Election 2016

America's Strangest Presidential Candidates

The field is more crowded than you think.


The presidential field is even more crowded than you think. Wade through the filings on the Federal Election Commission's website, and you'll find nearly 400 candidates who don't stand a chance of winning. Some are running to make a statement. Some are running to make a joke. And some are literally crazy. Here are a few of the fringier contestants in the field:

1. HRM Caesar St. Augustine de Buonaparte. The Absolute Dictator Party's candidate may not have the strangest name to be found on the FEC's site—that honor probably belongs to "Sydney's Voluptuous Buttocks," who has adopted the slogan "every politician is an asshole so what's the difference?"—but his Statement of Candidacy may be the oddest form ever filed with the FEC. Looking more like a punk zine than a bureaucratic document, it is filled with images like this:

Are you sure this isn't a flyer for a Social Distortion show?
HRM Caesar St. Augustine de Buonaparte

The self-proclaimed emperor doesn't seem to be campaigning much, unless you count the occasional updates on what purports to be his Facebook page. (I say "purports to be" because it's not clear whether the page is run by the candidate himself or a fan.) But he did upload some clips to YouTube during his last presidential campaign, and I've embedded one of those below. Shot in a room that looks like it might be in a bus station, the speech does not follow the usual patterns of political oratory. After explaining that he will refuse all interview requests unless "it's unedited, uncut, uncensored, and it's gotta be by the national news media," the emperor goes on to tell us that all the major politicians are—this is the word he uses—"niggers." And so is everyone watching the video, "because we all die on our death bed and watch our offspring fight over our money."

About three and a half minutes in, a couple of little kids wander behind de Buonaparte as he tells us that "you're all the devil." A little later he explains his plans to replace any government employee who does not have an IQ of at least 150. And in case you were wondering how he feels about the Bilderbergers, he's against them. Here's the whole thing:

To see more of the emperor's videos, go here.

2. Tami Stainfield. Ms. Stainfield's Statement of Candidacy isn't as wild as Emperor de Buonaparte's, but her videos are even stranger. Stranger and sadder. This clip, made during her previous presidential campaign in 2012, features a guest appearance by "the men who occupy my brain," who address the camera in a language the candidate cannot identify. Emperor de Buonaparte's cocky craziness is sure to strike a lot of viewers as funny, but watching Ms. Stainfield you just hope she can get the help she needs:

Ms. Stainfield is also an admirer of Alexis de Tocqueville. To see more from her YouTube channel, go here.

3. Donald Trump. Mr. Trump has not actually filed a Statement of Candidacy with the FEC, so he is not, as of yet, as serious a candidate as Ms. Stainfield or Emperor de Buonaparte. But he did make a formal announcement yesterday that he is seeking the presidency, and a number of enablers reportedly showed up to watch it live. His speech to them was full of de Buonaparte–worthy lines, as when he complained that ISIS has entered the hotel business or when he asked, "When did we beat Japan at anything?" (He also offered this description of Mexican immigrants: "They're bringing drugs. They're bringing crime. They're rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.")

Like Ms. Stainfield and Emperor de Buonaparte, Trump has a YouTube channel. But his interest in video actually goes back before that website existed, and he attracted some notoriety a little over a decade ago on a pre-YouTube service called NBC. Here is one of his old clips:

Mr. Trump has also mucked about in the business world, with mixed success, and he maintains a lively Twitter feed.

To explore the FEC's presidential filings for yourself, go here.

NEXT: John Stossel on the Anti-Science Left

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  1. I, for one, was sorely disappointed in the lack of voluptuousness in Sydney’s buttocks.

    1. Politicians lie, HM.

  2. Where is Trump on the list?

    1. Number 3.

  3. Sorry. This list does not contain Hillary Clinton. It is invalid.

    1. I would argue that Hillary Clinton is the epitome of business as usual.

  4. Trump’s speech is goddamn brilliant:

    “When do we beat Mexico at the border? They’re laughing at us, at our stupidity. And now they are beating us economically. They are not our friend, believe me. But they’re killing us economically.”

    The Mexicans are beating us economically?

    “They’re sending us not the right people.”

    I’m sending you construction of sentences which strange is.

    “They just built a hotel in Syria. Can you believe this? They built a hotel. When I have to build a hotel, I pay interest. They don’t have to pay interest, because they took the oil that, when we left Iraq, I said we should’ve taken.”

