While the 2016 election is still a few years away, the pundits have long been engaged in speculating about the two candidates that will face off in 2016. Naturally, no one takes the idea that there might be a viable third candidate very seriously. At best, a third candidate can siphon votes away from one of the two party anointed (like Ralph Nader did to Al Gore).
For the Democrats, the name that has the most conjuring power is Hilary Clinton. While she ran in 2008 and did well, a deal was struck that enabled Obama to take the White House. Hilary was rewarded with the Secretary of State position and then departed-perhaps to allow time for her to move out of the blast radius of political attacks on the President. After all, second term presidents tend to sink badly in the polls and no wise politician wants to be pulled down in that whirlpool.
For the Republicans, there was some talk about Chris Christie. However, he has damaged his brand by consorting a bit with Obama and is still trying to avoid being labeled as the troll under the bridge. Or, rather, the troll that closed the bridge. The latest name is an old name, that of Bush. Jeb, who apparently was supposed to be president rather than George II, has been getting considerable media attention lately. While Jeb Bush would seem to have conservative bona fides, he runs into a few problems. The first is that many folks are still not very happy with the last Bush in office. The second is that he is strongly associated with the Common Core and that has become a target of the Tea Party. This leads to a third problem-he seems to be a moderate Republican (perhaps even liberal by the current standards). As such, he will face a challenge in wooing the Tea Party-especially with strong competition from the current Tea Party crushes.
Interestingly, Bush’s mother would prefer that he not run for president: “He’s by far the best-qualified man, but no. I really don’t,” Mrs. Bush told Matt Lauer when asked if she wanted to see Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor, make a White House bid. “I think it’s a great country, there are a lot of great families, and it’s not just four families or whatever. There are other people out there that are very qualified, and we’ve had enough Bushes.”
While I would disagree with him being the best-qualified man (although her wording leaves it open that there is a better qualified woman), I do agree that there are other qualified people and that the country has had enough Bushes. One reason for this is the concern that America is supposed to be a democracy and the idea of a few (two in this case) families holding such control over the presidency does seem to run a bit counter to the spirit of democracy. That said, if enough people do actually want Hilary Clinton or Jeb Bush for president, then that would be democratic-the mere fact that they have had such a lock on politics should, perhaps, not disqualify them. Obviously, there is no actual law against this sort of dynasty building, so the disqualification would be moral rather than legal. That is, though they surely could run, they should not.
So, should it be Clinton vs. Bush in 2016?