Rhode Island) – I’m back in the Ocean State
this week. Last Sunday I wrote from Florida
about Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Chris Christie being the current
presidential frontrunners for their respective parties -- for now anyway. But
as we saw in 2008, that can all change drastically. So, who are the dark horses
and long shots in each party, who might just emerge from out of nowhere?
Let’s take a look from each side of the aisle:
“Keep Hope Alive!” – No, I am not touting Rev. Jesse
Jackson’s famous phrase; I am talking about a man from Hope, Arkansas.
Yes, former Republican Governor Mike Huckabee grew up in the same small town as
former President Bill Clinton. Huckabee has remained high profile with his Fox
TV show. He has the same folksy Arkansas charm
Plus: He comes across as a reasonable guy who can work both sides of the aisle.
Minus: Some independents may be concerned about his Baptist minister background
and conservative appeal.
“No, the Other Warner!” – Democratic U.S. Senator Mark
Warner has always fought confusion with former Virginia Republican Senator John
Warner. The two are not related. Warner is a self-made multi-millionaire, with
a good stump speech and a photogenic Kennedy-esque family. He is up for
reelection in 2014, but win or lose, remains a serious potential challenger to
Hillary Clinton in 2016. Plus: He’s from Virginia,
now a critical swing state that Democrats must - and have won - the past two
election cycles. Minus: Few beyond Virginia
know him as he has made no imprint in the U.S. Senate.
“Is Rice Right” – Former Republican Secretary of State
Condoleezza Rice has the political chops and the brains to be Commander in Chief.
As an African-American woman, she could pull in a lot of nontraditional
Republicans and especially independents. Plus: Experienced and tested in some
tough jobs, whether you agree with her positions or not. Minus: She’s never held
elective office, and being a Republican from California, it would be a long shot for her
to carry her home state, which is a must for any presidential candidate.
“Is Ryan Tryin’?” – Failed GOP vice
presidential nominee, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, may be thinking about a
run. As Chairman of the House Budget Committee, who recently forged a
bipartisan budget deal with Democrats, he has name recognition, experience,
ambition, and a track record. Plus: He’s definitely part of the Republican’s
next generation; not the past generation. Minus: He could not even carry his
home state of Wisconsin
for Mitt Romney in 2012. Sorry, you just have to win your home state, period!
“Good Bayh?” – Former Indiana Democratic Senator and Governor Evan Bayh is one to watch. The son for former Senator Birch Bayh, Evan served 24 years in public office before retiring in 2011, at the ripe old age of 55. He still as a lot of political miles in him if he chooses to run. Plus: A more moderate, bipartisan Midwest Democrat, who could actually win the sometimes swing state of Indiana. Minus: A lot of true liberal Democrats don’t like or trust him.
“New Blood in Newsom?” – When I
first began covering San Francisco Supervisor Gavin Newsom in 1999, I laughed
when people mentioned him as a future presidential candidate. He seemed like a
nice, sincere, young kid at the age of 31, but Oval Office material? Nah! Fast
forward, at 46, he’s a former SF Mayor, and now the Democratic Lieutenant
Governor of California, poised to become Governor, U.S. Senator, or perhaps
higher. Plus: He’s the architect of same-sex marriage in the United States.
Minus: He’s the architect of same-sex marriage in the United States.
“Dollar Bill!” – He’s downplayed
the idea, (don’t they all), but I think former Democratic Governor of New
Mexico Bill Richardson may challenge Hillary Clinton for the nomination in
2016. Richardson has the longest resume in Washington, DC,
short of former President George H.W. Bush. Richardson and the Clinton’s used
to be allies, but bad political blood was spilled and it could be payback time.
is Latino, and could be competitive in that demographic especially if
Republicans offer a Hispanic presidential or vice presidential candidate such
as Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL) or Ted Cruz (R-TX). Minus: Richardson was often a lone-wolf on foreign
policy and was seen as overly ambitious on his way up the career ladder, making
enemies in his own party.
“Great Scott!” – Former
Massachusetts Republican Senator Scott Brown is thinking of moving permanently
to his summer home in New Hampshire, and
running for U.S. Senate in the Granite
State in 2014. As a
moderate Republican – with national name recognition – he might be a more
mainstream GOP contender in 2016. Plus: He carried 72 percent of independents
in liberal Massachusetts
when he won a Senate race in 2010. Minus: His 2012 reelection bid – albeit
tough with President Obama topping the ballot – lacked the fire-in-the-belly of
his populist 2010 run. Which Scott Brown will show up in 2016? Stay tuned!
What are your thoughts? Let me
know by clicking the comment button at www.MarkCurtisMedia.com.
© 2014, Mark Curtis Media, LLC.