You may have missed it in the tumult of Syria coverage, but Rep. Peter King announced this weekend that he is running for president.
In an interview this week, the Republican lawmaker from New York who’s perhaps best known for protecting America from scary ” radicalized Muslims,” told a New Hampshire radio station that he was in the state “because right now I’m running for president,” according to the New York Daily News.
King has been trying to generate buzz around the idea since at least as early as July, when he sent an e-mail to supporters saying he’d been “floated” as a possible presidential pick by prominent members of his party.
The announcement makes King the first Republican to officially declare his intentions to run for president in 2016. It also puts him in the dubious company of a whole host of other candidates who, as Wonkette put it, were first to shout “First!” in the proverbial chat room of presidential elections.
For your viewing pleasure, National Journal has compiled a recent rundown of other candidates to declare earliest in recent years.
The first Republican to announce that year was longtime political activist and campaign consultant Fred Karger. Ever heard of him? Neither have we. But Tyler Kingkade wrote about him and he sounds like a nice guy.
John Cox, a “Ronald Reagan-style Republican,” announced his candidacy after ” getting a standing ovation when he outlined how he will solve the illegal-alien debacle.” Ever heard of him? Thought not.
The first Democrat to announce that year was then-Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack. We’re guessing you have heard of him. Gallup polls placed Vilsack at 1 percent in December of 2006. It fell to 0 percent on Jan. 7, where it remained until his he withdrew from the race. He is now the secretary of Agriculture.
To recall the 2004 presidential election is to recall Howard Dean. And indeed, he was the first to announce his candidacy. Dean, if you remember, polled in first place throughout much of the presidential primary, occasionally polling second to Dick Gephardt. But we all know how that ended.
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Howard Dean, the former Vermont governor and Democratic National Committee chair, announced he's pulling out of the running to regain the chairman's post. Dean "announced in a pre-recorded video to a conference of state Democratic chairs that he would step aside to allow for a new face to lead the party as it seeks to rebuild."
"Once again, businessman and philanthropist David M. Rubenstein has come through for the National Park Service. This time, he's pledged funding needed to modernize the Washington Monument's elevator-- but the monument will remain closed until 2019 while repairs and improvements are underway. Rubenstein's donation of between $2-3 million, announced Friday, will correct those ongoing elevator issues, which have shuttered the monument since August 17."
The National Defense Authorization Act passed the House this morning by a 375-34 vote. The bill, which heads to the Senate next week for final consideration, would fund the military to the tune of $618.7 billion, "about $3.2 billion more than the president requested for fiscal 2017. ... The White House has issued a veto threat on both the House and Senate-passed versions of the bill, but has not yet said if it will sign the compromise bill released by the conference committee this week."
Bill Schuette, Michigan's attorney general, has filed a lawsuit on behalf of the state to halt the recount of the state's voting results. The recount was elected by Green Party candidate Jill Stein. Schuette says the recount shouldn't occur because Stein cited no evidence of voter fraud or tabulation error.
"Republicans have elected Rep. Greg Walden (R-OR) the next chairman of the powerful House Energy and Commerce Committee. Walden defeated Reps. John Shimkus (R-IL) and Joe Barton (R-TX), the former committee chairman, in the race for the gavel" to succeed Michgan's Fred Upton.