This primary season has been long — so long, in fact, that it’s easy to forget all the ups and downs and political lessons learned. Before they fade from memory, let me recount 20 critical lessons for the benefit of future candidates:
1. Never say “I don’t care about X” or “I don’t worry about X.” Chances are you should care and worry about X.
2. Never go to Puerto Rico and tell the residents that they have to learn English.
3. Never predict you are going to win a state. Ever.
4. Never participate in 20 debates (or even half that amount, or any, if you are Texas Gov. Rick Perry).
5. Make sure, if at all possible, you have been to countries where there are ongoing wars.
6. Never run against contraception or online gambling.
7. Never use the word “devil” unless followed by “food cake” or ”is in the details.”
8. Give plenty to charity in the years preceding your presidential run.
9. Make sure you get on the ballot in every state and every congressional district.
10. Do not run against kids going to college.
11. Don’t run against people you’ve previously endorsed for president.
12. Make sure your cars are all U.S. brands.
13. Make sure you have other qualifications besides owning a pizza chain.
14. Never say you will list three things unless you remember three things.
15. Never make bets for more than $5.
16. Never suggest a border fence might be a scheme to “keep us in.”
17. Never say the words “moon colony.”
18. Never let the Economic Club of Detroit pick a speech location.
19. Never opine on the effects of vaccinations unless you are a doctor or scientist.
20. Make sure you know the names of all the Supreme Court justices.