I will begin with a a warning that this post might not be as topical as the usual material I put out and a little more speculative but I feel the need to stake my claim on this topic. The topic I intend to discuss below are the candidates I feel might make the cut as the next potential president of the United States. In discussing those candidates who I feel might have any chance of claiming the crown for themselves I will inevitably touch on some of the keystone topics that will define the electoral battleground within the USA and outside of it. I’m not quite willing to place a bet as to who the actual president will be just quite yet and for good reason, if the GOP nomination/candidates is/are anywhere near as farcical as last time round then my suggestions for that parties candidate might all be blown out of the water so I’m holding off on that one for now. Without further ado, read on to find my pick of those who I feel might make the team and why.
- Hillary Clinton – I’ll begin by saying that if I am a little dubious as to whether Clinton will stand at all with her having declined to pursue another term as Secretary of State. However there are factors on the other side of the weighing scale that lead me to believe that if she were to run that she would almost certainly gain the nomination of her party having come so close last time around and would certainly be a plausible candidate for President. Having left the State Department with high approval ratings and (moderately) successfully guided her department through a period of intense change on the world stage with regards the Arab Spring, Clinton has certainly demonstrated her competency in high office and her work while she was the First Lady with charitable initiatives would seem to suggest a keen awareness of political issues within the US itself. I also feel that a critical element that would aid Clinton if she did decide to run is that as well as being tremendously popular herself, she is also a part of a remarkably popular political family with a great deal of experience in running very smooth campaigns. All of the above being true there are a few issues that might hamper a Clinton campaign. Chief amongst the issues that harm Clinton’s potential candidacy is her involvement in some very shady financial dealings that have previously tarnished the family image almost as much as the activities of the philanderer in chief. While Clinton was never charged of wrongdoing over Whitewater or Cattle Futures, even the merest hint or allegation of corruption has previously proved enough to scupper a candidacy. Besides these issues though, I feel Clinton stands a good chance if she does come out of her semi-retirement and on reflection I am lead to wonder if perhaps the decision to not serve a second term as Secretary of State was a shrewd move to avoid any flack for poor decisions damaging an otherwise credible candidacy.
- Joe Biden – Another member of Obama’s cabinet with a decent shot at the presidency if he were to run. Biden has demonstrated a consistent support for his president and has arguably been a big help to Obama’s policy initiatives with for example, Obama leaving Biden in charge of drafting a bill to go before congress in the wake of the Sandy Hook school shooting, perhaps in doing so, acknowledging that in the increasingly partisan political atmosphere of US politics, Biden is seen as less toxic than had the suggestions come straight from Obama. Biden also played a critical part in ensuring that to some degree financial meltdown was avoided (albeit narrowly) in the 2011 debt ceiling debacle and the 2012 fiscal cliff fuck up through his good relationships with significant figures within the Republican Party. Biden has also been a strong supporter of the current administrations policy on equal rights and gay marriage which might make him the stand out candidate for LGBT voters in an age where said demographic is increasingly important and politicised. There are, like with Clinton, an issue that might prove to derail a potential Biden candidacy which is simply – his age. While he has demonstrated his ability and determination in repeatedly hitting the road in support of Obama, I do wonder whether 8 years of doing so will have seriously tired the man out, more so when we consider that if he were to run he would be 73 by the time the election season began.
3. Rahm Emanuel – A little bit of wildcard here admittedly but based on the continuing outlook of the Middle East as things stand, with Syria sinking further into out and out chaos, Turkey looking like its heading straight for a change of government if Erdogan doesn’t start to learn the lessons of the Arab Spring fast and Jordan and some of the gulf monarchies looking ready to crumble, I feel a potential president with a strong grounding in foreign policy as a result of his affiliation with Israel might be a strong bet. Whether the US is ready for a Jewish president is open to debate, but then so was the question of whether America was ready for a black president in 2008. And ultimately unlike other minority communities who hav to some degree been marginalized in political debate throughout the country as a group, Jews in the US do represent an effective pressure group and arguably exert a disproportionate amount of influence considering the size of the community. Who knows, maybe if the world political climate is right then Rahm Emanuel might just get the top job.
