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If You Don't Want to Be President, Get Out of the Race

The Huffington Post The Huffington Post 26/10/2015 Christopher Lamb
JEB BUSH © David Becker via Getty Images JEB BUSH

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush has run such an awful campaign that you wonder if he's trying to lose. This may be the case. He certainly doesn't want to be president.
"If this election is about we're going to fight to get nothing done, then I don't want anything, I don't want any part of it. I don't want to be elected president to sit around and see gridlock just become so dominant that people literally are in decline in their lives," Bush said Saturday. "That is not my motivation. I've got a lot of really cool things I could do other than sit around, be miserable, listening to people demonize me and me feeling compelled to demonize them."
Bush didn't say what cool things he would do if he weren't running, but given what we know about him, it isn't likely to be anything cool people would do.
If you don't want to run for president, get out of the race, and don't let the door hit you on the way out.
We don't say enough about the physical and emotional demands required to run for president. When you run for president, you're doing so all day, every day, for months and months and months, begging for money, shaking hands, talking incessantly -- saying the same things the same way -- and nodding enthusiastically when others are talking.
If you're running for president, you have to really want to be president .
If you aren't convinced you want to be president, don't run. Last week, Vice President Joe Biden decided he did not want to run for president.
Say what you will about Barack Obama or Mitt Romney or John McCain or George W. Bush or Bill Clinton, but they wanted to be president. The same goes for Democratic candidates Hillary Clinton and Bernie Sanders.
What makes Republican hopefuls Jeb Bush, Ben Carson and Donald Trump different is that they don't really want to be president.
How do we know this?
In the case of Jeb Bush, he said so.
In the case of Ben Carson, he also said so.
"I really don't want to do this, to be honest with you," Carson, a retired neurosurgeon said in Iowa several months ago. "I was looking forward to a relaxing retirement, you know, with a beautiful home in Florida by a golf course."
Carson is now taking a break from his campaign to promote his new book, A More Perfect Union.
Politicians know that running for president can increase sales for their books and the fees they get for speeches. Did Carson write the book to inform voters how he would govern, as many candidates do, or is he running for president to sell more copies of the book? He answered the question himself.
Trump's candidacy is motivated less on a need to be president than on a need to be on camera. He lacks the temperament to be president. He's full of bluster and bravado, sound and fury.
"Trump jumped into the race as a lark, to feed his ego, and his campaign took off far beyond his own expectations. He's milking it now, because he loves the attention, but he's also scared shitless that he might actually win the GOP nomination," Peter Dreier wrote on the website Total Points Memo. "At that point, his ignorance will be even more exposed than it is now. "
For now, Trump may like running for president - but he's only been doing it a relatively short time. He's complained about how his campaign has hurt the Trump brand -- and the Trump brand is ultimately what is most important to him. He's begun to look for an out. Unlike Jeb Bush, Trump does have things to do that are cooler than running for president.

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