"It profits me but little that a vigilant authority always protects the tranquillity of my pleasures and constantly averts all dangers from my path, without my care or concern, if this same authority is the absolute master of my liberty and my life."

--Alexis de Tocqueville, Democracy in America

Monday, July 27, 2015

The Contenders for 2016


UPDATE:   I'm looking back at this post from 6.5 months ago, and I wanted to update my list.   Here's my list as of today.  My January rankings are in parentheses, my new rankings follow.   The original rankings are from the National Journal.

1. Jeb Bush (10) - 8
2. Marco Rubio (8) - 6
3. Rand Paul (9) - 7
4. Scott Walker (1) - 1
5. Chris Christie (16) - 13
6. Mike Pence (7) - NR
7. Ted Cruz (3) - 5
8. Mike Huckabee (15) - 12
9. Rick Perry (6) - 2
10. John Kasich (5) - 9
11. Mitt Romney (11) - NR
12. Paul Ryan (4) - NR
13. Rick Santorum (12) - 10
14. Bobby Jindal (2) - 4
15. Ben Carson (13) - 11
16. Carly Fiorina (14) - 3
NR - Donald Trump - 14

The big risers here for me are Rick Perry, for taking on the idiocy of Donald Trump; and Carly Fiorina, for taking on the idiocy of Hillary Clinton.  

After six months, to me the big political talent that has emerged (Fiorina) or re-emerged (Perry) on the GOP side is heartening.   Couple them with the continuing strength of Walker, Rubio, Paul, Jeb Bush, Jindal, Kasich, etc., and you've got an extraordinary group that dwarfs the Democratic candidates (Hillary, Bernie Sanders, Joe Biden... I mean really?).


It's way too early, but here is a list of sixteen potential GOP Presidential contenders from the National Journal.   Needless to say, anyone from this list would be infinitely better than either Barack Obama or Hillary Clinton (or Elizabeth Warren for that matter).   My rankings are in parentheses.

1. Jeb Bush (10)
2. Marco Rubio (8)
3. Rand Paul (9)
4. Scott Walker (1)
5. Chris Christie (16)
6. Mike Pence (7)
7. Ted Cruz (3)
8. Mike Huckabee (15)
9. Rick Perry (6)
10. John Kasich (5)
11. Mitt Romney (11)
12. Paul Ryan (4)
13. Rick Santorum (12)
14. Bobby Jindal (2)
15. Ben Carson (13)
16. Carly Fiorina (14)

These are rough, and I might change my mind a hundred times over the next 22 months.   But my basic criteria include... I like governors more than Senators or Congressmen, I like new candidates more than retreads, I like young more than old, I like real conservatives over moderates, and I like proven competence in government and in campaigning over amateur status.   So that means Fiorina and Carson drop (amateurs), Huckabee and Christie drop (not real conservatives), Bush and Romney drop (retreads or family dynasties... yuck), and Cruz and Ryan drop (legislative experience, not executive).  

Young conservative governors who haven't been on the national stage before and have proven themselves in tough campaigns?

That sounds like Scott Walker of Wisconsin to me.   With Bobby Jindal of Louisiana a close second.   Ted Cruz and Paul Ryan are next, but don't have executive experience.  Perry and Kasich come after that because they are a little bit too old for my taste... we need a whole generation (or more) difference between our candidate and Hillary.   Mike Pence might be an interesting candidate too.