Does Anyone Understand Larry Elder’s Campaign?

Larry Elder, a former radio host who ran unsuccessfully for governor of California, is running for the presidency because some people apparently thought that the 2016 “kids table” debates were a positive thing.

I won’t lie to you by saying he has a road to victory. I can’t pretend that there’s a way to even reach double digits. He might surprise us by getting to five percent. But that would mean he had to somehow stay financially afloat, while all the others drop out. I don’t think it will happen.

Elder is convinced that he can win and has been launching media attacks to prove it. He did an extensive interview with Elex Michaelson, Fox 11 Los Angeles. (The full video interview is at the end of this op/ed.) In that interview, he basically argued that he can be Trump without actually being Trump. He also seemed to think that he has a good path to suburban woman.

Rush Limbaugh has been asked to run for office by many people over the years. Dan Bongino ran for office prior to getting his radio job. He is one of 1142 radio hosts trying to fill the old Limbaugh slot. If you asked both men right now, they would say the same thing: They would never run for office.

Talk radio can be a great way to get high ratings and gain a lot of popularity among your listeners. The nature of talk radio means that, once you are a candidate for partisan politics, roughly half the electorate will never vote for you. Even if you get lucky, and some independents vote for you, the fact is that your talk show hosts are not going to vote for you. You are not a candidate for political office because you have nothing else to offer.

Elder started his career as a lawyer before he became a political analyst. He’s not as charismatic as Trump and has never run a company. He may say “America First”, but a big part of why Trump was so successful is that he inspired people to die for him on different hills. Elder does not inspire this. Not even close.

Even if the candidate is a long shot and unlikely to succeed, there’s still a chance to win. Tim Scott is trying to woo evangelicals and win back Republicans that are less interested in fighting and more focused on finding solutions and common ground. Nikki Haley hopes to attract the war-hawk wing as well as women. Mike Pence, who is popular with evangelicals, hopes to gain support by using his faith.

Elder has nothing to run on and, as you watch his interview, it becomes clear that he is not serious about finding a way. The interview is a bit of a waste. He’s running but you don’t get much else out of it. It seems like a complete waste of time.