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So, here we are 462 days from election day on November 8, 2016. Seems as if everyone and his dog are running for the office of President of the United States. Even our current Chief Executive has said that he could win a third term—I won’t discount that because I never thought he’d win a second term. But, unless he manages to change the law, he’s out on January 20, 2017—which is 535 days away.

I think, in spite of the scandals, Hillary Clinton will be the Democratic Party’s nominee. Joe Biden might give her a run for the prize, but she’ll prevail. I do not believe, however, that she will be the next president. Democrats (for some reason) love her. Not so much with the general electorate. The one factor that could skew this: Obama was helped in 2008 because a lot of people wanted to say that they voted for the first African-American president—the same could be true of those wanting to say that they voted for the first female president. But I don’t think it will be her.

So, that leaves the Republicans, who seem to be running everyone who is a registered Republican. Republicans smell blood in the water. It is very unusual for a political party to retain control of the White House after they’ve had it for eight years. Sure, it happened in 1992, but the Democrats nominated Michael Dukakis for goodness sake and George Bush was the VP of very popular Ronald Reagan. And it also happened…

  • in 1940, but we were in the middle of World War II and FDR was very popular.
  • between 1860 and 1884 when Reconstruction kept Democrats out of the White House (before the Civil War, Democrats where opposed to abolishing slavery)
  • in 1908 when William Howard Taft, Teddy Roosevelt’s hand picked candidate, succeeded TR after eight years of William McKinley and T. Roosevelt.

That may seem like the odds are in Hillary’s favor—but in those elections, there were mitigating circumstances that do not exist today. So, let’s handicap those Republicans who are running:

Presidential Timber VP Material Pack Your Bags
Jeb Bush Marco Rubio Donald Trump
Scott Walker Carly Fiorina Ben Carson
John Kasich Bobby Jindal Ted Cruz
Nikki Haley Mike Huckabee
Rand Paul
Chris Christie
Rick Santorum
Rick Perry
George Pataki
Lindsey Graham
Jim Gilmore

Those of you who are astute will notice Nikki Haley’s name in the VP column—she’s not running, but after Charleston, she’s on the short list for VP.

Just a brief explanation of why candidates are in the Pack Your Bags category:

  • Donald Trump—he’s a flash in the pan that has lasted a bit longer than anyone thought, but once he’s on the stage with real candidates, his inexperience will show through.
  • Ben Carson—popular with Christians, but no experience.
  • Ted Cruz—too much of a loud mouth and has extreme views.
  • Rand Paul—see Ted Cruz.
  • Chris Christie—passé. Missed his opportunity.
  • Mike Huckabee, Rick Santorum, Rick Perry, George Pataki—been there, done that, no t-shirts available.
  • Jim Gilmore—Jim who?
  • Lindsey Graham—see Ted Cruz.

Of the three ranked Presidential Timber:

  • Jeb Bush—good solid experience; perhaps too liberal on some policies for the tea drinkers, but might have appeal in the general election.
  • Scott Walker—he’s the weeble of pack—hit him as much as you like, he won’t fall down.
  • John Kasich—Mr. Budget. Given that the economy is the number one concern of the public (recent poll), he’s our man. Can be a bit rough around the edges, but he’s a solid choice.

Of these, my money is on a Scott Walker–Nikki Haley ticket.

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