Now that the 2014 mid-terms are over, who can resist launching the conversation about the 2016 presidential hopefuls? Actually I can, but I choose not to — it’s much more fun to handicap the potential Republican candidates for the White House, even if at this point they are lacking a bit in the glorious wackiness of the 2012 wannabes. Who can forget Michele Bachman? Or Herman Cain? Or Rick Santorum? Or Rick Perry? Wait a minute — Rick Perry may be back in 2016 — so let’s get on with the preview.
Listed in no particular order of success, mostly because it is doubtful any of them will be the party’s candidate much less the nation’s President:
Rand Paul: Appealing looking guy who says interesting things. Interestingly, most of them will assure he doesn’t win the nomination, notably his dovish, neo-isolationist foreign policy ideas in a party dominated by war hawks. Odds of success: 500-1.
Mitt Romney: Honestly, in hindsight absolutely EVERYONE seems better. Look at George Bush. Odds: 1,000-1.
Rick Perry: Oh please, please, let him run again. Perry was an amusing lightweight on the national stage in 2012, and there’s no evidence he’s gotten brighter. He apparently appeals mostly to Texans. Odds :200-1.
Ted Cruz: Speaking of Texans, here the over-educated, unprincipled Tex Party delight, lusting for another government shutdown. Given the Tea Party’s lack of influence in the 2014 Republican races, his fate in 2016 would seem dashed. But count on him to make a lot of noise — and weirder things have happened (remember Sarah Palin as vice presidential candidate)? Odds: 500-1.
Marco Rubio: A hot commodity for a lot of GOPers. He’s a smart and appealing guy with some centrist positions that may deny him the nomination if Tea Party types control the ballots. Odds: 50-1.
Jeb Bush: Another Bush offers about the same appeal for many people as another Clinton. Surely our political dynasties can do better? Bush has been out of office for a few years now and his enthusiasm for a race would seem limited. If he gets in, he’ll have his brother’s aide to help. I just don;t think it will help that much. Odds: 50-1.
Bobby Jindal: Really? He comes from Louisiana, and while he’s smarter than the average bear, he evokes little national interest. Still, he’s a bona fide conservative with some ethnic appeal, so it’s hard to rule him out completely. Odds 200-1.
Rick Santorum: Really? The odds are better that we’ll elect our first four-leged President. Odds: Seriously.
Scott Walker: As Wisconsin goes, so goes the nation? Walked alienated liberals and union backers in his home state, meaning he is a favorite of a lot of Republicans. Does he have enough name recognition or enough knowledge about anything outside of Madison? Odds: 700-1