It’s a lot of work following Americans Elect, because one has to delve deep into the weeds of the rules to get any real sense of what the hell is going on there. Don’t do that. Instead, just read the dedicated and self-sacrificing people who follow their every move. This is from AE Transparency, which is only one of the sites that track AE:
We Pay Attention To Americans Elect Corporation So You Won’t Have To
in a surprising new development this week, undeclared ‘draft’ candidate David Walker skyrocketed out of nowhere (OK, out of 25th place) last week to break into our Top 20 candidate list this week in 17th place, leapfrogging all but three declared candidates. This surprise move had nothing to do with actually winning voter support (Walker gained only a lamentable 8 qualifying votes this week, anemic even by Americans Elect’s standards) and had everything to do with back-room funny business.
How can just 8 votes (out of AECorp’s membership of 400,000+) significantly propel a candidate toward success in the Americans Elect beauty pageant? They can’t, of course. But moving the goal-posts sure can, and that is what transpired this week while you weren’t looking, as AECorp insiders quietly upgraded Walker’s ticket to ride.
Americans Elect’s Candidate Certification Committee apparently originally classified Walker as a “contingently qualified” candidate, requiring him to net 50,000 qualifying votes to advance to the next round of balloting. Yet sometime during the past week (in the dark of night, perhaps, while we were all asleep?) Walker’s candidacy status on his Americans Elect web page appears to have been quietly changed to “Former Head of a Federal Agency” without any announcement, and his qualifying vote requirement was accordingly reduced from 50,000 to just 10,000. In other words, AECorp generously upgraded Walker’s ticket from coach to first class. Thus Walker (with only 94 qualifying votes) thereby automatically leapt from 25th place – behindcontingently qualified declared candidates Michealene Risley (454 qualifying votes) and TJ Ohara (141 qualifying votes) to 17th place (ahead of them both). And with just 11 more votes Walker will surpass contingently qualified declared candidate Laurence Kotlikoff (524 qualifying votes), as well.[UPDATE: Tip of the hat to Irregular Times’ Jim Cook for independently verifying Walker’s Easter Week Ascension (He is Risen!), with an able assist from Bing’s cache. Thanks, Jim!]
All this would be much ado about nothing, but for the fact that David Walker, who has long lobbied for massive cuts to Social Security, Medicare, and other safety-net programs, is an Americans Elect Board of Advisors member (i.e., an AECorp insider himself), as well as for the existence of numerous signals over the past few weeks that Walker is a particular favorite of his fellow AECorp insiders. As Jim Cook of Irregular Times has carefully documented, AE insiders Lady Lynn Forester de Rothschild and Mark McKinnon (George W. Bush’s former campaign manager) have both sung Walker’s praise as a potential presidential candidate lately, as has apparent AE auxiliary, “No Labels”. AE itself has issued a gushing press release extolling Walker’s virtues, and AE’s cheerleader on the New York Times op-ed page, Thomas Friedman, published a shamelessly flattering column in the Times in February imagining the glories of a Walker presidency. This represents a lot of serious firepower being brought to bear in support of a candidate who has, as yet, persuaded only 94 Americans to give him their qualifying votes at Americans Elect. Strange indeed.
‘Kremlin watchers’ here at AE Transparency (that is, the more paranoid among us) suggest that AECorp’s odd move this week…moving David Walker’s goal-posts by re-defining the term ‘Federal agency’…signals a growing impatience within the Americans Elect penthouse with Buddy Roemer’s now clearly established inability to draw votes (one of the major reasons for AE’s embarrassingly unsuccessful ballot thus far). Casting about for another potential draw (or so the theory goes), insiders have set their last desperate hopes on Walker. All that is required in order to save AE’s disastrous first-round balloting would be for humble, self-sacrificing Walker to officially declare his candidacy, for AE to once more rev up its powerful publicity machine in his favor (with reliable support from the Times’ Friedman), and – if absolutely necessary – to ever-so-slightly re-jigger the rules just one more time to, say, automatically advance the top three declared candidates (which could soon easily include Walker) to the next round of balloting, whatever their vote totals might be.
Right now, it’s just a theory. But our hawk-eyed election monitors will be closely observing AECorp’s moves in these final weeks of its first-round ballot, looking for further Walker-promoting skullduggery. Maybe you should, too. After all, “Ninety-Four-Vote Dave” Walker might just be the next leader of the free world, if that’s what Ackerman Elects.
Wouldn’t it be great if someone would ask Tom Friedman just how much he understands about this process he’s endorsed and promoted? Ask him a question. “How does AE work, Tom, specifically?”