This Week in Fake Presidential Candidates

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Hey, did you hear who's maybe running for president? Everyone. At least that's what seemingly each and every prominent Republican is saying these days. And some of them probably are. But some of these potential candidates are just too preposterously phony — be it because of rock-bottom poll numbers or barrel-bottom politics — that we can't really take them seriously. Every week it seems like there's a different handful or fake presidential hopefuls, but for this week, here's the top five.

Sarah Palin

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  • 5. Sarah Palin

If she wasn't dissuaded already by her terrible head-to-head match-ups with President Obama, she couldn't have been comforted by a poll showing that GOP insiders think she's the ninth-likeliest candidate to win the nomination. Not to mention, she's reportedly not really doing anything so far to prepare for Iowa.

Rand Paul

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  • 4. Rand Paul

He's been in the Senate for three months, and his previous experience is practicing ophthalmology! It's ridiculous he's even considering this! Paul may be talking with some major Republicans in Iowa while he's in town for a speech this weekend, but if there's one thing we're somewhat proficient at, it's math, and the math doesn't lie. Both Pauls — Rand and Ron — have said there's a fifty-fifty chance one of them will run for president. Which means, even taking them at their word, there's only about a 25 percent chance that Rand will run.

Donald Trump

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  • 3. Donald Trump

On the one hand, you could make the argument that Trump's increasingly ridiculous birther crusade is an attempt at ingratiating himself to tea-party voters. On the other hand, he has turned himself into [even more of] a laughingstock, and laughingstocks don't win presidential elections. You have to assume that Trump, "a really smart guy," would understand this. A much more likely explanation for Trump's newfound birtherism is that he realized it would get him a ton of attention, which it has, including, now, a weekly stint on Fox News. Coincidentally, a new season of The Apprentice is just around the corner.

Rudy Giuliani

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  • 2. Rudy Giuliani

Why would he run again, after what happened in 2008? No idea, but he keeps leaving the door open just a crack. "If all we are faced with are candidates that are too far right so that they can’t win the general election, then that’s when I’d reconsider doing it,” Giuliani said recently in Florida. Nobody else is holding their breath. Former chairman of the New Hampshire GOP Fergus Cullen wrote in a scathing piece this week, "Sorry, Rudy. You had your chance, and much as we respect your resume, we're just not interested in going out again."

John Bolton

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  • 1. John Bolton

Bolton claims he's "still thinking about" running for president, if only to combat the "lack of serious foreign-policy thinking in the presumptive Republican field." He even went to Iowa a few days ago for one of the state's many primary-season "cattle calls." Come on. You're John Bolton. All anybody knows about you is that you don't need a reason to bomb Iran and you have a mustache. Stop it.