The 2016 Presidential Candidates in a Word

face plant

Politics: Sometimes I just want to do a face plant (Photo: Barbara Neiberg)

W.J. Astore

Continuing our election coverage, I thought I’d try to sum up each major candidate with a single word (excluding profanities).  I encourage readers to submit your own words for each candidate in the comments section below.


The Democrats

Clinton: Compromised.  No candidate is more beholden to special interests and the establishment than Hillary.

Sanders: Revolutionary.  Let’s face it: It would be revolutionary for a Socialist Jew to win the Democratic nomination.  And “revolution” is one of Bernie’s favorite words.

O’Malley: Eclipsed.  I had to strain to remember his name, and I’ve watched the debates.  Simply overshadowed by Hillary and Bernie.


The Republicans

Trump: Bombastic.  Trump makes a lot of noise, and my dad always told me “the empty barrel makes the most noise.”

Cruz: Oleaginous.  There’s something slippery about Cruz.

Rubio: Callow.  An eager beaver, apple-polishing type.  Not quite ready for prime time.

Bush: Uncertain.  He doesn’t seem to believe the words coming out of his own mouth.  This is one reason why Trump calls him “weak,” because The Donald never doubts himself.

Carson: Serene.  His calm is perfect for a neurosurgeon, but he’s out of his element on the political stage.

Christie: Angry.  He seems to despise both Obama (“feckless weakling”) and Hillary.  Like Tony Soprano but without the charm.

Kasich: Grey.  A conventional Republican governor, he blends into the background due to the strutting peacocks that surround him.

What do you think, readers?  Have at it!


6 thoughts on “The 2016 Presidential Candidates in a Word

  1. All right, I’ll play– I’m sitting around with a head cold…

    Clinton complicated–she’s complicated, my thinking about her is complicated
    Sanders mensch–thank goodness for Yiddish
    O’Malley forgettable–’nuf said
    Trump grandiloquent– don’t get me started
    Rubio craven–benefited from immigration, but doesn’t have the courage to take on meaningful reform, chooses a cowardly path
    Christie choleric–anger as a biological force
    Cruz repellent– a friend says he seems like second generation funeral home director
    Carson– mealy-mouthed– his story is an odd one, his delivery of it even stranger
    Bush– patrician–well, at least in comparison to the others
    Kasich– ordinary– seems like a bank manager or an insurance agent

    I’m not sure these are adequate to the task. For more fun, try out these lists of Shakespearean insults.

    Hmm… who should get this one? “A most notable coward, an infinite and endless liar, an hourly promise breaker, the owner of no one good quality

    • Nice job! I was going to go with “colorless” for Kasich, but “grey” first popped into my head, so I went with it. Love the description of Cruz: the kind of director who presses you to buy the most expensive casket as a “tribute” to your loved one. “Choleric” is nice for Christie. I also thought of Bullying, but he seems more angry than anything else.

  2. I have one word for all of them: “puppets.”

    The American citizenry would do better to focus on [with a view toward neutralizing] the puppeteers and the clearly visible strings — namely, money and media — that make the puppets jerk and dance about so ludicrously.

  3. Another word that applies to all of these eager non-entities: “clowns,” as in the following lyric from the (1973) song by Stephen Sondheim, “Send in the Clowns.”

    “Don’t you love farce?
    My fault I fear.
    I thought that you’d want what I want.
    Sorry, my dear.
    But where are the clowns?
    Quick, send in the clowns.
    Don’t bother, they’re here.”

    Or, my own rendition and extension of these lyrics: Here Come the Frowns. [Warning to the kiddies: profane statements by Thomas Friedman and Jonah Goldberg cited in the verse]

  4. Pingback: W.J. Astore: The 2016 Presidential Candidates in a Word | Vox Populi

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