Category Archives: McDonnell

1,448 Days Until the 2016 Presidential Election

At least 17 Republicans have began, either privately or subtlety, to make moves towards gearing up a presidential run for 2016. They are:

  1. Florida Senator Marco Rubio
  2. Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal
  3. Wisconsin Representative and House Budget Chair Paul Ryan
  4. Kentucky Senator Rand Paul
  5. New Jersey Governor Chris Christie
  6. Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum
  7. Texas Governor Rick Perry
  8. Minnesota Representative Michele Bachmann
  9. Indiana Governor Mike Pence
  10. Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker
  11. New Hampshire Senator Kelly Ayotte
  12. New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez
  13. Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval
  14. South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley
  15. South Dakota Senator John Thune
  16. Ohio Senator Rob Portman
  17. 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.

Comparing the Benches

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

Republicans:

  • 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

Democrats

  • 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

A Look at the Inside Track

 

Politico outlines some possible names for a Romney Cabinet.

  • The qualification that is uppermost in his mind is private-sector experience: “My focus is going to be on the economy, getting us strong again. So having people who have actually run things in the private sector or have been actively involved in the private sector will be of real interest to me.”
  • Romney also said he would empower his Cabinet more than Obama has. “I do not look to bring someone in to run an agency and say, ‘Hey, go do a good job, and let me know how it goes.’ I look, instead, to come in and say, ‘Here is what I want to have done. These are the things I believe need to be done in this agency, and I’m the guy that got elected, not you. So, it is my goals, not your goals, that are first and foremost.”
  • Romney said he expects that his Cabinet will have “a representative form of diversity that mirrors our society at large,” including women, African-Americans and Hispanics.

So let’s look at a few names:

  • Former Utah Governor and Bush EPA chief Mike Leavitt for Chief of Staff
  • PR Governor Luis Fortuño as possible Interior or Commerce
  • OH Senator Rob Portman for Treasury
  • Former MN Governor Tim Pawlenty for Education
  • Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal for Health and Human Services
  • VA Governor Bob McDonnell or former PA Governor Ed Rendell (D)
  • Former MO Senator Jim Talent for Secretary of Defense
  • Former CT Senator Joseph Lieberman (D/I) as Secretary of State

All of this is speculation, of course.

 

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