So I’ve rated the 8 leading GOP candidates for the 2016 Nomination as reported by RealClearPolitics on 6 August 2015. I used four criteria; potential to change our nation, electability, personal integrity, and past performance. They were scored from 0 to 3. The ratings were color-coded as follows.

Blue = Excellent (3 pts) – Implies candidate is solidly better than most of the GOP and all of the Dems.
Green = Good (2 pts) – Implies candidate is better than GOP average and probably all Dems.
Yellow = Low Pass (1 pt) – Candidate is on the low end of the GOP and is not impressive.
Red = Terrible (0 pts) – Denotes a very nice person who does not need to serve as POTUS.

This process ended up effectively sorting the top 8 candidates into 3 tiers. There are the Highly Qualified (Cruz, Walker), the Credible (Rubio, Paul, Huckabee and Carson) and the Only Preferable to a Democrat (Bush and Donald Trump). Of interest, I note Rubio and Huckabee both ended up grading higher than my gut instincts would have initially supposed. Scott Walker and Rand Paul did worse. Perhaps that’s what happens when you actually try to sort things out rather than just voting on emotions.

That all being accomplished, I present to my recommended 2016 Ticket O’ World Dominance. Pay your humble respects to President [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ] and his trusty Executive Officer Scott Walker. While only Superman would get straight threes on the scale I designed, these two make a fine Batman* and Robin. Behind these two, Senators Rubio and Paul, Governor Huckabee, and Dr. Carson showed promise despite having some weaknesses I believed would detract from each man’s effectiveness as President. I would gladly support any of the four against anything the Dems cared to throw at the wall in hopes of having it stick. I go over how I rated each candidate below.

