Today, Donald Trump entered the presidential race. As a moderate conservative, whatever that is, I don’t really know what to make of The Donald. On one hand, he’s the star of one of my all-time favorite TV shows. On the other, he eats pizza with a fork.
While I’m not sure if either of those qualify or disqualify the man to lead the free world, I do know that his announcement got me thinking about the ever-increasing field of presidential candidates. You’d think that after watching George W Bush go from looking like this to this, and Barack Obama go from this to this, the job that seems to have more side effects than can be listed at the end of a standard pharmaceutical commercial would chase some of these prospects away… but Politicians are to power as a moth is to a flame. It reminds me of Game of Thrones. Then again, after a season five finale that inspired one of the funniest hashtags in Twitter history, Game of Thrones is all I can really think about.
So taking into account the current candidates, and likely prospective candidates, I made a wholly scientific list of 2016 candidates as their Game of Thrones equivalent. While you may not agree with every single one of these, I think we can all agree that Republican pollster Frank Luntz is most definitely Varys.
Donald Trump: Stannis Baratheon
Trump fires people, Stannis sets people on fire. Trump will probably have to buy all his support, Stannis’ army came with help from the Iron Bank. Both call it like they see it. Both of them have hot ladies around who seem to serve as enablers for their delusions of grandeur. Most importantly, whether it be Ivanka Trump or Shireen Baratheon, they both somehow raised incredibly likable daughters who probably deserve a shot to rule before they do.
Hillary Clinton: Margaery Tyrell
Will she get to rule, OR WILL SHE GO TO PRISON!?!?! Margaery has had as many engagements as Hillary has had political posts, all seemingly in an attempt to gain proper positioning. In the case of both ladies, the people that like her, REALLY like her. I thought about Hillary being more like Renly Baratheon, considering he’d be king if it weren’t for some unexpected nonsense that came from within his own family, but since Renly’s been dead for a while, and Hillary’s sooooo close to the throne, I went with House Tyrell’s not-so-secret weapon.
Ted Cruz: Littlefinger (Petyr Baelish)
It’s that thing when not even your friends like you, and you make everything more difficult, but somehow you have a ton of influence. Cruz is like Littlefinger in that he’d never be given national power on purpose, but if his shenanigans cause enough chaos, and if it’s true that chaos is a ladder, he might be the only one left standing in the end.
Rand Paul: Danaerys Targaryen
Let’s all just admit that half the reason both Rand Paul, as well as Khaleesi, are legitimate is because of the work their ancestors put in. While the idea of someone this radical taking power is exciting, we’ve watched the Mother of Dragons storm in and take over Meereen, and struggle to lead them in a new direction. She’s even gone back on her word when it comes to allowing the fighting pits of Meereen to stay open. Some think that’s exactly what Rand Paul is doing when it comes to defense spending.
Bernie Sanders: Jon Snow
Jon Snow is to the Starks what Bernie Sanders has been to the Democrats for years. You know he’s not one of them, but what are you supposed to call him? The democrat’s “bastard son” is the type of guy to sacrifice the comfort of the few to help the many, and like with Jon Snow, it usually ends up that the “few” are the people that matter when it comes to elections/not getting stabbed by Olly. Also like Snow, Sanders seems to be the one who’s most focused on the idea that “winter is coming.”
Lindsay Graham: Cersei Lannister
You get the feeling that Lindsay Graham is more interested in seeing his enemies punished, both foreign and domestic, than actually ruling the kingdom. He also talked about making his sibling the first lady, and we all know Cersei’s track record on that issue.
Rick Santorum: High Sparrow
The High Sparrow, head of The Faith Militant, seen above presiding over the trial of Loras and Margaery Tyrell, is Game of Throne’s best example of a strong marriage of church and state. Rick Santorum isn’t just running for president, he’s running for culture warrior-in-chief. This time around, Santorum, like Mr. Sparrow, is trying to make his campaign about more than just the sins of the nation, but the plight of the poor as well.
