Thursday, January 16, 2014

Assessing the Field of Republican Candidates for President in 2016

Republicans will field a much stronger field of candidates in 2016 than they did in 2012.

In 2016 we may expect Senator Marco Rubio, former Governor Jeb Bush, Congressman Paul Ryan, Senator Rand Paul, Senator Ted Cruz, Governor Scott Walker, former Governor Mike Huckabee, and possibly Senator Rob Portman to run for President in the Republican presidential primaries. Governor Chris Christie may also run if he can survive the gauntlet of the investigations into the allegations that many members of his inner circle -- his closest staff members as well as his campaign manager -- deliberately blocked traffic on the George Washington Bridge for four days as political retribution and then covered up the fact.

All of these men are accomplished and well-spoken. This is in stark contrast to the 2012 Republican field, which included a large number of extremely weak candidates. Two years ago there were two candidates whose principal focus seemed to be sexual issues (Michele Bachman and Rich Santorum), a zany radio talk show host (Herman Cain), a dreadfully poor public speaker and debater (Rick Perry), and a Libertarian gadfly (Ron Paul). Ron Paul was 77 years old, and two of the other most viable candidates were also fairly old to be running for the Presidency (Newt Gingrich (69), and the eventual nominee Mitt Romney (65)).

This time around the Republican primary debates will be much more articulate, intelligent, energetic, and focused. The eventual nominee will not simply have survived a bizarre fraternity initiation ritual, as it seemed that Romney did in 2012, but will have emerged triumphant -- a champion -- after having defeated a strong group of competitors. The country will have watched the nominee struggle valiantly and prevail, which should give the nominee significant momentum heading into the 2016 election.

1 comment:

I cheerfully concede, for the sake of argument only, my every shortcoming and limitation. In commenting please address the merits of my arguments.