The commerce of conservatism has never been more robust. And here at the right’s biggest trade show, the annual Conservative Political Action Conference, just about everyone is selling something.You might think it's fun to gawk at so much right wing crazy in one place but most of these people know exactly what they're doing. What kind of an idiot would actually want to be President, anyway? The smart.. or at least shrewd.. ones are just building a brand they can parlay into something much easier and more lucrative.
Political figures’ seeing financial incentives in keeping their names circulating as presidential hopefuls is nothing new. But the merging of political and profit motives has gotten to the point where many Republicans say they fear that their nominating process has begun to look like a machine for generating and heightening brand awareness.
“There are a lot of reasons for running for president,” said Stephen K. Bannon, the executive chairman of Breitbart News. “And getting to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue often isn’t one of them.”
Mike Huckabee, a former Arkansas governor, won the 2008 Iowa Republican caucuses in January of that year. Two months after winning the prominent early presidential derby test, he left the race. In September 2008, Huckabee became the host of an eponymous TV political commentary program on Fox News.
Huckabee is not the only Republican on the national stage who later went under the TV lights – former Alaska governor and 2008 vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin is a Fox News contributor. Any hopes for Huckabee, who left his show earlier this year to consider another run for the presidency, and for Palin that such regular national TV exposure could reboot their White House ambitions, have so far proved elusive at best.
The popular use of the town hall meeting political structure in New Hampshire, familiarly employed by Christie in New Jersey, works to Christie’s advantage, the source said. A strong showing in the “Live Free or Die” state’s primary could seal the deal for the birth of a lucrative post-politics media career for Christie, in the event that he does not reverse a polling trend that shows a thorny path to the presidency.