    Donald Trump apparently believes we should have dug up all of Iraq’s oil and just kind of transported it to the US, somehow.

    “Last quarter, it was just announced our gross domestic product — a sign of strength, right? But not for us. It was below zero. Whoever heard of this? It’s never below zero.”


    1. Thomas Friedman is his speech writer?

      1. An Agility-Deficient Cyborg?

    2. The dude already flies around nearly alone in a 767. I think he’s really good at keeping spending in check.

    3. “I would build a great wall, and nobody builds walls better than me, believe me, and I’ll build them very inexpensively, I will build a great, great wall on our southern border. And I will have Mexico pay for that wall.”

      Wait, what? What’s the plan here – hey Mexico, build this wall or I’ll go to war with you?

      1. By inexpensively, I assume he means with immigrant labor?

        1. Yet not from Mexico, since he claims that “They’re sending us not the right people”.

          I probably have more respect for Vermin Supreme than Trump at this point.

      2. The plan is easy – and brilliant – and great. China already has a great great wall. Trump will tell them to break it down into pieces and send it over – or else they can’t buy any more T-bonds and their economy will fall apart from lack of dollars. The Mexican govt will pay the shipping costs – and will provide 100,000 laborers/serfs to reconstruct it on our border – or else we won’t give them any more dollars. The Mexican laborers/serfs will be part of a TV show while they are constructing the wall. Most of them will be fired – but the winners will get a very short-term entrance into the US (accompanied by guards of course) to find their illegal kinsmen (its a known fact that Mexicans can sniff out other Mexicans by the smell of beans) and take them back home to Mexico.

    4. I’m presuming he’s promoting the idea of occupying the oil fields and claiming them for our own, you know, the kinds of things most nations did in the days before the U.N. (Note: I am not endorsing the idea, just explaining what I think is his position. No woodchippers were harmed in the creation of this post. All woodchippers are strictly hypothetical, metaphorical, hyperbolic and rhetorical).

    5. Mexico is beating us economically?

      WTF? Maybe Trump is having a personal envy fit over Carlos Slim or something, but if Mexico were beating us economically, half of their population wouldn’t be risking death in the desert to get into this country.

    6. Gross domestic product below zero?

      Did everyone stop going to work and all businesses shutdown?

    7. “”They’re sending us not the right people.”

      I’m sending you construction of sentences which strange is.”

      All your grammar are belong to us!

  5. I can’t really say with certainty that a President Tammy Stainfield would do more harm to the nation than have our past three or four Presidents.

  6. This time, why not the worst?

    1. A vote for Nicole is a vote for truth.

      1. You want to be her running mate?

        1. I’ll be her wingman any day. Not the rose, but near the rose.

          1. Wait, you and Nicole are Maverick and Iceman?

            Now I’m frightened.

      2. “A vote for Nicole is a vote for truth.”

        … and the truth hurts

        (alternately: “You can’t handle the truth!”)

        1. I vote for “You can’t handle the truth!” Its the worst.

  7. You know, once you get past the crazy, Tami Stainfield’s website is pushing a pretty classic limited government platform and refers to a lot of conservative/libertarian classic writings:


    1. “I am a woman with evidence that proves I and others are victims of predictive analytics robotics and human logistics; we are tortured, hostages, and slaves to a network of technology void from identification and protection. My personal sovereignty and conscience has been occupied by unidentified persons and software.”

      I believe Hayek wrote about this in Constitution of Liberty when he wrote:

      “My mind is the space prison – all are slaves to void technology and consciences occupied by abysses of not-self but others.”

        1. Thou art indeed a Great Linkmaster, Heroic.

        2. Ok, we know how you found that link. Note that the B is right beside the N on the keyboard. Coincidence? I think not!

          1. I found Gail through other means. As of bukkake, I go straight to the source: Shuttle Japan.

            1. Is she actually related to Howard Hughes? That could just be her being crazy, but given Hughes’ own history, it is absolutely believable that this crazy woman might have inherited the nuttery due to a genetic predisposition within the Hughes family.

              1. I rate that claim on the same level as her claim that she’s been in a sexual relationship with both Brett Spiner and Vladmir Putin for years.

                1. “Good afternoon, Mr. Data!”

