January 2015 Edition
Who will be the
LATEST ELECTION NEWS
|no contenders yet||Declared||no contenders yet|
|Hillary Clinton, Jim Webb, Martin O'Malley||Strong Signals||Jeb Bush, Ben Carson|
|Joe Biden, Bernie Sanders, Brian Schweitzer||Positioning||Chris Christie, Mike Huckabee, Rick Perry, Marco Rubio, Scott Walker|
|Joe Manchin, Elizabeth Warren, Andrew Cuomo||Mixed Signals||Ted Cruz, John Kasich, Rand Paul, Mitt Romney|
|Barbara Boxer, Tim Kaine, Mark Warner||Soft No||Paul Ryan|
|Julian Castro, Deval Patrick||Hard No||Rob Portman, John Thune|
2016 Election Archives
1. SCOTT WALKER - A sitting governor does not get a lot of attention for two reasons. First, people speculate about what unemployed ex-governors might do to keep themselves busy, like run for President, perhaps. They don't ponder such things about folks with daytime jobs. Second, people keep an eye on their own governor and the players in DC, but largely ignore the other 49 governors. So if you're not from Wisconsin you're probably not thinking a lot about Scott Walker. But you will.
2. JEB BUSH - What exactly does Jeb Bush bring to the table? He likes Common Core, he likes Amnesty, his brother dragged us into the Iraq War. Ummm... Jeb Bush seems like a "Big-Government-not-very-Conservative". He is like the 800-lb inflatable gorilla in the room. He takes up a lot of oxygen, but it won't be that hard for Walker to poke some holes in him and let the air out of his tires.
4. CHRIS CHRISTIE - A Christie / Warren Presidential debate would be exciting. A Christie Presidency would get tiresome in a hurry, in case you're not yet tired of being hectored by Obama. His Crist-like embrace of Obama in 2014 is hard to forgive. Hmm... Crist and Christie. And he's not that conservative. And New Jersey is drowning in debt. In fact, the more we think about it, the more he reminds us of... Obama!
5. BEN CARSON - Ben Carson is yet another Republican candidate we really, really like. However, he's never conducted a campaign, never legislated, never governed. But he's a great man, and would make an outstanding Surgeon-General or HHS Secretary.
6. JOHN KASICH - The former Congressman and current Ohio Governor has been coy about his plans. We are big fans of his Congress/Governor resume, but less certain of his conservative cred. BUT: no Republican has ever been elected President without winning Ohio, and Kasich was re-elected last fall by a whopping 31% margin over his (admittedly weak and damaged) Democrat opponent. What did Lincoln say, "I hope to have God on my side but I must have Kentucky"? For the GOP, it's Ohio.
7. MIKE HUCKABEE - There are a lot of folks around who really like Mike Huckabee. Not in New York or California, but definitely in those other 48 states that you never hear about. But there is an even larger "Oh no, not Mike Huckabee" crowd - he's too many people's last choice. And he's yesterday's news. He has a ceiling he won't rise above, maybe 15% even as the field narrows? Huckabee's fans will warm up to Scott Walker.
8. RICK PERRY - Perry was our favorite in 2012. Ooops. Too late, Scott Walker is the guy with the new car smell. Too bad Perry damaged his brand so badly. Perry will be a more than acceptable alternative should he outlast Walker, but we'll have to wait for that scenario to unfold.
9. MARCO RUBIO - Marco Rubio is a fine candidate but he should cut a deal with Florida Governor Rick Scott to trade places in three years when Scott is termed out. Rubio is only 43. He has two tracks to the White House: one track, which he controls, is to get re-elected Senator in 2016, run for governor in 2018, and get re-elected in 2022. Then run for President in 2028. He'll only be 56. And he will be unbeatable. The fast track, which is strewn with competitors, is to angle for the VP nomination in 2016 and line up his ducks for 2024.
10. RAND PAUL - There are a lot of things about Dr. Rand Paul we really love. And a lot of things, well, that leave us scratching our head. His long-serving Congressman father, Dr. Ron Paul, was 60% wonderful and 40% weird; Rand Paul seems somewhat more conventional, perhaps 80% wonderful and "only" 20% off-beat. But neither Dr. Paul has any governing track record, they both run for President while steadfastly avoiding executive office. It just doesn't work. He should run for governor of Kentucky, let the voters see the real Rand Paul.
11. TED CRUZ - Legislating is easy, governing is tough. Like Senators Rubio and Paul, Cruz has never held a governing office. Nor is he noted as a great political tactician. We like Ted Cruz, we generally agree with his views, and respect his principals. But that does not make him a good candidate for President, at least not right now. With no chance to move into the Governor's mansion in Austin for a long time, we suspect that he will come to be noted as one of the greatest Senators in our history.
12. PAUL RYAN - Ryan is pretty happy in his new role as Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, but we suspect that if Scott Walker is successful in his bid for President then Ryan will be keen to replace Walker as Governor. Ryan's hometown of Janesville is a mere 20 miles south of the state capital, Madison. Look for Ryan to go all out in support of his Badger State buddy Walker.
