If you don’t like what the Republicans and Democrats are offering in the way of presidential candidates, here’s an alternative: Waka Flocka Flame, an Atlanta-based rapper who wants to be your next commander-in-chief.
On Monday, which also happened to be the annual 4/20 “Weed Day” celebrating marijuana use, the performer released this video laying out his presidential intentions:
“The first thing I’m gonna do when I get in office is legalize marijuana,” Flocka said. “The president’s gotta have a big, fat ol’ blunt.”
That’s “blunt”, as in marijuana cigarette — and blunt in choice of language: “I’m not wearing a suit when I go to the [congressional] meeting. It’s f——g irritating,” he says. “I’m going with a tank top, flip-flop, a box of Backwoods, some 1882’s, rolling one up, drinking a coffee. F—k Congress.”
Ok, I’m guessing this won’t be confused with Mick Huckabee’s announcement in a couple of weeks. Or, Scott Walker’s or Jeb Bush’s, whenever those are.
Speaking of Bush, there’s a buzz going around the Internet that he might surprise us and decide not to seek the presidency after all. It’d certainly be a shocker, considering that Bush has given us at least four signs that he’s running:
3) In March, he sold his stakes in his remaining business interests (his turned over his share of Jeb Bush and Associates to his son and namesake; and he stepped down as chairman of Britton Hill);
3) For several months now, he’s been grinding his way through the early-primary states, including last weekend’s stop in New Hampshire where he both dished it out and took it.
4) And all the while, he’s been doing the one thing that all husky presidential wannabes seem to do (you might remember Ted Kennedy being the source of such speculation in the 1970s and 1980s): Bush has gone on a “caveman” diet.
About Bush’s announcement. It’s not the timing of the event that should concern Republicans. Because of his name recognition and formidable fundraising network, there’s no urgency to Bush making things official — he’s not Ted Cruz, needing to jump in front of social conservatives. Thus he has the luxury of time — both to hold off on an announcement and to use the extra time to further fill the coffers of Ready to Rise.
What should be concerning is what the former governor/presidential son-sibling intends to say when the time comes for the big announcement. Not so much the candidate’s goals and ideas, but who he is.
It’s been 35 years, since Jeb Bush’s father first sought the presidency and 27 years since “41” got the job. In the time since presidential campaigns have become far more biographical. Winning candidates not only figure how to fit in with the moment, they also know how to weave a sympathetic narrative.
Since the end of the Reagan/Bush run on the White House, we’ve had three two-term presidents — three distinctly different gentlemen with two things in common: all are Baby Boomers, all had a compelling personal story to relate:
— Bill Clinton, son of a father he never knew;
— George W. Bush, kicked the bottle;
— Barack Obama, finding his personal identity.
If you caught Hillary Clinton’s video release, you may have noticed there was nothing in the way of the candidate showcasing personal growth and overcoming struggle. Just a lot of empty calories about being a “champion” for ordinary folks. Maybe the Clintonistas figure she’s already so well-known that she doesn’t need a biographical rehash. Or (my guess), they can’t quite figure how to make “Hillary’s story” every American’s story. In the end, this may be what betrays Mrs. Clinton: she’s famous, she has a resume — and she’s not sympathetic.
One candidate who does understand this would be Marco Rubio. Here’s his announcement. You’ll notice how he weaves his family’s journey into the larger theme of where he wants to take America. We’ll see if Scott Walker, an Eagle Scout and son of a Baptist minister, also tells a family tale when his time comes.
So here’s the challenge to those inveterate Bush watchers: come up with a sentence, a paragraph, a 30-second soundbite that explains the gist of Jeb’s candidacy — a rationale incorporating the candidate’s life story (competence and electability don’t apply here). What is it, about the man, that voters should find relatable? What is it, about his life’s journey, that we should find inspiring?
The question is: is the Bush campaign asking itself the same questions?
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