At least 17 Republicans have began, either privately or subtlety, to make moves towards gearing up a presidential run for 2016. They are:
- Florida Senator Marco Rubio
- Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal
- Wisconsin Representative and House Budget Chair Paul Ryan
- Kentucky Senator Rand Paul
- New Jersey Governor Chris Christie
- Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum
- Texas Governor Rick Perry
- Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann
- Indiana Governor Mike Pence
- Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker
- New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte
- New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez
- Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval
- South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley
- South Dakota Senator John Thune
- Ohio Senator Rob Portman
- Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell
This all might seem premature — and a possible big-time distraction for a party that lost the presidency and Senate and House seats this time around. But top Republican officials are encouraging the never-ending presidential campaign in hopes of creating influential national voices beyond Fox News and Rush Limbaugh. “On every conference call, the message is the same,” one top official said. “We’re going to push out our new generation of leadership. We’re not going to sit back and let the extreme voices define what it means to be a conservative.”
Republicans are still haunted by the post-election chaos of 2008, when, with John McCain diminished by defeat and few clear future leaders with national juice on the scene, Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin filled the void — and dominated news coverage. This time feels different: Unlike 2008, when Republicans chalked up their defeat to a bad GOP ticket in a terrible post-Bush environment for the party, many of the most influential voices are calling for substantial rethinking of the conservative approach to politics. They are reckoning with demographic trends that favor Democrats — as well as with exit polling suggesting the assumption this is a center-right country might be wrong, or was at least wrong on Nov. 6, when a center-left electorate showed up.
If even half that list runs it would be the deepest, most policy-oriented primary we could hope for.
So with the Republican National Conference over and the Democratic National Convention starting, one only has to look at the speakers to see who the rising stars (“the benches”) are for each party. Let’s put them in a depth chart
- First String: VA Gov. Bob McDonnell; WI Gov. Scott Walker; SC Gov. Nikki Haley; NJ Gov. Chris Christie; LA Gov. Bobby Jindal; SD Sen. John Thune; Former Sec. of State Condoleezza Rice; WI Rep. Paul Ryan; FL Sen. Marco Rubio
- Second String: NH Sen. Kelly Ayotte; OK Gov. Mary Fallin; NV Gov. Brian Sandoval; KY Sen. Rand Paul; OH Sen. Rob Portman; PR Gov. Luis Fortuño; NM Gov. Susana Martinez; Former FL Gov. Jeb Bush; TX Sen. Ted Cruz
- Third String: ND Sen. John Hoeven; TN Rep. Marsha Blackburn; WA Rep. Cathy McMorris-Rodgers; Saratoga Springs Mayor Mia Love; OH Gov. John Kasich; Former MN Gov. Tim Pawlenty
- First String: CO Gov. John Hickenlooper; Former VA Gov. Tim Kaine; MD Gov. Martin O’Malley; Secretary of State Hillary Clinton; MT Gov. Brian Schweitzer; MA Senate Candidate Elizabeth Warren
- Second String: Newark Mayor Corey Booker; San Antonio Mayor Julian Castro; Chicago Mayor Rahm Emmanuel; Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx; NC Sen. Kay Hagan; Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter; Vice President Joe Biden; MN Senator Amy Klobuchar; Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Vilagarossa
- Third String: WI Senate Candidate Tammy Baldwin; House of Representatives Candidate Joaquin Castro; MA Gov. Deval Patrick; Former OH Gov. Ted Strickland; Houston Mayor Annisse Parker
Not so much a mid-morning dump as usual, just some things to ponder.
- Republican National Convention starts today. There’s a surprise speaker on Thursday…The Boss?! Roll call for Pres/VP is tonight, along with Kelly Ayotte, Mary Fallin, Bob McDonnell, Scott Walker, Nikki Haley, Ann Romney, and Chris Christie.
- Second CT Senate poll (Q-poll) shows the same as Rasmussen…49-46 Linda McMahon over Chris Murphy. Second time around?
