We are a long ways from 2016, but let us have some fun speculating on who will be the Republican candidate for President.
So far, even though we have no declared candidates, we have several Republicans who have indicated their interest in exploring the possibilities. For example, Senator Ted Cruz, Senator Rand Paul, Governor Chris Christie are just a few names that are being tossed about as being a candidate for President in 2016.
What is shaping up to be is a battle for the soul of the Republican Party. For many years since the election of Ronald Reagan, we have heard the complaint that a true conservative has not won the nomination, but rather some establishment candidate such as former governor, Mitt Romney, or George Herbert Walker Bush.
The year, 2016, may very well see, a battle royal between the Tea Party and Evangelical Christian wing of the Republican Party versus the establishment, business and Wall Street wing of the party for political supremacy.
In 2012, we saw a host of, died in the wool. conservative candidates such as: Gingrich, Ron Paul, Rick Perry, Rick Santorum, and Michele Bachman. As usual the Republican Party chose the man who appeared to be next in line, Mitt Romney.
Some of the candidates of 2012, may choose to run, again. Governors have been successful in the past due to their executive experience in managing a state. Perhaps there are some surprise candidates lurking in the wings, assessing their chances of success in 2016.
Governors such as Walker and Bobby Jindal come to mind as potential candidates.
The forthcoming election offers an open field to the Republican Party as their does not appear to be any heir apparent that is a natural choice after Romney’s defeat.
The early favorites seem to be Rand Paul, Ted Cruz and Governor Chris Christie. Christie is not the darling of Conservatives, even though, no one would ever dare to call him a liberal.
The most recent revelations regarding Bridgegate, have cast a large shadow on Governor Christie’s future as a candidate for President. The likelihood of a lengthy investigation is not good news for the once popular governor of New Jersey. Controversy can bring with it unwanted attention. Although Governor Christie has been quick to respond to the controversy, time will only tell whether or not Bridgegate will be his undoing.
This past week has been a disaster for Christie, and it proves the dictum that a week in politics can be a lifetime.
Governorships have been an excellent place from which future candidates for President have come from due to the executive experience one gains from being a governor. Someone who is an unknown to the nation as a whole might have a good opportunity with the prospective field being the way it is right now. Former governor Daniels of Indiana or Huckabee of Arkansas have had their names mentioned.
The Republican Party’s selection process favors the activists who work in the field and support conservative candidates. It is hard to imagine rank and file social conservatives voting for Governor Christie.
Currently, there appears to be a schism in the Republican Party between Wall Street, what some would call establishment Republicans against social conservatives.
I doubt if Christie can be nominated unless there are so many social conservative candidates that they knock each other off, and Christie sneaks in to gain the nomination.
The Koch brothers seem to be supporting Rand Paul at this moment but Senator Cruz is lurking in the shadows.
If Senator Cruz can clear up his suspect immigration situation his new-found fame may place him in an advantageous position as the true conservative candidate.
People will be looking at the possible candidacy of Governor Scott Walker, as well. His success at getting through the conservative agenda might be an attractive possibility for the Republican Party.
The nomination of a Republican for President is wide open and should offer the political junky like myself with the entertaining prospect of a strong competitive race for the White House in 2016.
To the victor goes the challenging prospect of running against a better known and formidable candidate, by the name of Hillary Rodham Clinton.