Below, I gave a memory of ’08 (related to ’16). Now I’d like to give a memory of ’84 (also related to ’16).
Eventually, the Democratic nomination came down to Walter Mondale and Gary Hart. But the debates were three-way, not one-on-one. The third was Jesse Jackson. He had no chance to win the nomination. But he was staying in the race, and boasting about being third.
One by one they had dropped out: John Glenn, Fritz Hollings, Alan Cranston . . . They dropped out because they were trying to win the nomination and be president. Jackson was doing something else: promoting Jesse Jackson (while telling himself he was scoring a great victory for Black America).
Which brings me to this year: Will people hang on because of vanity, or fundraising opportunities, regardless of whether they have a chance to win? That has always burned me. Yet the rules allow it, evidently. You’re in until you’re not in.
P.S. If I insisted on tagging along with Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy — I would finish third. (Though maybe I’d find a way to mess it up?)