1. ANDREW CUOMO - Hillary Clinton has again announced a delay in officially declaring or declining her candidacy. Why? Well, new revelations showing US involvement in the Libya debacle is her fault don't help. And her heir, Andrew Cuomo, may be on track for a heap of trouble after his enabler NYS Assembly Speaker, Sheldon Silver, was arrested on federal corruption charges. Will Cuomo get dragged into the quick sand? Well, we'll have to wait and see. So Hillary has pushed out her announcement to July.
2. HILLARY CLINTON - She is not a good candidate - she's stiff and awkward. Democrats want to think she's great, but she really isn't. Neither is her record. In fact, as First Lady (HillaryCare) and Secretary of State (Reset, Libya, Syria, and so on) her record is atrocious. And gaffes? Let's start with "Businesses don't create jobs". No wonder Republicans want at her so badly. It's hard to understand why Democrats are so willing to oblige. A dull boring election between Walker and Clinton would favor Republicans.
3. ELIZABETH WARREN - Warren is frequently misrepresented as a "populist" by the compliant liberal mainstream media, but in fact she is a hard core leftist radical. If - if - the Democrats were to nominate Elizabeth Warren, the Republicans would be forced to counter with Chris Christie, not Scott Walker. You think this country is polarized? Just let these two have at it. There is "War" in "Warren". An electric election, a brawl between Christie and Warren, would tend to help Democrats.
4. MARTIN O’MALLEY - The buzz (or lack thereof) surrounding the presidential aspirations of former Maryland governor Martin O’Malley has probably fallen (far?) short of his expectations. Maryland did quite well during his tenure, but that just happened to coincide with the largesse of Obama’s Big Government agenda. No wonder no one outside the beltway really cares much for his stat sheet – you can put an asterisk beside it, it’s the equivalent of the baseball steroid era. O’Malley is the A-Roid of governors.
5. JOE BIDEN - Occasionally mumbles about wanting to be President. As Vice President, Biden is welcome comic relief when we get tired of Obama droning on and on, demagogging Republicans as terrorists while praising terrorists as freedom fighters. Wait, sorry, back on topic, this is about Biden, Biden for President. (…pause…) Really? President? That is NOT the place for comic relief.
6. BERNIE SANDERS - There are Senators who run for President, and there are crank Socialists who take a shot at it as well, but since when are they the same person? First time for everything. A 2-sport athlete (Senator, Socialist), so to speak, like his namesake Deion Sanders (Falcons, Braves) and fellow New Englander Sam Adams (Brewers, Patriots). Kidding aside, Bernie could make it to the final four – the Dem bench is so depleted. Sanders is the stalking horse for Elizabeth Warren – if she drops out fully and irrevocably, it will be interesting to see if the Democrat base coalesces around Sanders.
7. BRIAN SCHWEITZER - A candidate in the mold of Jim Webb, the former Montana governor pursued a policy mix like you might expect from a reddish-state governor. Which means he will also be competing against the Clinton/Cuomo faction. But his "gay-dar" slur at Eric Cantor has mostly killed his chances. But people (like us) still talk about him, because there are just so few Democrats to talk about.
8. JIM WEBB - Jim Webb would be an excellent candidate for some previous iteration of the Democrat Party, but has no chance of becoming the nominee of the radicalized PC contemporary Demographic Party. A Marine Corps officer, Webb was Reagan's Secretary of the Navy, and a US Senator (D-VA). He is the true populist on the Democrat side, frequently breaking philosophical rigidity to appeal to the common good of all Americans, not just pressing the buttons of some favored demographic.
9. JOE MANCHIN - It’s no secret that the West Virginia Senator is not enjoying his job. It is speculated that the former governor is contemplating a return to his old job, but hey, as long as you are at HQ, why not take a stab at the CEO title. If it doesn’t work out, then go back to the division office. Manchin is an interesting possibility because of his prior governing experience. Plus, unlike his fellow centrists Webb and Schweitzer, Manchin is a current DC office holder who can spontaneously generate national media attention.
10. MARK WARNER - A successful and wealthy entrepreneur, Warner, like fellow Democrat Tim Kaine, is also a current senator and former governor of Virginia. This is a pretty good resume for a candidate, if he didn’t already seem too much like Mitt Romney. Not to worry, it’s OK for Democrats to be rich, just not evil Republicans. It is uncertain what impact the unexpectedly narrow re-election margin in November might have on any ambitions Warner might have, but even if a bid fails he will still have four years to recover and prepare for his next senate contest in 2020.
11. TIM KAINE - A current senator and former governor of Virginia, like Mark Warner. Virginia’s unique one-term limit creates a steady stream of undefeated seemingly solid former governors who seem decently situated for a shot at higher office. And the proximity to the DC beltway and media spotlight seem to pre-position their candidacy on the runway with a take-off clearance. But will he push the power lever?
12. BARBARA BOXER - Some people speculate that 4-term California Senator Barbara Boxer, who is due to face the voters again in 2016, might take a shot at the White House instead. She would be a viable far-left alternative to Elizabeth Warren. But her campaign filing of September 2014 shows she had less than $150,000 cash on hand. That’s not the war chest of an ambitious DC veteran.