Bob Owens

The saddest truth in politics is that people get the leaders they deserve

No, Virginia, there is no Perry Claus

Written By: Bob - Dec• 23•11

If you cant’ make it on the ballot, you can’t win the primary delegates.

Texas Gov. Rick Perry failed to get on Virginia’s presidential primary ballot after the state Republican Party determined Friday that he didn’t submit at least 10,000 valid signatures. The GOP earlier announced former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and Texas Rep. Ron Paul will be on the ballot.

An announcement from the party on former House Speaker Newt Gingrich’s petitions is expected Friday evening.

Only Mitt Romney and Ron Paul have qualified. ┬áSantorum, Bachmann, and Huntsman didn’t even try.

When only 2-3 of the top seven candidates make it on the ballot, that seems to indicate to me that the state’s primary system is at fault, and is too exclusionary… perhaps weighed unfairly in favor of dynastic machine politicians and intending to stifle dark horse candidates.

It a shame. While dark horses rarely win, they tend to get on the radar at least for a little while because they have a plank on their platform that people (not the politicians) find necessary, and their candidacies force politicians to at least address these concerns.

In Virginia, it appears primary voters are being robbed of a chance to select from a wide range of candidates.

Someone please tell me how that benefits the Republic.

Update: Newt Gingrich also fails to qualify. The most terrifying data point in all of this? Both Alan Keyes and Dennis Kucinich managed to qualify in their Presidential runs, suggesting that I’m wrong to blame the system in Virginia (unless it has changed, and I don’t know that it has in the past 50 years or so). It increasingly appears that we’ve managed to cobble together a GOP primary field that campaigns every bit as ineptly as Barack Obama governs.

Update to the update: Per Ed’s comment below, Keyes made in in 2000, not in the last cycle.

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  1. RokShox says:

    VA primary is Super Tuesday. Several other (9?) states are in play that day.

    Seems more perilous for Romney…what if he loses to Paul due to voter frustration at absence of their preferred choices?

    • david7134 says:

      Then the better man and the most conservative and the one who clearly wants small government will win.

  2. Ed Morrissey says:

    Just a heads-up: Doug was wrong about Keyes, so I’ve corrected my post (he was apparently on the 2000 ballot, though), and Fred Thompson managed to make it onto the 2008 primary ballot. Remember the Thompson juggernaut? ;-)

  3. Ed Morrissey says:

    As a heads-up to my earlier heads-up, Doug was actually correct; I misread his tweet to say that both made the ballot in 2008, so the error was all mine.

    And the people responsible for sacking the people responsible for the credits have been sacked. [/Monty Python]

  4. Farmer's Daughter says:

    It’s being reported elsewhere that Romney’s VA campaign chair is/was the overseer of the signature counting and validation. Is this a subtle or glaring conflict of interest? Seems to avoid conspiracy theories and the sense of ‘the fix is in’ for Romney, he should have recused himself from the start. What is he implying; that Perry and Gingrich simply made up names? This individual needs to be far more forthcoming and transparent regarding the process he followed, what steps he took to ensure there was no hint of impropriety.