Rep. Peter King (R-NY) was the first Republican to officially announce he was running for president in 2016, throwing his hat in the ring in September 2013 in New Hampshire.
Here are what five leading political pundits have said about the long-shot campaign of the 12-term congressman and 2016 GOP presidential hopeful.
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1. In a Dec. 4, 2014 USA Today story about King’s chances
to earn the Republican presidential nomination, Charlie Cook said the 70-year-old Long Island resident has virtually no shot at the White House because, as a congressman, the GOP presidential hopeful doesn’t have the donor base or the stature to win.
“Sitting House members do not get elected president. Period. It doesn't matter who they are, how great they are,'' said Cook, editor of The Cook Political Report, a nonpartisan political newsletter. “A sitting congressman hasn't been elected president since James Garfield in 1880, and there have been plenty who have tried.”
In the same USA Today article, GOP presidential campaign strategist Kevin Madden said King’s efforts to build a grassroots campaign to compete with better financed and more organized rivals like Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney will inevitably fall flat.
“That's the great opportunity offered by Iowa and New Hampshire, that you can build a national profile one handshake at a time over many months,” Madden said. “But that opportunity is tempered by the great cruelty of Florida, where it takes $3 million a week to survive on the air and you can be finished in a matter of weeks if you don't.”
3. In an August 2013 article on The Hill
, Republican political operative Ford O’Connell suggested King may be using his presidential overtures to push his party in adopting a stronger commitment to national security and national defense rather than making a serious run at the nomination.
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“It seems that he’s far more wedded to the GOP emphasis on national defense than he is to actual ambitions of sitting in the White House,” O’Connell said. “Internally he may be testing the waters, but he knows in the back of his mind that he has a better chance of winning the Powerball jackpot this year before he becomes president of the United States. And I think part of it is that he’s getting coverage because we’re a leaderless party with no true front-runner.”
4. On his Crystal Ball website evaluating 2016 presidential contenders
, Larry Sabato, head of the University of Virginia Center for Politics, ranks King on the seventh, or bottom, tier of GOP presidential hopefuls, cheekily titled “New Gingrich Society—Want to Buy a Book?”
Sabato lists King’s primary advantages as his media savvy and his hard line and expertise in foreign policy but says his primary disadvantages are his low donor support, his moderate-to-conservative voting record, and his lack of name recognition.
5. In his political blog The Run 2016 for U.S. News & World Report
, David Catanese may have succinctly summed up many pundits’ feelings about King’s presidential aspirations. “Despite saying he’s a candidate for president ‘right now,’” Catanese wrote, “there’s only a 50 percent chance he’ll actually go through with it.”
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