- Marco Rubio – We have here the shoe-in GOP candidate for 2016 I fancy with the Republicans perhaps finally learning the lessons of the past that just aiming at attracting the votes of Christian, white, middle America isn’t going to cut it any more and that if they are to ever claim the highest office for themselves again that they need to widen their appeal. Arguably the most critical group which both parties will focus on in the years to come is Latino voters who have had something of a demographic explosion in recent years. With these facts borne in mind then it is perhaps easy to see why Rubio might just be the man for the job in some peoples eyes. His approval ratings are high and he’s tremendously popular in his home state, and on perhaps the cherry on top of this all is that he is seen as something of a crown prince of the Tea Party movement and any candidate that can hold appeal to such a disparate bunch of lunatics is certainly doing something right. Rubio is also young enough that it might be plausible for me to suggest that he would appeal to younger voters outside of the traditional GOP strongholds who have been faced in the last two elections with a candidate that looks like they might have been born in the last ice age. There are some issues that might hamstring Rubio’s candidacy if he does stand and these basically revolve around republican supporters. Rubio has previously supported (relatively) liberal policies on the topic of immigration and citizenship which might stick in the craw of some of the more simian republican voters, despite the increasing likelihood that the type of policies Rubio has supported previously will soon become law in some form or another.
- Chris Christie – My personal favourite for the GOP candidacy if nothing else is New Jersey’s governor. There are many reasons why I believe Chris Christie is a credible candidate for the presidency, certainly when we take into account some of the pituary morons that GOP wheeled out last time around. First of all, Christie has demonstrated a clear distaste for the partisan political wrangling that slows up much needed iniatives passing through DC. When I say that Christie has demonstrated a clear distaste for the partisan politics of national government I am perhaps lowballing the situation a little, when Christie went on record in front of the media in quite vigorously denouncing the house majority and speaker John Boehner for failing to pass legislation that would have helped victims of Hurricane Sandy. Such words demonstrate that if Christie were to make it to the White House that we might expect a far more pro-active government with far less time spent arguing over minor details in the houses of gvoernment, something we have unfortunately seen far too much of since Obama reached high office. Christie has a relatively moderate approach to many issues, and when this is taken into account alongside his carefully cultivated attempt to appear post-partisan then we are perhaps looking at a future president who realises that for GOP success lies in attracting wavering Democrats to cross the floor as opposed to pandering to the more right wing fanatics within his own party. Therein lies the main problem with Christie’s candidacy, if he cannot attract voters from across the spectrum then his previous stances on certain issues will likely lead republican voters to ignore him as a ‘Republican In Name Only’.
- Rand Paul – in the potential candidate of Rand Paul we have a republican who took a principled stand against the current administrations drone policy by leading a 13 hour filibuster of John Brennan’s nomination as the head of the CIA. In doing so, Paul marked himself out as a candidate with strong opinions on civil liberties within the US and foreign policy outside of it. I will admit that a Paul candidacy is perhaps the most unlikely of my selections, barring Emanuel, but given further opportunities to take apart the iniquities of the current administration Paul could easily ride the wave of public approval, at least to the point where he is considered a plausible candidate. As mentioned above, with the current world political climate looking at is, it doesn’t take too great a leap of the imagination to think of a situation where congress might be forced to hold a few more committees on foreign policy issues that Paul might sit on, his star rising commensurately with his number of appearances in the public eye. A Paul candidacy would also perhaps benefit a great deal from his father’s supporters amongst whom are many activists and donors that would help any campaign get off to a flying start. Whether some of Paul’s more libertarian policies might harm his chances remains to be seen as the great unknown when it comes to GOP is how far to the fringes it will pander or whether it will remain focussed on the centre. If GOP is leaning towards the fringe elements then Paul’s libertarian philosophies might just carry the day but if it remains focussed on the mainstream elements of the party then he might just have to rely on those committees if he is to stand a chance.