anonymous. Legally, all Bush has to do is ensure that no member of his campaign directly operates the super-PAC. In any case, let’s look at the guy, shall we? I’ll be evaluating Bush’s background, policy history, and explicit statements to determine whether or not he would make a good president. I won’t be paying attention to electability or likeability, as is often common elsewhere on the web.

Read the rest of this entry »