Thursday, May 30, 2013

Here They Come – The 2016 Republican Presidential Field is Starting to Take Shape

No It’s Not Too Early – the 2012 Election is Over 6 Months Old

It is impossible to read the political news without being hammered about the news of the potential 2016 Republican candidates. Yes the race has begun, the ambition is so strong in many of the men who would seek the office that they cannot help themselves.  Here is what we know so far.

Certain Candidates:

  1. Florida Senator Marco Rubio:  Sen. Rubio is setting himself out as the responsible Republican on immigration and the outreach candidate to the Hispanic community.  The Hispanic community knows that Sen. Rubio’s Hispanic heritage is Cuban, and that he really doesn’t care about the rest of them.  So Mr. Rubio is going to have to strengthen the charade.

  1. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush:  Mr. Bush has seen Sen. Rubio jump out in front of the potential Florida candidates, so he is busily putting himself in the news, albeit not in the best way.  He had to retract the positions in his book just after it was published.  Based on the success of Mitt Romney in getting the nomination by being totally inconsistent Mr. Bush obviously thinks he has little to worry about in that regard.

  1. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul:  Mr. Paul has been basking in the glow of his real filibuster against President Obama and the news coverage that for some reason has been focusing on him. .  People who take him and his issues seriously have expressed good thoughts about Sen. Paul, and will do so until they actually take a look at the rest of his record and positions.

  1. Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal:  Mr. Jindal is positioning himself to run as a successful Governor who, if his policy in Louisiana is ever implemented, will have shifted the tax burden from the wealthy in his state to the lower and middle income groups.  This will make him highly admired in the Republican Party.

Considering Candidacy:

  1. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie:  Gov. Christie’s strategy is moderate his views to win over-whelming re-election in a Democratic state and thus position himself as a candidate who can win in the general election.  Republicans may be thirsty enough for a victory to buy that line, but probably not. They value purity over electability.  

  1. Wisconsin Representative Paul Ryan:  As the defeated VP candidate Rep. Ryan has a natural claim to the nomination.  His fortunes will depend upon how well the Ryan budget is accepted, which cuts spending to such a degree that it supposedly (but does not ) balance the budget in 10 years.  The key to the Ryan candidacy, fooling some of the people all of the time.  But people are catching on, so far Mr. Ryan is a non-entity.

  1. Texas Governor Rick Perry:  Gov. Perry may have the Presidential bug, or he may have been cured of that disease by his disastrous 2012 campaign.  He does not appear to have learned anything, so he may run the same campaign in 2016 that he ran in 2012, with the same results expected.

  1. Retiring Virginia Governor Robert McDonnell:  Gov. McDonnell is a strident conservative who learned to present himself as a slightly less conservative Governor.  He has a lot of baggage with women from his past positions, but he will have three years with nothing to do but campaign, and may decide that the way to be the VP nominee is to be a slightly failed Presidential candidate.  On the other hand he is now mired in a gifts scandal, and his Republican successor is a radical right winger, so he may soon be mired in obscurity.
Then there is also Ben Carson (who?)  This soon to be retired apparently brilliant neurosurgeon wants to base tax policy on the Bible, and thus has endeared himself to the serious side of Conservatism.  .  There is also Rick Santorum, after all, somebody has to represented the anti-gay bigots of the Republican party.  And of course Michele Bachmann was out there, really out there but she decided to follow the Sarah Palin model and quit.

The view here, a Jeb Bush/Un-named woman ticket is a sure bet.  Well, actually a long shot.  Well, really no chance.

1 comment:

  1. Since this is my favorite kind of post on this forum, here are my thoughts:

    Rubio: A Tea Party politician will never be a viable candidate for president. His economic views are poison to a wide swath of the electorate (i.e., rational, thinking people). The immigration issue is a sideshow, and cannot possibly elevate him to contender status.

    Yet he will run for sure. The racist thought process of Conservatives says that Hispanics are brainwashed to vote Democratic, so the only way to get through to them is to run a Hispanic candidate. But as you point out, Hispanics are not a homogenous group.

    Jeb Bush: I doubt he will run, or stick around for long if he does. He will be branded with GWB's legacy, fairly or not, and lacks the insight or principles to overcome that obstacle.

    Rand Paul: Like his father, he will run to voice his bizarre views, and fail to win popularity outside of a core group of true believers. It will be interesting if both Rubio and Paul run, as they will battle for the distinction of whose views are craziest.

    Jindal: My pick for the Republican 2016 vice-presidential nominee. He has lots of great on-paper credentials that mask the fact that his policies are stupid and destructive. He has a good personal success story and (so far) hasn't lied about it. He is a rock solid social and fiscal Conservative, which will convince Republican voters that the ticket is the real deal. He is a minority. What more could the Republicans ask for in a VP?

    Christie: At least today, Christie is the best person the Republicans could run in terms of maximizing their odds. He is charismatic, with the ability to seem reasonable and successful even when he is not. If he can command an overwhelming reelection in a northeastern blue state, he will be an awfully tempting choice. And he is not exactly a moderate, having vetoed a gay marriage bill and taken strongly Conservative fiscal positions. My pick for 2016 Republican presidential nominee, and a tough one to beat.

    Ryan: This forum observed that the Roadmap to Prosperity (or whatever it's called) made Ryan a toxic personality even before the 2012 election. He has one gimmick, being the facts and figures budget guru guy, but he has no facts and no figures. Plus he is boring and goofy. Well, so is Jindal, but Jindal has not had his shot yet. Ryan's 15 minutes are up.

    McDonnell: He is behind the other guys here in national name recognition. I don't see him standing out and the scandals are probably fatal.

    Perry: He is cured.

    Ben Carson: I see his name as a placeholder for "nutty unknown guy with 'bold' ideas who shakes things up and then vanishes abruptly when exposed as an idiot and scoundrel," a la Herman Cain.