I was watching an episode of Wild Kratts, and there was a cheetah, which made me think of how unlike a cheetah Jed Bush is, and so I put together a short list of what animal most closely represents each candidate this year. Most of my analysis is based on science, but there is a certain portion I've had to guess at, so I would advise a certain caution in treating this as anything more than a supplementary voting guide.

Vice President Joe Biden,
who is currently Vice President; a role which I feel uniquely qualified to assess after watching portions of both West Wing and Veep. Animal doppelgänger: Quokka, which is a cat-sized marsupial who enjoys smiling.

Jed Bush,
who has visited the White House.
Animal: Holstein cow.

Hillary Clinton,
who used to be almost-President.
Animal: Bonobo Ape. Interesting creatures and fascinating socio-familial interactions.

Ben Carson,
who used to be a Pediatric Neurosurgeon.
Animal: Bottlenose Dolphin, who sometimes can be very smart, depending on what task they're doing or what test they're taking.

Lincoln Chaffee,
who used to be Governor of Rhode Island, and has the most Presidential surname of all candidates.
He has dabbled in being a Republican, an Independent, and now a Democrat.
Animal: Golden Tortoise Beetle, whose colors fluctuate seasonally.

Ted Cruz,
who is distantly related to Penelope, or may not be, and who is from Texas. Favorite historical landmark: Great Wall of China. Also a Senator.
Animal: Cockatoo.

Jim Webb,
who used to be a Senator from Virginia, and possibly considers the diminutive former NBA leapfrog Spud to be a friend and family member. Not confirmed.
Animal: Red Squirrel, which is native to Scotland.

Rick Perry,
who is former Governor of Texas - there's also a Rick Parry from New Zealand who plays ice hockey, but I think that's not the one who's running, although perhaps he ought. Former Governor Perry is allegedly no relation to Ted Cruz or Richard Nixon, so we will shut that rumor mill down right now. If he had been around during the French Revolution, he would likely have been volunteering to run the guillotine. Again, conjecture.
Animal: Hairy-legged Vampire Bat. Normally they're native to South America, but one made its way up to Texas. Truth.

Carly Fiorina,
who was a former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, apparently a company that does something with computers (disclosure: I use Macs). Also, I have confirmed, via Internet, that she is not a close relative to Carla Gugina, the mom from Spy Kids and Lily from Sin City; two films which have nothing to do with politics, therefore there's no point in discussing them. She is 5'4". Again, that is Carla Gugino. I have no idea how tall Ms. Fiorina is, and it doesn't matter. Not relevant. Apparently Ms. Gugino also appeared in the disaster film San Andreas, but I have not yet screened it, so I cannot say whether it is relevant to politics or not. It probably is not. I do not know if Carly Fiorina has seen it, because she is busy running for office. Which is not to say Carla Gugino is not not busy acting, because that is a taxing occupation as well. In fact, if you wanted to write her in as a candidate, you probably could.
Animal: Anglerfish.

Bernie Sanders,
who is still a Senator from Vermont, and does not sport an earring.
Animal: Bull African elephant. They live alone.

Donald Trump.

(no relevant information available).
Animal: Congo Peacock.

Marco Rubio,
who is currently a Senator from Florida.
Animal: Gopher Tortoise. They can actually burrow into tunnels and holes forty feet long, and that are wide enough to turn around in!

Martin O'Malley,
who used to be a Governor of Maryland. He also plays the banjo and his middle name is Joseph.
Animal: Deer.

Bobby Jindal,
who is apparently still the Governor of Louisiana, although a current 31% approval rating might be evidence that his mind is elsewhere.
Animal: possibly a Ferret or a Rabbit. One of them is really good at doing cool tricks if you train them right. I don't remember which one.

John Kasich,
current Governor of Ohio, a state which inexplicably is home to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Animal: Baltimore Checkerspot. A butterfly.

Chris Christie,
who is Governor of New Jersey, and distant relative(?) of Kevin James, but this is not confirmed. Middle name: unknown; possibly Kris?
Animal: Wild Boar, possibly caged.

Rand Paul,
who is a Senator from Kentucky. No relation to L. Ron Hubbard that has been proven. Father: Ron Paul. Apparently has a short temper, which is understandable, considering the frequency with which he likely gets confused with iconic graphic designer Paul Rand. Sometimes he is Libertarian; a word which has a lot of letters in common with "Librarian," but which is not apparently related.
Animal: Wolverine.

