Americans Elect Turns Out To Be A Failure
Not without surprise, Americans Elect has failed to select a nominee and looks destined to become little more than a footnote in the history books:
Americans Elect, the deep-pocketed nonprofit group that set out to nominate a centrist third-party presidential ticket, admitted early Tuesday that its ballyhooed online nominating process had failed.
The group had qualified for the general election ballot in 27 states, and had generated concern among Democrats and Republicans alike that it could wreak havoc on a close election between President Barack Obama and Mitt Romney.
But just after a midnight deadline Monday, the group acknowledged that its complicated online nominating process had failed to generate sufficient interest to push any of the candidates who had declared an interest in its nomination over the threshold in its rules.
“Because of this, under the rules that AE delegates ratified, the primary process would end today,” said the group’s Kahlil Byrd in a statement issued at 12:01 a.m. Tuesday. He seemed to leave the door open for proceeding outside the original process, however, adding, “There is, however, an almost universal desire among delegates, leadership and millions of Americans who have supported AE to see a credible candidate emerge from this process.”
Byrd said the group would confer “with its community” in the coming days “before determining next steps for the immediate future. AE will announce the results of these conversations on Thursday, May 17.”
The idea for Americans Elect was to break the grip of the two major parties on national politics, which the group blames for Washington’s hyperpartisan gridlock.
Prominent backers included former New Jersey Gov. Christine Todd Whitman and Manhattan private equity tycoon Peter Ackerman, who provided millions in seed funding.
They and a board of dignitaries set out to create a bipartisan ticket to appear on presidential ballots in all 50 states selected through a nationwide Internet convention that would have forced top candidates for its presidential nomination to tap vice presidential running mates who are either independent or affiliated with the opposite party.
It was an organization designed to please nobody but Tom Friedman, and its nomination process was Rube Goldberg-like in its complexity. It’s no wonder people ignored it.