- CBS poll: Obama 46-45 over Romney amongst registered voters; ABC had it 47/46 Romney yesterday; 7-day Gallup, Romney +1; 3-day Rasmussen Obama +2
- New Orleans is gonna be hammered again…by Isaac this time. Predicted to hit 7 years, to the day, after Katrina.
That’s about it. Doing this all day:
17 out of 100. 17%. That’s the percentage of women in the United States Senate. Women make up 50.8% of this country, but just 17% of the body that represents each state. Puzzling. I promise, no kitchen jokes or driving jokes.
But is that about to change? Politico reported that female Senate candidates this cycle are raking up money, to the tune of $135 million!! There are currently 17 female US Senators serving today:
- Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), serving until 2016
- Dianne Feinstein (D-California), up for re-election this year
- Barbara Boxer (D-California), serving until 2016
- Mary Landrieu (D-Louisiana), serving until 2014
- Olympia Snowe (R-Maine), retiring at the end of this year
- Susan Collins (R-Maine), serving until 2014
- Barbara Mikulski (D-Maryland), serving until 2016
- Debbie Stabenow (D-Michigan), up for re-election this year
- Amy Klobuchar (D-Minnesota), up for re-election this year
- Claire McCaskill (D-Missouri), up for re-election this year
- Jeanne Shaheen (D-New Hampshire), serving until 2014
- Kelly Ayotte (R-New Hampshire), serving until 2016
- Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York), up for re-election this year
- Kay Hagan (D-North Carolina), serving until 2014
- Kay Bailey Hutchison (R-Texas), retiring at end of this year
- Patty Murray (D-Washington), serving until 2016
- Maria Cantwell (D-Washington), up for re-election this year
Until 2013, California, New Hampshire, Maine, and Washington are the only states with two current female Senators. Of the above, Feinstein, Stabenow, Klobuchar, Gillibrand, and Cantwell are locks for re-election, setting the minimum number of female Senators in 2013 at 14. Let’s look at where they can make gains this cycle:
- Massachusetts: Elizabeth Warren is a formidable opponent. She has amassed nearly a $25 million war chest thus far. Beloved my the liberal grassroots.
- Wisconsin: U.S. Rep Tammy Baldwin has raised nearly $7 million for her campaign. She would become the first openly-gay U.S. Senator if she was to win.
- Nevada: U.S. Rep Shelley Berkley has raised almost $7 million as well, putting her on even-footing with her opponent.
- New York: Attorney Wendy E. Long is running against Kirsten Gillibrand (one of three female-on-female battles)
- California: Autism activist Elizabeth Emken is running against Sen. Feinstein but has failed to reach $1 million in funds, despite Feinstein losing $4.5 million stolen by her former treasurer
- Maine: State Sen. Cynthia Dill is running to replace Olympia Snowe but has failed to gain any traction behind Independent former Gov. Angus King
- North Dakota: State AG Heidi Heitkamp is running a strong campaign in a strong GOP state in a Republican year. She is one to watch. $1.8 million in a cheap media market.
- Hawaii: Both U.S. Rep Maze Hirono and former Gov. Linda Lingle are running in this open seat. Give or take, each candidate has raised about $4 million on the islands.
- New Mexico: the GOP’s strongest female candidate, former U.S. Rep Heather Wilson, has also raised about $4 million and is running competitively in this open seat.
- Connecticut: 2010 candidate Linda McMahon is once again running in this open-seat (again) and after pouring $50 million (!!!!) into her last campaign, she has $14 million right now (….with a $12 million loan)
If you ask me (and you did, because you’re still reading), I think more female Senators and U.S. Representatives is extremely good for this country. Female legislators tend to be less interested in partisan combat, more likely to cross the aisle, and bring a fresh perspective to Congress, often as leaders of households. Again, no jokes.
Oh and how many female Senators will there be in 2013? 16 is this man’s guess.
Those who know me know I supported Hillary Clinton in 2008 and Michele Bachmann in 2012. It is time for a woman to serve as President. Who will be the first female President, you ask me? (Which again, you did!) Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire. In 2020.