                  “Good Afternoon, Mr. President”

                  “Shall we begin the threesome?”

                  1. OH MY GOD

              2. “Jesuit Bukkake Bomb”

                I found my new handle!

            2. Holy fuckerballs.
              Thanks for the link.
              Her long biography is absolutely fascinating.

        3. I’m going to have to remember to use “It’s going to be like Jesuit bukkake” in political conversations from now on.

        4. “….we need help with a spermicide that will counter all of the germs that will come out of this bomb….”

          *snugs tinfoil hat and runs to laboratory*

            1. “All of Canada has been Bukkaked. I cannot describe to you the smell.”

              And they told us all that white stuff coming down from Canada the past couple winters was from the “polar vortex!”

              1. I blame the lizard people misinformation campaign.

                1. I, for one, and unlike Tami, welcome our new lizard/alien/robot overlords.

                  1. Can’t be worse than what we have now.

      1. I said “once you get past the crazy!” You’re still in the crazy. Anyway, is that really worse than “At this point, what difference does it make?” and “I can disobey federal email security regulations with impunity” or, especially “we cannot let a minority of people?hold a viewpoint that terrorizes the majority of people?”

        At the very least, I don’t see Tami is going to be persecuting citizens for holding unpopular viewpoints.

        I wish I was exaggerating, but I’d rather have President Crazy Tami than President Hillary.

        1. OK “I can disobey federal email security regulations with impunity” isn’t a direct quote, it’s just an observation of apparent reality.

        2. I’m guessing Crazy Tami would have a better than zero shot at the Libertarian nomination.

          1. Only Crazy Tami can protect us from the Nukkake!

            1. No one can save you!

              1. I have no idea why people say Reason’s comments section is a cesspool. Entertainment like this is priceless.

    2. But it’s hard to get past the crazy with her:


      1. The craziest thing is that we’re able to recognize that Tami should be nowhere near the reigns of power, but Hillary is considered a reputable national candidate for the most powerful office in the world.

  8. I’m really curious to see his financial disclosures. How rich is Trump, really? I’m sure he has stock valued at obscene amounts. But are any of his companies not actually drowning in debt?

    Also, his recently bankrupt Taj Mahal casino admitted to willful money laundering violations spanning 15 years despite many warnings from regulators. As much as I think money laundering laws are generally bullshit, it’ll be awesome to see him explain that one away since most of the admitted willful violations happened when he was chairman.

    1. Usfl had a viable model until he forced them to go toe to toe with the nfl.

      He wanted to force a merger. He couldnt abide owning a team in a 2nd tier league.

    2. I heard his personal wealth is around 9 billion.

      1. Is that just how much his stock in non-public companies is valued? Those numbers are absolutely meaningless. The founder of SnapChat, for example, is worth ~$10 billion because some investor gave or will give the company money at some absolutely crazy valuation.

      2. I’m curious to see if he has ever donated to the Clinton Foundation for Clinton Family Personal Wealth Fund.

  9. I’m glad to see that President Emperor Caesar is on the ball, but wake me up when Vermin Supreme files.

  10. America’s Most Disturbing Political Candidates, a new weekly show produced by Reason, premiering next week on Showtime.

  11. So, a candidate who supports an imperial Presidency, only this time with imperial titles as well as imperial power?

  12. Eh? No Vermin Supreme? Wikipedia says he’s running again in 2016, so surely he deserves consideration!

    1. The sad thing is that this guy is no more looney than most of the so called ‘serious’ candidates.

      I’d vote for him over Hillary. At least he has a sense of humor and wears a giant rubber boot on his head. What’s not to like about that over a humorless old bag with cankles?

      1. Vermin Supreme isn’t loony since he’s a fake candidate who does all that stuff as a joke.

        1. …whereas all the rest are fake candidates dumb enough to actually take the political process seriously.

    2. He hasn’t qualified for matching funds per FEC rules yet, apparently.

  13. his plans to replace any government employee who does not have an IQ of at least 150

    Um…sure. Good luck with that.

    1. Like anyone with an IQ over 70 would be willing to work for the government.

      1. That’s not fair. Intelligent, evil people can and do work in government.

    2. It would be a great way to downsize government.

    3. I wonder how it will feel when he accidentally signs his on pinkslip.

    4. I wonder how it will feel when he accidentally signs his on pinkslip.

  14. He also offered this description of Mexican immigrants: “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists. And some, I assume, are good people.”

