This post has been updated.
If you care about politics or care about someone who cares about politics, you probably heard something about Jeb Bush announcing that he is not only thinking about running for president in 2016, but he is "actively exploring" the idea.
This seemed very exciting for political types who are still suffering from the lack of imminent electoral coverage. However, if all people are looking for are candidates explicitly announcing their intention to run or thinking about running for president, there were dozens who fit the bill even before Bush's announcement today!
According to Federal Election Committee filings, more than 100 people have registered as 2016 presidential candidates. According to research by the University of Minnesota this summer, far more candidates have filed for the 2016 presidential race already than were filed in the 2012 campaign. Most are men, and many are running for office for the nth time.
Here is a brief introduction to some of the presidential hopefuls we could be talking about instead of speculating endlessly about what Bush will or won't do.
Idaho's own Harley Brown has filed for the 2016 presidential race as an independent. If you don't remember who Harley Brown is, here is a refresher from a 2014 Republican gubernatorial primary debate in Idaho.
Princess Khadijah M. Jacob-Fambro of San Francisco formed her presidential committee in 2012. It is called "FROM ONE ALIEN TO ANOTHER ALIEN LIL WAYNE DWAYNE MICHAEL CARTER JR PRESIDENT CARTER WILL YOU MARRY ME? I AM GOD!!!" She is running in the Revolutionary Party.
Other royal-sounding candidates include "Titus the Great" ...
... Joseph Charles ...
... and President Emperor Caesar.
Willey is running as a Mother Earth candidate, but also wishes to represent all parties and people, as his FEC filing makes clear.
Other confusing FEC entries include the space where Mr. and/or Mrs. James McCord Sewell III listed the office he/she was seeking.
Other candidates chose to make their party of choice the most interesting part of their FEC paperwork, by either coming up with a new one -- "Inspiration Party" -- or copying other former unsuccessful presidential candidates.
Sponheim started America's Third Party, and has twice run as a write-in presidential candidate. He ran in a state legislative race in Washington this year, and was criticized for filming a YouTube video in which he impersonated President Obama by using blackface. He told the South Whidbey Record at the time, “In order to impersonate a black president, I had to wear blackface. I’m the last person you should call a racist because I believe in integration and equal rights for everyone.”
The America's Third Party online store features many T-shirts concerning Sponheim's platform, as well as pleas for the nation to wake up.
Ole Savior is a perennial candidate well known in Minnesota. He used to run as a Democrat, but has switched to the Republican Party for recent state and federal elections. During the 2010 Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party convention, he felt unappreciated, according to a 2012 story in MinnPost.
“I was at that DFL convention, and I brought them Elvis and Cher and a woman dressed as a chicken,’’ Savior said. “I wanted the chicken to give a speech. She was going to say, ‘Don’t be a chicken, vote for Ole Savior.’ ’’
When he ran for governor as a Republican in 2010, he chose an Elvis impersonator as his running mate.
This presidential contender from Detroit is running with God. Here is his vice presidential candidate's contact information.
The pastor, best known for planning to burn thousands of Korans on the 12th anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks, plans to run for president in 2016. He also filed for candidacy during the 2012 presidential election.
Reese sent his statement of candidacy to the Federal Election Committee in January. He plans to run as a Republican. Here is a screenshot of a page on his Web site.
Stephen Colbert did a segment on Josue Larose in 2012, after hearing that the perennial candidate in Florida may be a super PAC rival. He has formed hundreds of state PACs, with names such as the Billionaire Josue Larose's Dating Women Committee. He also has formed dozens of state political parties, such as the American Noble Persons Political Party and the American Imperialists Political Party. In 2012, he was accused of more than 2,000 election law violations.
Larose terminated his presidential committee in 2009.
Russell, who runs an investment company in Florida, hopes to become the youngest presidential candidate in history by winning the Republican nomination. He would be 35, the lower limit for presidential candidates as stipulated by the Constitution. On his campaign Web site, he lists reasons why his youth is an asset.
Steinberg, a Florida lawyer, hopes to win the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016. Yes, he knows that if Hillary Clinton runs, it would make a presidential bid very difficult. Yes, he knows that you don't know who he is, as he explains on his Web site.
He has some ideas on how to go viral.