Donald Trump
Potential For Change – Green. If THE DONALD becomes THE POTUS, it could be fun in a highly sadistic fashion. Like tossing a sack of teed-off scorpions into a belladonic nudist orgy sadistic. He will at least try to really shake things up. He is genuinely mad about how things are going and isn’t a shy and gentle sparkle-pony when he’s angry. His favorite two words seem to be “You’re fired.”
Electability – I rate Mr. Trump as Red. THE DONALD makes enemies the way Trabant used to manufacture lemons. I don’t think 50% of the GOP hates the man yet, but they are getting less and less eager to have him grace their convocations with his presence.
Personal Integrity – I rate Mr. Trump as Red. He is now claiming to have “evolved” on any hot-button issue that pops up so he can get attention from the rubes.
Past Performance – Red. “Nancy — you’re the best. Congrats. [signature]” —Handwritten note to Speaker [mc_name name=’Rep. Nancy Pelosi (D-CA)’ chamber=’house’ mcid=’P000197′ ]
Jeb Bush
Potential For Change – Red. He shares too many donors and political beliefs with Democrats to be a significant change after Barack Obama’s Presidency.
Electability – I’m rating Jeb Bush a Yellow. Somewhere within Jeb is a guy who whipped the Florida Democratic Party in two gubernatorial elections. He is letting his family connections and donors define him thus far and this will bury him before he even gets nominated …
Personal Integrity – I’m rating Jeb a Red. Jeb also shares a similar donor pool with Hillary Clinton. People who invest in candidates pretty much invest in them for the purchase of similar policies once they have been elected.
Past Performance – Green – “During his eight years as governor, Bush was credited with initiating environmental improvements, such as conservation in the Everglades, supporting caps for medical malpractice litigation, moving Medicaid recipients to private systems, and instituting reforms to the state education system, including the issuance of vouchers and promoting school choice.” (HT: Leftipedia). That guy gets a lush, verdant Green. We can only wonder where he’s gone in campaign 2016.
Scott Walker
Potential For Change – He rates a Green. He has fought the high-profile enemies and won. He does what is in his heart at personal risk to his career. I only hesitate to rate Scott Walker as Blue because he doesn’t seem to disagree with enough of the Democratic Party’s priorities to yank the whole thing out by the roots.
Electability – He fights and wins amongst electorates that typically like their Republicans on the half-shell. He speaks direct, simple concepts in easy, comprehensible language. I rate Scott Walker a Blue.
Personal Integrity – Green. He has guts, communicates well, and has stood by his new immigration view when vociferously challenged. But I feel like he’s running further to the right than where he has governed in order to woo social conservatives in Iowa.
Past Performance – Blue. The guy is like the Terminator. He keeps on grinding until he levels up.
Mike Huckabee
Potential For Change – Yellow. I would be genuinely relieved to see a sincere Christian occupy the White House after Julian the Apostate. I, therefore cannot completely denigrate Rev. Huckabee’s potential to improve the USA from The Oval Office. I can’t get excited about him because he is not inclined to reduce the size or scope of governance.
Electability – I rate him a Green. His work as a TV Personality and a Minister help him immensely. Huckabee is in his comfort zone with a mic in his hand and the cameras pointed in his direction.
Personal Integrity – I rate him a Blue on Personal Integrity. I disagree with a lot, and I mean a lot of what Mike Huckabee would do as POTUS. However, I’ve never felt the need to ask myself what the man really meant.
Past performance – Red. Once upon a time, there was this state governor who raised taxes, paroled felons, and generally out-Beta-Maled every other opponent in his party. He won the nomination and gave me the distinct pleasure of voting against his sorry butt in a Presidential Election. No, that wasn’t Mike Huckabee. That Was Mike Dukakis who actually ran for office from the proper party for a man with that sort of a record as governor.
Ben Carson
Potential For Change – I rate him a Yellow because he would try to do something about Obamacare. I can’t rate him any higher because he isn’t sufficiently motivated on the 2nd Amendment.
Electability – I give him a Yellow. Decent man, likable guy, not knowledgeable enough about politics to craft a dominant, winning campaign.
Personal Integrity – Green. Like the fact that he issued an unequivocal and checkable statement in response to the accusation that some of his medical research involved fetal tissue.
Past performance – Ben Carson has performed very capably as a surgeon. This is not an easy thing to do for a living and should be accorded great respect. It regretfully does not qualify him to serve as President. He gets a Yellow.
[mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ]
Potential For Change -He believes what I believe. He does not believe what Barack Obama does. He can get very tough and personal when the situation calls for it. He rates an absolute Blue.
Electability – I give him a Green. He believes what he is saying, he speaks with certitude and credibility and still retains a sizeable amount of humanity. He has a genuine flair and instinct for drama that helps his cause. However, [mc_name name=’Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’M000355′ ] would rather pee on [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ]’s grave than see him elected POTUS. I’ll have to stick with Green here because the GOP is a mediocracy that eats its own most stalwart champions.
Personal Integrity – [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ] has no time for liars, charlatans, and fools. He gets an unblemished Blue.
Past performance – Blue. He has served capably in Texas’ State Government and then moved on to the US Senate. Along the way, he successfully carried off The Great Dewhurst RINO Hunt.
[mc_name name=’Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’R000595′ ]
Potential For Change – I can’t give Marco a Blue because I don’t feel he is conservative enough or aggressive enough to completely undo the Obama tenure in office. I do rate him a Green because I believe he would want the government to respect the average American. Boy is that a major change after seeing Lois Lerner wield power and influence.
Electability – He rates a solid Green because even when I disagree with him on some core issues, I do like and respect the man.
Personal Integrity – He’s usually engaged in polite and urbane fibbing to avoid giving personal offense. He is a genuinely nice man, but may be too nice and too concerned about giving offense to tell the hard truths that America needs to hear. I rate him a Yellow.
Past performance – Green. …not as much of a Johnny-Come-Lately as I originally thought he would be. Young does not necessarily mean untried.
Rand Paul
Potential For Change – Blue. If [mc_name name=’Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’P000603′ ] could enact 1/10th of the small government talk he espouses as actual policy, he would create a happier, richer and freer America for my children to enjoy.
Electability – I rate [mc_name name=’Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’P000603′ ] a Yellow. [mc_name name=’Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’P000603′ ] intrigues people not usually willing to listen to GOP candidates. He will show and talk before audiences that GOP-E types shun and perhaps fear. On the other hand, he inspires a certain antipathy from non-libertarian members of the GOP coalition.
Personal Integrity – Green. I think he tries to be honest, but will shade parts of his message to appeal to electoral audiences. He’s not as gelatinous as Rubio can be, but I think he has pandered some on foreign policy to avoid being termed a Dove or a Wimp.
Past performance – He has done some very good and impressive things with his life. He just hasn’t done the sort of good and impressive things with his life that would make someone ready to serve as POTUS. Rand gets a Yellow.

*-Only because recycling the old Chuck Norris jokes about Ted would indulging a stereotype.