The 2016 Presidential Dinosaurs!

of 20

Have a Favorite Candidate? Here's His (or Her) Prehistoric Equivalent

donald trump
Wikimedia Commons (left); Pavel Riha (right)

Whether you're a Republican, a Democrat, or an independent, tracking all the permutations of the 2016 presidential race can be a stressful process. If you want to give yourself a mental break, we suggest imagining the candidates as dinosaurs and prehistoric animals, based on their looks, their personalities, or their policy positions. That's exactly what we've done on the following slides! (Note: for purposes of fairness, as dictated by the FCC, the candidates are presented in strictly alphabetical order.).

of 20

Jeb Bush

jeb bush
Wikimedia Commons

He comes off all folksy and agreeable, but you better believe that one-time Florida Governor Jeb Bush has the ability to turn suddenly in mid-stride and pounce on an opponent--otherwise he wouldn't have accumulated a hundred-million-dollar war chest. So, naturally, we've matched him with the Saber-Tooth Tiger, which was once thick on the ground in Jeb's adopted state.

of 20

Ben Carson

ben carson
Wikimedia Commons

Ben Carson was once a professor of neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins University, which automatically places him in the 95th percentile of presidential candidates, intelligence-wise. So it's only appropriate to pair him with Troodon, hands-down the smartest dinosaur of the Mesozoic Era (but not smart enough, alas, to escape extinction when that big meteor came out of the sky).

of 20

Lincoln Chafee

lincoln chafee
Wikimedia Commons

You may not know who Lincoln Chafee is, or that he's in the running for the Democratic presidential nomination. But boy, does this guy's pedigree go way back--his great-great-grandfather and his great-great-uncle were both governors of Rhode Island, and his ancestors were among the earliest settlers of Massachusetts. So, for lack of any better options, here's a dinosaur footprint! Status: Extinct as of Oct. 23, 2015

of 20

Chris Christie

chris christie
Wikimedia Commons (left); Emily Willoughby (right)

Even his admirers admit that Chris Christie likes to throw his weight around--this is the guy who may (or may not) have closed an entire bridge just to settle a grudge with a lesser elected official, and he's not known for dealing gently with subordinates who disagree with his opinions. That makes him the perfect match for Brontomerus, Greek for "thunder thighs," a 10-ton menace to smaller dinosaurs during the early Cretaceous period.


of 20

Hillary Clinton

hillary clinton
Wikimedia Commons

The clear front-runner among Democratic presidential candidates, Hillary Clinton is the kind of person who likes to get things done--which, unfairly, because she's a woman, can make her seem cold, calculating and peremptory. So what better dinosaur to pair her with than Demandasaurus, the goofy grin of which eerily mimics the one on Clinton's official 2016 mugshot?

of 20

Ted Cruz

ted cruz
Wikimedia Commons (left); Lukas Panzarin (right)

All sorts of weird ceratopsians--horned, frilled dinosaurs--have been discovered in the American southwest over the past few years. In honor of Ted Cruz's relatively young age and Hispanic heritage, we've paired him with Coahuilaceratops, a late Cretaceous dinosaur that made an unforgettable impression (often literally) on anything foolish enough to cross its path.

of 20

Carly Fiorina

carly fiorina
Wikimedia Commons (left); Sergey Krasovskiy (right)

The long-necked Carly Fiorina deserves to be matched with an equally long-necked dinosaur--and no dinosaur of the Mesozoic Era had a longer neck than Mamenchisaurus. As one-time Fundraising Chair of the Republican National Committee, Fiorina must have poked her head into all kinds of PAC meetings, to the point where's she's now a viable candidate herself.


of 20

Jim Gilmore

jim gilmore
Wikimedia (left); Nobu Tamura (right)

Did you know that one-time governor of Virginia Jim Gilmore is running for the Republican presidential nomination? Us, neither. So we've paired the obscure, slow-to-emerge-into-the-spotlight Gilmore with a somewhat less obscure, but equally slow-to-emerge-into-the-spotlight resident of his home state, the giant, ponderous, Pleistocene sloth Megatherium.

of 20

Lindsey Graham

lindsey graham
Wikimedia (left); Luis Rey (right)

