ABC-6 Reporter Mark Curtis: “The Sunday Political Brunch” January 26, 2014

by ABC6 Chief Political Reporter Mark Curtis

mcurtis@abc6.com

(Providence,
Rhode Island) – With current
frontrunners Hillary Clinton and Chris Christie perhaps mortally wounded by
controversy and scandal, both parties may be searching for alternative
candidates. A few weeks ago, we looked at eight potential ‘dark horse'
candidates – four in each party – that may jump in if the going gets rough.
Today we look at three more possibilities –albeit probably long shots – from
each party:  

“New York,
New York” – Empire State Governor
Andrew Cuomo (D) is probably a more likely option in 2020. He's only 56 years
old and will be viable for at least the next four election cycles. Time is on
his side. But if fellow New Yorker Hillary Clinton looks vulnerable he may run.  

“New York, New
York, Part II” – Senator Kristin Gillibrand (D) New York, is considered a real up-and-comer
in national politics. As a moderate Democrat – who won a House seat in a traditionally
Republican district, she is seen as having broad appeal to independents.
Gillibrand was appointed to succeed Hillary Clinton in the Senate, and then won
the seat in her own right in 2012. She's only 47, so her viability is probably
years out. Still, if Clinton falters and Cuomo
passes, Gillibrand is a possibility in delegate rich New York. Her Senate seat isn't up until
2018, so she'll have a free shot without losing office. She has definite VP
possibilities, if Clinton
is not the nominee.  

“Number Two; Wants to be Number One!” – Vice President Joe
Biden really wants to be President, and in some respects, feels he is owed it
for his loyalty. On one hand, he'll be 73 in 2016 and has had serious health
problems (although none recently). If internal polling shows him to have a
chance against Hillary Clinton, he may run. If she falters over Benghazi, Biden is most likely
in.  

“Manic for Hispanic” – Florida Senator Marco Rubio (R)
remains a strong possibility for a Presidential candidacy, or a spot as Vice
President on the GOP ticket. Had Mitt Romney picked Rubio, he might be Vice President
now. At 42, he will have many opportunities for higher office. He is also up
for reelection to the Senate in 2016, so that makes running for another office
dicey. But Republicans must clearly boost their numbers among Hispanic voters,
or risk losing a national election again. With 29 Electoral College votes, he
could put Florida
back in the GOP win column, even if he's second on the ticket.  

“Ohio
is the One!” – In 2004, Ohio
proved to be the one-state winning margin for President George W. Bush. In 2008
and 2012, it remained the most critical of all the battleground states – going
Democrat. No Republican has ever won the White House, without winning Ohio. So, Governor John
Kasich (R) has to be considered a real threat. He also served eighteen years in
the House, including as Budget Committee Chairman. Kasich defeated an incumbent
Democrat to become Governor, so he's very viable nationally, as well as to be
able to carry his own state, which is a must.  

“Bush Three” – Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush (R) remains
a real potential threat, even if his mom Barbara has stated publicly that she
doesn't want him to run. Bush's wife is Hispanic; his children are biracial;
and, he speaks fluent Spanish. He has polled well in the Latin demographic in
his wins in Florida.
But he's Marco Rubio's mentor, so if one runs, the other won't. Bush is a much
better campaigner and public speaker than his more famous brother George. The
big question remains whether he has the “fire in the belly” for a national run.  

“Anyone Else?” – So, over the post month we've looked at sixteen
candidates – eight from each party – as possible Presidents. Are there surprises
out there? Are there long shots that could vault to the forefront? Anything is
possible, especially when the incumbent is termed out. We will soon begin
seeing potential candidates venturing to Iowa and New Hampshire to give
speeches (heck, some have already), but the real honest to goodness campaign
will begin as soon as the 2014 midterm elections are over in November. From
where I stand, it's wide open right now in both parties. No one has a lock on
the nominations, despite what polls may say right now.  

What are your thoughts? Who would you like to see on the
ballot for President of the United
State in 2016? Just click
the comment button at www.MarkCurtisMedia.com
and drops some names! 

© 2014, Mark Curtis Media, LLC. 

Photo courtesy: Upstreamonline.com