Former NY governor George Pataki is expected to announce his 2016 presidential bid tomorrow.  His governorship added depth and nuance to the word “bland,” and his presidential platform is just as inspiring.  The usual mix of sops to big money and careful dog-whistles to bigots are all to be found in there.  My personal favorite is, that marriage, gun rights and education should be left up to individual states.  This inevitably means allowing Jesusland to be as medieval as they wanna be, our Constitution be damned.

But his addition to the “race” makes it only slightly more crowded.  According to this site tracking the Republican field, the lists now stand at:

DECLARED EXPLORING PROBABLE/POSSIBLE
•  Skip Andrews  •  Jeb Bush  •  Bob Ehrlich
•  Michael Bickelmeyer  •  Chris Christie   •  Jim Gilmore
•  Kerry Bowers  •  Lindsey Graham   •  John Kasich
•  Dr. Ben Carson  •  Bobby Jindal   •  Peter King
•  Dale Christensen  • Dennis Michael Lynch •  Rick Santorum 
•  Ted Cruz  •  George Pataki   •  Rick Snyder
•  John Dummett, Jr.  •  Rick Perry  
•  Mark Everson  •  Donald Trump  
•  Carly Fiorina  •  Scott Walker  
•  Chris Hill 
•  Mike Huckabee 
•  Michael Kinlaw 
•  Rand Paul 
•  Michael Petyo 
•  Marco Rubio 
•  Brian Russell 

Do all 31 of these people really have a shot at getting trounced by Hillary the GOP nomination?  Of course not.  Are 27 or so of them delusional?  As much fun as it is to mock their positions as being just that, the honest answer is, probably not.  Well, most of them.  Anyway.  So what the frak is going on here?

The fact is, that “exploring” the idea of running for president gives you a virtual carte blanche to raise money via Super-PACs.   With the Kochs alone fronting almost a billion (yes, b-b-b-billion) to buy themselves a president Rachel Maddow won’t like, clearly there’s gold in them thar exploratory committees.  Then, once they drop out, it might not be the candidate’s personal money, but they will still control it.  And really, isn’t that just as good?