Jeb Bush: Tommen Baratheon
Obviously Tommen is the good brother, and he could make a decent king if given the opportunity, but there’s a good chance that after Robert and Joffrey held the throne, Westeros is sick of Baratheons. See where this is going?
George Pataki: Doran Martell
Pataki was a three term republican governor of New York, a fairly liberal state. His policies, love them or hate them, made NYC a tad more peaceful. Doran Martell, Prince or Dorne, is all about peace, despite some of the people closest to him pushing for a different way of doing business. Could Doran rule Westeros? Probably not with his lax view on social issues, which is something that might keep George Pataki from becoming the GOP nominee.
Mike Huckabee: Mance Rayder
The people beyond the wall aren’t like the fancy big city folk of Westeros, and they don’t like to be told who to follow and what to do. They’re independent, freedom-loving hunters who tip their cap to Mance Rayder for respecting that fact, and for being one of them himself. Mance Rayder is to the Wildlings what Mike Huckabee is to the rural, aging conservative populous of the flyover states. Even though Stannis had Mance Rayder set on fire, they both knew the real threat was on its way. Trump may have just taken a shot at Huckabee, but considering Huckabee and Trump both have the same view of China’s dangerous economic policies, I find the overall comparison appropriate.
Carly Fiorina: Davos Seaworth
Carly Fiorina was an advisor to the spectacular flame-out that was John McCain’s 2008 presidential campaign. Davos Seaworth was the hand of “king” Stannis Baratheon’s ill-fated campaign to claim the throne. Both Fiorina and Seaworth are likable characters whose past resumés include many impressive endeavors, but where they differ is in the penalties for their failures. When Fiorina was ousted after a disastrous turn as CEO of Hewlett Packard, she was given a $21 million buyout. Davos’ failures usually get his children killed, or his fingers cut off.
Rick Perry: Balon Greyjoy
Maybe this comparison is unfair, as Balon Greyjoy declared himself king of the Iron Islands and tried to secede from Westeros, ultimately getting smacked around for it. Rick Perry only talked about the potential for Texas to secede based on it’s history. Balon also seems to think that the ironborn might be able to take the entire crown. Perry is about to make his second attempt to do so. There was a third reason I found Rick Perry similar to Balon Greyjoy, but I seemed to have forgotten it.
Marco Rubio: Oberyn Martell
He’s young, energetic, seemingly ethnic and is from somewhere tropical where people with nothing better to talk about say he apparently enjoys a lavish lifestyle. The other one is Oberyn Martell. Rubio could certainly be the GOP nominee, but most of his supporters are probably hoping he can get through this mountain of a campaign in better shape than Oberyn was after facing “The Mountain.”
Dr. Ben Carson: The Hound (Sandor Clegane)
And now for the ones who haven’t declared yet…
Scott Walker: The White Walker King
Obviously I didn’t put much thought into this one. Scott Walker’s from the north, and his last name is Walker, and we’ve all just sort of been waiting for him to arrive, so…
Bobby Jindall: Robb Stark
Bobby Jindal has all the credential’s you’d want in a candidate, and was once the GOP’s great hope for the future, but his State of the Union response in 2009 went about as well for him as the Red Wedding did for Robb.
Chris Christie: Tyrion Lannister
The easy comparison here is that in order to take them seriously, you have to get past any personal issue you may have with their physical stature- but the comparison goes beyond that. Chris Christie, like Tyrion Lannister, is pretty decent at this whole politicking thing while still managing to disdainfully take every opportunity to verbally eviscerate opponents. Like Tyrion, he’s been mired in a scandal where everyone pretty much assumes he’s guilty, and also like Tyrion, his associations have made people wonder where his loyalties lie. Ultimately, Chris Christie has survived, and played the game as best he can. It’s OK to admit that you sort of root for him.