The 2016 Primary Debate Stage
Where the Old Image of the GOP is Shattered
Let’s look forward to 2016 and consider the following contrast:
The Democrats will put foward Hillary and Biden assuming that neither has yet been incapacitated. Who are the back benchers for them? Andrew Cuomo? Amy Klobuchar? O’Malley? Elizabeth Warren? Either of the Senators or Governor Moonbeam from California? Deval Patrick ruled out running this summer. Corey Booker is too green. God forbid that Al Franken run on his fictional campaign platform from 1999: http://www.amazon.com/Why-Not-Me-Unmaking-Presidency/dp/0385334540
Now, let’s run through some of the GOP candidates. Ted Cruz was previously the Solictor General in Texas, and he will have had four years in the Senate. Marco Rubio was previously the speaker of the Florida House of Representatives. Susana Martinez is the sitting Governor of New Mexico, a race she won 53-46 in a state that Obama carried twice, and she is probably due to begin a second term in 2015. Brian Sandoval is a former federal judge and the sitting Governor of Nevada, a race he won 53.4- 41.6, also in a state that Obama carried twice. Bobby Jindal is a Rhodes Scholar who got 66% of the vote in his third term in Louisiana. Nikki Haley may well get elected again in South Carolina for another term.
Tim Scott was appointed by Nikki Haley, but he will be running to fill the end of Jim DeMint’s term in 2014, and then possibly again in 2016 to get six years, so he may be a bit busy. Kelly Ayotte will also be up for re-election in 2016, so it may be best for her to wait.
The potential contrast in 2016 should be pretty clear. We have a deep bench that is actually diverse. It will be possible for the GOP to hold presidential primary debates with at least six serious candidates who are not white. The Democrats pay lip service to diversity, but the visceral difference between photos of these candidates next to Joe and Hillary will be impossible for the electorate to ignore.
Put these people on stage in 2016. Let them debate each other with civility. Let the leftstream media create a backlash as it parades race hucksters who call them all traitors to their race. The voters will see a group of candidates who are there for their merits. In the cases of Rubio, Martinez, and Sandoval, we also have candidates who have proven that they can win in key swing states. The swing voters in all states will see Tea Partiers cheering Tim Scott while Al Sharpton continues to flog the dead horse of Southern racism. They’ll see white evangelicals thumbing their noses at Sandoval because of his position on abortion but embracing Susan Martinez while La Raza tries to sabotage the presidential chances of four exceptional Hispanic candidates for their lack of authenticity.
There are obviously other GOP candidates of merit who are white males who will run. It’s unclear how much Rand Paul has to gain from running now against Ted Cruz. Chris Christie will have to go to charm school to survive on stage with these guys. As the former VP candidate, Paul Ryan may well throw his hat in the ring, but a Congressman hasn’t been elected for a long time and he can wait around in the House to become Speaker. Jeb knows that he’d look ridiculous running with so many other good candidates and that ‘fourth Bush term’ would be the only thing Hillary would need to say to smack him down in the general election. Kasich is struggling in Ohio and inviting the taint of Obamacare. Mike Pence can stay put and prove that he can keep Daniels’ house in order. Jim DeMint is busy getting paid big bucks to be a thought leader. Rob Portman will also be up for election and a safe guy for a nominee to consider for the VP slot. Mike Lee and Jon Huntsman both probably realize how hard it is for someone to get traction out of Utah. Rick Scott is overshadowed by Rubio. Scott Walker is busy fighting unions and he didn’t quite finish college. Rick Snyder may actually have a very strong case if he is able to successfully restructure Michigan and manage to get re-elected in 2014.
In 2016 the electorate will have seen eight years of economic stagnation under Obama. Low information voters will have been exposed to new information, namely their paychecks and the price of their Obamacare policies. They will be open to hearing something different from a new messenger. We all know that for many people words are perceived quite differently depending upon who is saying them. Sometimes they are even ignored. This is the GOP’s chance to turn the tables on the race hucksters without compromising our values. We had best take it.