Category Archives: Santorum

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.

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