John Bolton has announced that he is running for president in 2024, and back in 1959, Frank Sinatra recorded a song by Sammy Cahn and Jimmy Van Heusen that is ready-made for Bolton to use as a campaign theme song. It’s called “No One Cares,” and it’s an anguished, despairing torch song that begins: “When no one cares / And the phone never rings / The nights are endless things / You’re like a child that cries / And no one heeds the crying / You’re like a falling star that dies / And seems to go on dying.”
Yeah, that ably sums up Bolton’s candidacy, all right. So why is he doing it?
The same question could be asked of Mike Pence and a host of others in history who either never had a chance from the beginning or whose candidacies quickly tanked and became fodder for late-night comedy routines. Bolton should stick an exclamation point after his name, as other going-nowhere presidential hopefuls have done when faced with the singular lack of enthusiasm their candidacies aroused. “Bolton!” could go right up there next to “Lamar!” and of course “Jeb!”. But Bolton’s may be the most foredoomed presidential candidacy ever.
Why will John Bolton never be president? Let us count the ways. He earned the everlasting enmity of the Left when he was a foremost proponent of the Iraq war. Remember “Bush lied, people died”? Well, that was really more “Bolton lied, people died,” as it was Bolton who was a chief architect of the invasion of Iraq, on the pretext, never conclusively proven, that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Bolton alienated the Left even further in 2018, when he became Donald Trump’s National Security Advisor, only to be fired in September 2019.
After that, Bolton apparently decided that, having gained the Left’s undying hatred, it was time to get everyone else to hate him as well. He struck back at Trump by claiming, according to a report in the New York Times, that Trump told him “that he wanted to continue freezing $391 million in security assistance to Ukraine until officials there helped with investigations into Democrats including the Bidens.”
Trump denied Bolton’s charge, tweeting: “I NEVER told John Bolton that the aid to Ukraine was tied to investigations into Democrats, including the Bidens. In fact, he never complained about this at the time of his very public termination. If John Bolton said this, it was only to sell a book.” Bolton lent credence to Trump’s assertions by refusing to show up for a deposition during impeachment proceedings against Trump and dodging efforts to get him to testify in those proceedings until the clock ran out.
So who will support John Bolton’s presidential candidacy? Certainly not the Left. Never-Trumpers won’t forgive him for having gone to work for the man they consider to be the focus of evil in the modern world. If they’re going to go for a former Trump supporter, it will more likely be Mike Pence than Bolton, and if they want someone entirely free of the Trump taint, there’s always the ever-popular Liz Cheney. MAGA Republicans, meanwhile, will likewise never forgive Bolton for aiding the Left’s Ukraine frame-up of Trump and hold him in contempt for wimping out and refusing even to attempt to back up his incendiary assertions when it counted.
In light of all this, the political consultant who convinced Bolton, who will be just shy of 76 years old when election month 2024 rolls around, and thus one of the younger and spryer candidates in the field, to run for president must be the cleverest, canniest individual in Washington. It’s hard to imagine a candidate with more dismal chances, and so the consultant must have worked up a masterful massage of Bolton’s ego and grandiosity to convince him to throw his hat in the ring. The consultant deserves every penny of the millions he or she undoubtedly gets for this, but Bolton needs a sobering dose of reality.
On the other hand, this is the age of absurdity. Fantasies rule. If men can become women, and not just ordinary women but champion female swimmers and the nation’s first female admirals, then why can’t John Bolton become president of the United States? He could, in fact, be the first trans candidate — not transitioning from male to female, but from a thoroughly preposterous candidate to a plausible one. Hey, Shaun King is black, Elizabeth Warren is a Native American, Joe Biden is in his right mind and fully in charge, and in line with all that, John Bolton is presidential timber.