If it was up to President Obama and the 2016 election were the Hunger Games, the GOP would be the one to offer all the tributes. With the most recent addition of New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, the Republican field has now swelled to 14 candidates, and more may be on their way. That's more than enough competitors to ensure a long and bloody battle for the top seat in the White House.
"You know, we’ve got some healthy competition in the Democratic Party, but I’ve lost count on how many Republicans are running for this job," Obama said Thursday during a speech at the University of Wisconsin at LaCrosse. "They’ll have enough for an actual Hunger Games." Though Obama was probably joking, it's actually not an absurd notion. When you think about it critically, the Hunger Games in Susanne Collins' popular book series and Lionsgate's wildly successful movie franchise isn't too dissimilar from our upcoming election.
Politics and government play a huge part in the books, and each character is shaped by their experiences with the Capitol. Dozens of contestants are thrown into a brutal match, where they not only have to defeat each other, but also win over the hearts of the nation. Making alliances and coming up with a strategy is key. And in the end, whoever makes it out alive is crowned the Capitol victor. Sounds familiar, right?
There are definitely striking similarities between The Hunger Games' characters and the 2016 GOP candidates. So who would find the odds ever in their favor?
Carly Fiorina: Katniss
Carly Fiorina is clearly Katniss, and not just because she's the only female Republican running. Fiorina has a strong business background, and her high position as CEO of Hewlett-Packard shows that she's a fighter. When the gloves come off, I wouldn't want to make her mad.
Jeb Bush: Peeta
Can't you imagine Jeb Bush being content spending the rest of his days decorating cakes and smiling to himself? Like Peeta, Bush comes from a wealthy family and was sort of thrust into this position. They're both determined to just make it to the end and take care of the everyday things that matter to them. Like cake. Or in Bush's case, skiing.
Marco Rubio: Gale
Gale and Marco Rubio are both young and energetic, but the comparisons don't stop there. Like Gale, you either really love him or really hate him. There's no in-between. Not to mention they're both incredibly passionate about their cause. If there were a revolution, there are worse people to team up with than Rubio.
Donald Trump: Caesar
Think about it. Donald Trump isn't running in the debates so much as he is narrating the whole thing. Trump is definitely a performer and plays to the crowds, though whether that's good is debatable. Trump was even supposed to moderate a GOP debate once. Not to mention the fact that he already has extensive TV experience. And he's already got the garish hair.
Ted Cruz: Effie Trinket
I firmly believe that deep down, there is a fabulous fashionista waiting to burst out of Ted Cruz. He and Effie Trinket are a lot alike: They're both dramatic, often miss the larger point, and are mostly concerned with surface level issues. But at the end of the day, like Effie, you can count on Cruz to get the job done. That is, if the job is shutting down the government.
Chris Christie: Haymitch
Chris Christie and Haymitch are both loud, sometimes obnoxious, but always refreshingly blunt. With the exception of being an alcoholic, Christie and Haymitch are like the same person. They've been there. They've done it. And they're both a little haunted by their previous experiences. Like Haymitch stuck in the vicious cycle of the Hunger Games, Christie is unlikely to escape Bridgegate.
Ben Carson: Beetee
How did Ben Carson even get here? He's way too smart to have gotten into this mess, sort of like former Hunger Games victor Beetee. Both Beetee and Carson are basically geniuses and are wildly underrated by the competition. And honestly, if anyone was going to find a way to explode the 2016 elections, it would be Carson.
Lindsey Graham: Rue
Much like the youngest Hunger Games competitor, Lindsey Graham is endearing. You sort of want to see him succeed and prove he can take on the White House all by himself. And they both have the ability to sneak through the games for awhile undetected, just by being clever. But, like Rue, I don't think that Graham can make it out of these games alive. Sorry — is it too soon?