There are so many people running for the Republican nomination that it's almost impossible to remember them all, much less work out who should be the next leader of the free world. It's a circus where the clowns have all escaped from the little car and are trying to take over the big top. It would be funny except at the end one of them will get the keys to the lion cage.
Compared to UK politics in particular, this leadership contest gives new definition to the idea of fringe candidates. For those who think Jeremy Corbyn is the fringe of his party, when compared to this lot, he looks a diehard Royalist.
On the Republican ticket there are a record breaking sixteen men and one woman trying to become the next President of the United States of America. Back in 1980 were were only eight guys - no women of course, don't be stupid.
Two have already dropped out. Scott Walker, a Harley Davidson-riding Union buster from Wisconsin, had one of the shortest Presidential runs in a generation. From declaration to withdrawal he was only in the actual race about 70 days. He probably still had bits of confetti from his announcement party stuck in his Harley engine.
Another early flop was Rick Perry, making his second attempt at the White House. He's unlikely to have a third go, as he struggles doing things in threes. He is the candidate who had the most epic brain fart ever during a nationally televised debate. Perry announced there were three areas of government he would cut, but then couldn't name the third. Since the whole idea of making the cuts was something he had brought up it was embarrassing, awkward and ah, um, it's right there. Nope, it's gone. I can't remember. "Oops."
The best way to keep track of them is Candidate Crisis Management via Compartmentalization. As some of the candidates do seem ready to be sectioned. With that in mind, here are the Republican candidates vying to rule our world.
No experience, no shame. Doing really well. - Ben Carson, Carly Fiorina, and (still frontrunner!) Donald Trump
Republicans have been infected by a heavy dose of 'throw the bums outs', which is fine, except what classifies as a bum these days is any person who has actual qualifications that might make them a decent president. Candidates with no experience in government, elected office or world relations have become a favourite in this group. What could possibly go wrong? For Carson and Trump, it seems the more they say that would normally be labeled racist or sexist the better they do. As long as there are so many other candidates splitting the rest of the vote, the fringe and frightening have taken over.
The Old Guard
Experienced, old style Republicans who are already toast. - Chris Christie, Jim Gilmore, John Kasich, George Pataki
In another time these dudes would be the only list. An experienced group of mature, white males. They're all current or former state governors, meaning they have real world executive experience that is pretty good job training to become a president. They've dealt with balancing budgets, working across party lines and getting things done. In other words, in an environment where the leading candidate promises to deport 11 million people in one day, they haven't got a chance in hell.
Yapping dogs howling at the moon. - Ted Cruz, Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal, Lindsey Graham, Rand Paul, Rick Santorum
Last election cycle, with fewer candidates, The Yapping Dogs each got a turn at being in first place. They are 'Yapping' because they spend most days throwing Red Meat to the far right of the party. But this year that meat has been gobbled up by The Shameless category of candidates. And while the Yappers say all the right things, blame Obama for the rain, the moon and the stars, they all have one major weakness: they have all worked in government before.
He Is a Cool Drink of Water (which he'll struggle to drink) - Marco Rubio
He's the Republican Party's answer to Barack Obama, and I don't mean he's a Socialist, Islamist terrorist bent on the destruction of the United States. He's around the same age Obama was in 2008, he's one-term Senator, and he has immigrant parents. He's a Republican American Wetdream. However, he has only worked in government and he's got weird issues with hydration. There are just one too many clips of him either too thirsty, or too sweaty, to be President. If he can plug that tap he might have a chance.
The most boring man wins 2016 version - Jeb (ignore my last name) Bush
Jeb Bush. He's got his father's name, but lacks his brother's 'ah-shucks' charm. He's arguably the best qualified, best resourced and most boring option. None of the base wants him, but all the establishment does. He's sitting on $100 million dollars. If he can sit on that long enough he will be king of the hill. A hill made of the bodies of 16 other candidates. When no one else is left, with disgust in their hearts, Republicans will nominate him. Just like the did with Romney. And that turned out great for the Republican party.
See how the next Republican Debate goes live, join Erich and a fantastic line-up of comics at Top Secret Comedy Club for a first of it's kind comedy debate show on the 28th October.
All the details can be found here: www.erichmcelroy.com