Monday, June 8, 2015

It's Official - I'm Not Running for President

This column originally appeared in the Sun Chronicle on Monday, June 8, 2015.

BY BILL GOUVEIA FOR THE SUN CHRONICLE The Sun Chronicle                        
Ladies and gentlemen, I would like to take this opportunity to make an important announcement, right here on these very pages.
After much thought and careful consideration, I have officially decided I will not be a candidate for the Republican nomination for the President of the United States.
I may well be the first person to actually NOT seek the GOP nomination. I wanted to get this momentous decision out there before the primaries - whenever they are. It was not a conclusion I reached lightly. I fully understand the impact my choice may have on the thousands of others considering throwing their hats into the ring.
To all those who contacted me about being my running mate (and most of those were after last call at the local pub), I apologize for denying you the opportunity of a lifetime. Those who contributed to my campaign in the pre-announcement stage will have their donations returned as soon as I get change for that $5 bill.
Many factors influenced my surprise decision, not the least of which is I am a lifelong Democrat.
I have few actual qualifications for the job itself, which gives me a lot in common with the announced candidates. And most importantly, I am not a member of Congress either recently or currently, perhaps my biggest advantage had I run.
I had briefly considered seeking the Democratic nomination, but Hillary told me I couldn't. I thought perhaps Bernie Sanders or Lincoln Chafee might consider me for the second spot on the ticket, but clearly I was too high-profile for them. And the Republican field seemed so much more inviting.
They are from states like Texas, Florida, South Carolina, Louisiana, Arkansas, and Kentucky. There are also candidates from states located north of the Mason-Dixon Line like New York, New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
I understand I would have had to make myself stand out from the crowded field had I stayed in the GOP fight. I am often confused with Chris Christie at first sight, but our political positions are not really similar. Besides, at least I root for the football team actually from my area. I guess since Christie is not one of the GOP stars from Texas, he needed to find another way to attract votes from the Lone Star state.
Like most of the Republican candidates I would have been running against, I am extremely conservative. I almost never eat spicy food, and seldom dress in loud colors. I am patriotic, though I'm not as intent as the Republicans on telling everyone just how patriotic. I am not a fan of the Patriot Act, but I did search my kids' rooms without a warrant and listen to some of their phone conversations when they were growing up.
And like that group of politicians, I am against extremism. I am totally against extremism. I mean, without exception. My opposition to extremism is so extreme that my FBI file is actually available at the public library. I once participated in a protest against my own decision because I thought I went too far.
I plan to wait for the shockwaves generated by my stunning choice to subside before announcing the next step in my grand plan. By then, I'm sure I will actually have a grand plan. I had considered making the rounds of the late-night talk shows to boost my national visibility, but have discovered I really can't stay up that late anymore.
For those of you who are wondering, I will indeed make myself available as a highly-paid guest speaker on the banquet circuit. I would tell you to have your people call my people, but frankly I'm not sure I have any people, so that could be awkward.
I have been contacted about running for statewide office, but unfortunately I don't live in any of the states where there are currently vacancies.
In the meantime, I stand ready to serve as an adviser for any of the Republican candidates who might be looking for good advice. I hope that through my decision to spare them the agony of certain defeat, they find some peace of mind and the strength to go on.
Bill Gouveia is a local columnist and longtime local official. He can be emailed at and followed on Twitter at @Billinsidelook.

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