As his recent shouting match with Donald Trump demonstrates, South Carolina Senator Lindsey Graham isn't afraid to defend himself at full volume, or go on the offensive when circumstances warrant. That, and his bright smile, prompts us to pair him with the long-toothed Suchomimus, a middle Cretaceous dinosaur that looked uncannily like a crocodile. Status: Extinct as of Dec. 21, 2015

of 20

Mike Huckabee

mike huckabee
Wikimedia Commons

Mike Huckabee, the one-time Governor of Arkansas, has famously gone on record as disbelieving in evolution and promoting the intellectually bankrupt theory of "intelligent design." So we defy Huckabee to explain how a tiny mammal like Megazostrodon predated modern humans (and politicians) by 200 million years, yet was not itself a link in the evolutionary chain.


of 20

Bobby Jindal

bobby jindal
Wikimedia Commons (left); Dmitry Bogdanov (right)

Like our current President, Barack Obama, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal is blessed with an unusually long neck. That, combined with his Indian ancestry, prompts us to pair him with Isisaurus, an equally long-necked titanosaur that prowled the Indian subcontinent during the late Cretaceous period. (Could a time-traveling, NRA-backed politician have felled Isisaurus with a single shotgun blast? No one knows!) Status: Extinct as of 11/17/2015

of 20

John Kasich

john kasich
Wikimedia Commons

Despite all his efforts to the contrary, John Kasich, like some other politicians on this list, has remained in the background of the 2016 Republican field, to the point that we're damned to figure out what kind of dinosaur to pair the current Ohio governor with. So, for lack of any other ideas, here's a trilobite, which at least roughly corresponds to the outline of his face. Are you happy, John?

of 20

George Pataki

george pataki
Wikimedia Commons (left); Lukas Panzarin (right)

George Pataki is 70 years old. He wasn't particularly successful, or beloved, as the Governor of New York. And yet here he is, hopelessly vying for the Republican presidential nomination. Honestly, we don't know all that much about where Pataki stands on the issues, and it seems a waste of time even to find out. So we've paired him with Eolambia, which at least uncannily miimics the characteristic Pataki squint.

of 20

Rick Perry

rick perry
Wikimedia Commons

Unless, and until, he drops out of the race, one-time Texas Governor Rick Perry will remain the 100-ton dinosaur standing in the middle of a smoke-filled room at next year's Republican National Convention. Given the uncertainty about his odds, we've paired him with the Texan sauropod Pleurocoelus, which may (or may not) have been one of the biggest dinosaurs of the Mesozoic Era. Status: Extinct as of 9/11/15

of 20

Rand Paul

rand paul
Wikimedia (left); Dinosaur Wikia (right)

Famously, Rand Paul was an ophthalmologist before he was a politician, putting him in the same IQ bracket as his fellow Republican contender Ben Carson (see slide #3). No matter what you think of Paul's brand of politics, you have to admit it's apropos to pair him with Ophthalmosaurus, a disturbingly big-eyed ichthyosaur of the late Jurassic period.


of 20

Marco Rubio

marco rubio
Wikimedia (left); Alain Beneteau (right)

Part of the younger, more politically agile, more media-savvy generation of Republican presidential candidates, Marco Rubio remains an unknown quantity as we head down the final (or at least next-to-next-to final) stretch. In honor of his Cuban ancestry, we've paired Rubio with the middle Cretaceous Cretoxyrhina (aka the "Ginsu Shark") which relentlessly hunted, and disassembled, its undersea prey.


of 20

Bernie Sanders

bernie sanders
Wikipedia (left); Jurassic Park Wiki (right)

A lot of people believe that Bernie Sanders is saying some very sensible things about some very pressing issues, which (in political terms) means that he might as well be butting his enormous forehead against an impenetrable brick wall. So we have no choice but to pair Sanders with Pachycephalosaurus, a big-domed dinosaur that went extinct 65 million years ago.

of 20

Rick Santorum

rick santorum
Wikimedia Commons

Let's not even discuss where Rick Santorum stands on the issues. You have to admit the guy is cute, about on a par with Rand Paul (see slide #16), and a positive movie star compared with most Republican presidential candidates. So, politics aside (did we mention that we're not paying attention to the guy's politics?), we've paired Santorum with the cute, cuddly, plant-eating dinosaur Dryosaurus.

of 20

Donald Trump

donald trump
Wikimedia Commons (left); Pavel Riha (right)

Whatever you think about Donald Trump, you have to admit that the guy doesn't much care about making enemies. That, and his unique pompadour, leaves us no choice but to pair Trump with the giant Pleistocene armadillo Glyptodon, which was virtually immune to predation when it retracted itself inside its enormous shell--but not afraid to poke its comically coiffed head out when it needed to make a point.