Politics & Other Mistakes: Bottom of the barrel

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There are currently 10 Democratic gubernatorial candidates. Which is about 9 1/2 more than necessary.

That’s less of a problem than it seems, because the majority of these pols aren’t actually campaigning for the Blaine House, but engaging in a bizarre form of ego gratification that somehow finds fulfillment in making speeches to garden clubs, high school civics classes and thoroughly confused attendees at Star Trek conventions.

Which Dems fall in that category? Here’s your list.

J. Martin Vachon

Occupation: He doesn’t respond to requests for interviews, but according to the internet, he’s a former race car driver.

Political experience: Write-in candidate for governor in 2010 and 2014.

Qualifications: Take a guess.

Political views: No clue.

Campaign slogan: Get Vague With Vachon.

Chance of winning the nomination: Get serious.

Cynthia Soma-Hernandez

Occupation: Former Amtrak employee and teacher in New Jersey.

Political experience: Union local president.

Qualifications: The union thing, more than 25 years ago.

Political views: According to her website, she has a “hemp centric & renewable energy plan.”

Campaign slogan: Not That Kind Of Hemp.

Chance of winning the nomination: I’ll be generous: 1 percent.

Patrick “Ike” Eisenhart

Occupation: Retired U.S. Coast Guard commander.

Political experience: He’s been a Democrat, a Republican and a Democrat again.

Qualifications: He’s done some lobbying on veterans’ issues.

Political views: According to his website, he favors “compassionate fiscal conservatism.” He has a detailed health-care plan, which reads like a cross between Obamacare and a bad acid trip. He doesn’t think the governor deserves a pension.

Campaign slogan: Maybe something with “Ike” in it.

Chance of winning the nomination: Slightly north of 1 percent.

Diane Russell

Occupation: Public relations consultant.

Political experience: Four terms as a state representative from Portland, unsuccessful candidate for state Senate seat in 2016.

Qualifications: She’s been able to raise lots of money, although she also has a tendency to run afoul of campaign-finance laws. She’s displayed a talent for negative attacks that rivals the rhetoric of lame-duck Gov. Paul LePage.

Political views: Hardcore liberal. Although, probably not so much when it comes to campaign-finance reform. Also, she supports creating a state bank. If that happens, I hope they have good auditors.

Campaign slogan: My Opponents Are Scum!

Chance of winning the nomination: 10 percent – if all the other candidates die under questionable circumstances.

James Boyle

Occupation: Environmental consultant.

Political experience: One term as a state senator from Gorham. Defeated for re-election in 2014.

Qualifications: In his two years in the Legislature, he did no great damage. Although, the same could be said for most freshmen.

Political views: According to Facebook, he favors protecting the environment and creating jobs. That’s about it.

Campaign slogan: Boyle Until Mushy.

Chance of winning the nomination: A very squishy 12 percent.

Mark Dion

Occupation: Lawyer.

Political experience: Three terms as Cumberland County sheriff, three terms as a state representative and one term as a state senator from Portland.

Qualifications: In announcing his candidacy, the former deputy Portland police chief said, “I’ve never been the best at anything I’ve ever done.” But, he added, he’s great at finding people who’ll make up for his deficiencies. Apparently, that’s now a legitimate approach to governing (see Trump, Donald).

Political views: Unlike almost everyone in law enforcement, Dion was an early supporter of legal marijuana and has generally favored casinos. In Portland, he’s considered a moderate. Anywhere else, he’s a solid lefty.

Campaign slogan: If I Can Work With Mike Chitwood, I Can Work With Anyone.

Chance of winning the nomination: 20 percent.

Betsy Sweet

Occupation: Lobbyist, although, she prefers “advocate” or “organizer.”

Political experience: She’s lobbied for liberal causes for a long time, which counts for something. Although maybe not in a positive way.

Qualifications: Experienced and reasonably effective. An early advocate for civil rights for gay men and lesbians, and later, for same-sex marriage, she’s worked on numerous campaigns. Still, you’ve got to wonder why she thinks anyone will vote for a lobbyist.

Political views: She makes an apparently non-ironic point on her website of promising not to accept campaign contributions from lobbyists. Other than that, it’s your standard liberal shtick.

Campaign slogan: A pun on her last name? Too obvious.

Chance of winning the nomination: 25 percent.

The rest of the field – Attorney General Janet Mills, former Speaker of the House Mark Eves and attorney Adam Cote – aren’t on this list because they have reasonable odds of winning. And I’ve already subjected them to their share of derisive comments.

None of these candidates has an email address as cool as aldiamon@herniahill.net.