Paul Rudd,
who has appeared in many American films, and currently has announced no plans to run. There is no evidence to suggest he will, or that he has any interest, which is a shame, because he is certainly one of the top three actors between 30 and 50 in the world not named Matt Damon.
Animal: probably most like a human. Note: I know he's a human. I just think he's a really good example of a human.

Scott Walker,
who is currently a Governor of Wisconsin, if he is not impeached, which there is no reason he should be, unless he has done something reprehensible and illegal that would be cause for him to be impeached, but he probably hasn't, so there is no reason to think he will be, and thus a moot point and no need to bring it up. He does not get very many Christmas cards from Wisconsin unions.
Animal: maybe an animal that hunts Beavers or Eastern Cottontail Rabbits? I was going to look up ones that do this, but got lazy.

Rick Santorum,
who is male, and also a former Senator from New York. He is not afraid to wear a bold tie and won the silver medal in the 2012 Republican Primary.
Animal: maybe a Rain Forest type of Bird? But one that's in a zoo.

I apologize for the brevity of this post, but ideally the candidate field will Darwin itself to a point where I can talk a little more in depth about each one, and possibly chat in person with them, as I have a lot of questions I'd like to ask, such as this one:

"What's your favorite magic trick?"

Regardless of how the candidate answers, I would then pounce on them, like this: If they didn't have a favorite trick, I would aggressively question their commitment to representing America, in which Magicians make up twelve percent of the population*, and if they answer with what their favorite trick is, then I would aggressively question how they manage their time, if they are able to simultaneously run for President and be obsessed with magic.

Those are the kinds of trick questions I'm interested in being a part of; the kind that craftily tell you a lot about character, intellectual agility, and empathy.

In eternal vigilance of quackery, steampuffery, and buffoonery detection,

Joseph Long

*I might be confusing this fact with lefthanders, so don't quote me on this statistic in too many places.

Walter Cox Your bit on Santorum was a little light... Next time maybe google him perhaps? You'll learn *ALL*KINDS*OF*THINGS. Knowledge is power man, embrace its exploration.
Unlike · Reply · 2 · June 26 at 10:14pm

Walter, initially my response to your comment was defensive, considering the exhaustive research that I put into thoughtful analysis for each one. But then I realized you are right. I did not treat Mr. Santorum fairly. I took your suggestion, and am providing additional commentary. I think you'll find it helpful.

This is what else I learned about Richard Santorum in a full background check, in which I ran his name through not only Google, but Bing, and searched across additional social networks, including Orkut and Friendster, and tried** to look him up in my World Book Encyclopedia on CD-ROM, and I am not going to filter what I've learned, I'm simply going to include ALL of the relevant* information I've found on him. I think you'll be impressed.

1. His nickname is "Rooster," which may lead me to rethink the animal I associate with him.

2. He is a "staunch Catholic," but it appears that many Catholics do not vote for him, and my analysis leads me to believe that were he alive, John F. Kennedy would not be playing a weekly round of golf with him.

3. It appears that he is close friends with a columnist by the name of Dan Savage, which is mega points right there, because I believe in the value of being friends with people with cool names. I am not sure what their relationship is exactly, but their names are intertwined in a number of searches, so I think they are close.

4. He has appeared on Hugh Hefner's radio program to discuss same sex marriage; I do not recall his exact position on it, just as I do not recall if it was Hugh Hefner or Hugh Hewitt's program, and I have a vehement dislike of running the same Google search twice, so I'm not going to fact-check it. That's not what I get paid to do here.

5. Mr. Santorum is also very involved in pornography, although again I am unsure of his exact position. He is heavily involved with it, at a political level, and I believe - I THINK; and I am treading cautiously here due to my academic background and belief in the scientificish method - he is heavily in opposition to it, but out of respect for him and his campaign, I will not make that assumption, and we'll just keep it neutral and say that it is something important to him, without assuming exactly where he stands on it. Again, he has chosen to link his name with the topic in many search results, but that's between him and Sergei Brin to work out.

That's about it, and I hope that my exploration of knowledge has led to greater power for both of us. Thanks for spurring me to be all I can be, and more, Walter. Let me know if this is helpful.

*I will decide what is relevant
**I did not. I am hoping you don't read this note at the bottom, and instead choose to believe that I did find a use for my old WB encyclopedia on CD-ROM.
Like · 4 · June 27 at 7:40am · Edited

Walter Cox That response is exactly what my comment deserved. Kudos!

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