From the Left



Why I appreciate presidential candidate Joe Walsh -- for now

By Clarence Page, Tribune Content Agency on

It feels odd to find myself appreciating Joe Walsh for a change. I expect the feeling to pass. Walsh goes through more changes than Lady Gaga's wardrobe on an awards night.

No, I am not talking about the lead guitarist for the Eagles. I'm talking about the Joe Walsh who is less known for his peaceful, easy feelings.

Walsh, the former tea party-backed, one-term congressman from Illinois, announced Sunday that he is returning to the campaign trail, this time in a long-shot challenge to President Donald Trump in the Grand Old Party's primaries next year.

With Trump's overall approval ratings among Republicans at 88% in the latest Gallup Poll, Walsh's chances for success look about as bleak as those of a chicken at KFC.

Yet with Trump's overall approval at 41%, despite the mostly healthy economy, it would be an unnatural act for all of his party's presidential wannabes to pass up this chance to take him on, even when it risks creating more enemies than friends in their own party.

Former Massachusetts Gov. Bill Weld was first to announce his bid. Others known to be considering the GOP race include Mark Sanford, former governor and congressman from South Carolina, and former Ohio Gov. John Kasich.


As a patriotic American, I appreciate all candidates who exercise their civic duty by running for office, even when I don't necessarily agree with their politics.

In that sense, I appreciate Walsh's entry because, first of all, Republicans who tell me they support Trump because their party hasn't offered much of an alternative yet deserve to have one.

More than the moderate, pragmatic and well-experienced Republican hopefuls I mentioned above, Walsh comes from the same angry populist right-wing that comprises much of Trump's base.

But I also don't expect my appreciation for Walsh to last. For one thing, he is so full of surprises that he almost makes Trump look like the "stable genius" that Trump claims to be.


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