Where have all the good candidates gone

Bobby Jindal, the young, dynamic, conservative governor of Louisiana who was running in the Republican nomination for the 2016 US presidential election dropped out of the race this week. Jindal, a first generation American born to Indian parents who emigrated to the US 45 years ago, had a dream resume.

A graduate of Brown University, an Ivy League institution,wholesale nfl jerseys cheapjerseysfreecom he turned down offers from both Yale Law School and Harvard Medical School to pursue a Master degree at Oxford on a full Rhodes scholarship. He was the only candidate running who had every kind of government experience possible at the state and federal levels running major cabinet agencies, as a two term Congressman in the House of Representatives, and as a two term governor of a large state.

But in the crazy nomination race that is unfolding in the Republican primaries, competencies, experience and achievement don count for much. Jindal would have been a great contrast to the ultra liberal, socialist candidacy of Bernie Sanders and the tired policies of Hillary Clinton, a political fixture in Washington for nearly 25 years.

Competence doesn countJindal is not alone to suffer this fate. Rick Perry had an impressive record running Texas. A wily politician who believed in keeping taxes and regulations low, he created such a business friendly environment that companies such as Exxon Mobil and Toyota joined dozens of corporations to move their headquarters to Texas. In 2014, 52 companies listed in Fortune 500 were headquartered in Texas, the largest number of any state. Statistics showed that during the peak of the Great Recession, Texas under Perry created more jobs than the other 49 states combined. But Perry failed to gain traction in the 2016 race because of gaffes he had committed in 2012 and was the first one to drop out this time.

Meanwhile, three completely untested candidates who have never won a single election in their lives lead the Republican field. Donald Trump continues to top the polls and the biggest applause he gets is when he says that he will deport all 11 million illegal aliens back to where they came from. While Trump is an iconic name in US real estate, he has repeatedly admitted to having exploited US laws to take his businesses to the bankruptcy court multiple times. He says this makes him a powerful dealmaker.

Ben Carson, a brilliant former paediatric neurosurgeon, is a close second, running largely on his stellar biography. Carson, who is black, is the polar opposite of Obama and is as conservative as they come. And until recently, Carly Fiorina, the failed former CEO of HP who orchestrated that company disastrous acquisition of Compaq was in third place. Fiorina who was the COO of Lucent earlier, had managed to run that company to the ground too. In 2006, about eight years after Fiorina left for HP, nearly $7 billion in loans handed to customers began to haunt the company. Lucent shares fell to below $1 and the company was acquired by Alcatel.

Left high and dryWhat is happening in the Republican nominating race is unprecedented. With fewer than 12 weeks left for the first ballots to be cast in Iowa, the first state in the nomination contest, there is a real possibility that the field will have no savvy political operatives left. Chris Christie, the brash and straight talking governor of New Jersey, was already demoted to the second tier of candidates in the latest debate. John Kasich, the current governor of Ohio who has the most legislative experience in Washington of any candidate will likely fold his campaign. And two months ago, Scott Walker, the young two term governor of Wisconsin, a darling of conservatives, declared that he too was stepping down from the race.

All of this will likely result in the weakest Republican field in decades. The Democratic Party has not won three consecutive presidential terms in over 150 years and as things stand, Hillary Clinton might well become the first woman ever to hold this high office.

A third Democratic term has profound consequences for the world as it will continue many of Obama failed policies. Obama reluctance to engage in West Asia and coddle countries such as Iran and Pakistan will be hallmarks of Clinton priorities as well. Obama is clearly the most divisive president in recent memory, driving a wedge in battles of race, gender and sexual identity mostly for political gain. Clinton will likely continue this policy of polarisation. She is already running a strong campaign about income inequality suggesting that taxes on the wealthy should be raised even higher to level the playing field for the middle class. Perry, Jindal and Walker would have been excellentto take on Clinton in a debate of ideas a pity this will not happen.


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