    And, didn’t you hear? We don’t pay our bills, either. So good luck making us pay for that palisade you want to place in the southern border.

    1. Well, you know, the “good” ones will pay, because they understand the importance of atoning for all the shortcomings, crimes and sins of everyone who fits in the same loose demographic group as them based on geography and rough physical appearance, as made up on the spot by an old, insane billionaire.

      Simple logic, really!

  15. Vote Chtulhu, because why not vote for the best of all evils?

    1. Will he kill me first? ‘Cause that’s the kind of campaign promise I can get behind.

      1. Oh, He will kill you alright, but not just once. You will spend the rest of the lifetime of the universe experiencing every possible death in the simulation spaces of His immense and inconceivable mind.

        1. So a pretty typical party-line platform considering the candidate.

  16. If Herc Triathalon (or whatever his damn name) isn’t running, then my vote is going to Almanian. But if Warty decides to run, he will get my vote, provided he drives the hordes of politicians and lobbyists before him like cattle.

    1. This is why there are no lamentations from libertarian women.

      1. What is this “Libertarian Women” of which you speak?

  17. Eh, we could do worse than Caesar and Tami. And looking at the current field, we probably will.

  18. The the fuck are the Independents running Wanda Wideload and Saint Bonaparty?!?!?! Have they lost their minds?!?!

  19. “When did we beat Japan at anything?”

    – 1945??

  20. “But watching Ms. Stainfield you just hope she can get the help she needs…”


    “…To see more from her YouTube channel, go here.”

    You’re one dark dude Walker.

  21. See, I knew the bloggers’ statements about how many candidates were in the race so far were severe underestimates.

  22. Years ago, a DESTROYER book took as its plot the Hero’s efforts to get an honest man elected Mayor of Miami. The guy was registered as a candidate because he couldn’t stand to vote for any of the other candidates, and felt he should participate in the process SOMEHOW.

    One of the better books in the series. Silly (they always were), but also genuinely funny (which was hit and miss).

  23. In the past, I would have laughed at some of the colorful people registering to run for President.

    But after what we got in 2008… it’s just not that funny anymore.

    1. Are you saying that our current President is somehow any more colorful or exceptionally strange among the overall pool of candidates? or are you referring to the peripheral candidates that year?

      1. I’m saying that before 2008 I would not have expected a candidate with such radical ideas to get anywhere. But he won. And has been actually succeeding in getting those radical ideas implemented.

  24. As long as Caesar is running, why not the Emperor Norton?

    1. Norton I saw no reason to run for office as he was already Emperor. I don’t know if there is a Norton II, and if there is I doubt that San Francisco is any place for such a person anymore; they clearly take the role of Government frightfully seriously.

  25. Is it wrong that some small, evil part of me is actually hoping that Trump wins the Presidency so we can just stop pussyfooting around and get our inevitable downslide into total, history-making farce and ruination over with in one quick rip?

    There is a curse. It is said: May you always live in interesting times.

    1. I dunno, Trump might be a good president for the simple reason that he is such a loser that he likely wouldn’t get anything done. What he actually stands for makes little difference.

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  27. OK, Tami Stainfield is really crazy. But, given technological advances such as this:

    http://gizmodo.com/scientists-…..1711540938 (hat tip, instapundit)

    … how long before her ravings about being forcibly subjected to mind control are a reality? Think it would never be used like that? Have you met people?

  28. Weirder than Hillary? Unpossible.


    “Oh, Hillary, you put the ‘hill’ in ‘hill-arious'”

  29. Back in 1992, as a joke, I voted in the Democratic primary for Rufus Higginbotham. He had run for mayor of Dallas two years earlier (unsuccessfully). There were two televised debates that year, the first for the serious candidates and the second for Higginbotham and his ilk. During the debate, his answer to every question was “Dallas should build a space port.” I remember the moderator interrupting him at one point to say “this question is about crime” and Higginbotham replied that the space port was his answer to crime because it would create so many jobs that no one would need to steal.

    Anyway, I just googled him and I guess he’s still alive. He was pretty old back then, so I didn’t think he would be. He has a web site at http://www.rufushigginbotham.com/. I’m reading his biography there. It’s kind of interesting, but not quite as loony as I expected.

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