by ABC6 News Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis
(Providence, Rhode Island) – Every couple of weeks we've been exploring the potential Democratic and Republican candidates for President in 2016. We've looked at a total of sixteen – eight in each party – so now let's look at some real long shots who may get the chance to ride Air Force One, whenever they wish (photo above). Hey, it's still two years away and anything can happen:
"Scott Walker" – There is no lukewarm with Governor Scott
Walker, (R) Wisconsin.
People either love him or hate him. He's up for reelection this year, and if he
wins a second term, he's got a free shot at the White House in 2016. Plus: He
gets chops for standing up against public labor unions and surviving a 2012
recall election. Minus: Paul Ryan could not carry Wisconsin
for the Republicans in 2012, so why would the GOP think Walker could? A national candidate must carry
the home state. Period!
"Martin O'Malley" – Governor Martin O'Malley, (D) Maryland, is a rising
star in his party. While he's a Hillary Clinton protégé, he might even run
against her if she looks vulnerable. All loyalties are off. Plus: He's highly
visible in the Maryland-District of Columbia-Virginia corridor, which means a
leg up on national endorsements and campaign cash. Minus: High-level hyperbole!
He once suggested President George W. Bush's budget was an attack on American
cities, akin to the 9/11 terrorist attacks. O'Malley later recanted.
"Brian Sandoval" - Governor Brian Sandoval, (R) Nevada, was considered a
possible Vice Presidential running mate for Mitt Romney in 2012. Romney might
have fared better in the swing state of Nevada
had he chosen Sandoval. Plus: He's Latino, and from a western battleground
state with lots of Hispanic voters - and potentially pulls in that demographic
in other nearby states of Colorado, California and New
Brian who? Few people outside of Nevada
ever heard of him, making his national appeal dicey.
"Deval Patrick" – Governor Deval Patrick, (D) Massachusetts, is retiring after his second term, even
though he could have run again as the Bay State
does not have term limits. But, he's also being mentioned as a potential U.S.
Attorney General or U.S. Supreme Court Associate Justice, if either job opens.
Plus: He's a bright, passionate, and thoughtful campaigner and leader, well
liked among his party's rank and file. Minus: He's a young, black politician
from Chicago, who went to Harvard Law
School just like
President Obama. Many independent voters may simply say, "Been there; done
"Ted Cruz" – Senator Ted Cruz, (D) Texas, is still a relative newcomer on the
national political scene, in his first term on Congress. Plus: He's from a huge
state, with a key Hispanic demographic that may spread its momentum to other
states, such as New Mexico, Colorado
which could swing them back into the GOP fold. Minus: His filibuster by reading
the Dr. Seuss classic, "Green Eggs and Ham," on the Senate floor will live
forever on You Tube, and elsewhere on the Internet. It was cute for a day, but
years later, it may get old.
"Amy Klobuchar" – Senator Amy Klobuchar, (D) Minnesota, is "one to watch" if not for 2016, but for election cycles beyond. At 53, and in her second Senate term, she has a bright political future. Plus: She offers a legitimate alternative for those looking for a female Presidential nominee, should Hillary Clinton falter. Minus: Liberal Minnesota is all but certain to go for Democrats – no matter the nominee – so where else can she help the party? Hubert Humphrey and Walter Mondale had the same problem trying to widen their party base beyond the Gopher State.
"Rand Paul" – Senator Rand Paul, (R) Kentucky, has made a real national name for
himself, moving out of the shadow of his father, Rep. Ron Paul (R) Texas, who
has run three times for President. Plus: The brash, independent streak of his
dad, has rubbed off. "The apple doesn't fall far from the tree!" Minus: He has
angered and offended many mainstream Republicans, which does not lend itself
well to a national campaign.
"Elizabeth Warren" – Senator Elizabeth Warren, (D) Massachusetts, might be
the longest of long shots. She's a rookie, only two years into her first Senate
term, so who would go out on that limb? Well, that was also Barack Obama's resume
and it worked for him. Plus: She has to be taken seriously after knocking off
rising-star, Republican Senator Scott Brown. Minus: She can win in liberal Massachusetts, but can
she win in the Heartland? Potential female candidates Hillary Clinton (an Illinois native) and Amy Klobuchar (Minnesota) have Midwestern roots that can
help them there. Warren, who grew up in the much more conservative Oklahoma, may not have
the same appeal.
"Indies" – Okay, we have now looked at twelve potential candidates in each party since 2014 began. But is there another option? Is there a potential independent candidate out there who might break us out of the two-party domination – or act as a spoiler tipping the election one way or the other? Keep an eye on former Republican-turned-independent New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Plus: Bloomberg already has national name recognition and a bottomless wallet. He could assemble enough independents and moderate Republicans to make a serious run. Minus: Banning "Big Gulp" colas offended the right; "Stop and Frisk" offended the left. So who's his base?
Who would you like to see run for President. Is there
someone outside of the 25 we've named as potential Commanders in Chief? State
your nominees by clicking the comment button at www.MarkCurtisMedia.com.
© 2014, Mark Curtis Media, LLC.
Photo courtesy: ABCnews.com