Wednesdays will be our Democratic Presidential Power Rankings:
Love him or hate him, Barack Obama has four more years as President of the United States. As he was fond of saying on the campaign trail, this is his last campaign. Unless wacky Republicans are right and Obama can somehow make himself President for life, then we will have someone running in 2016 different than him. But who will it be? A caveat of this, of course, is that 2016 is a long ways of f and it’s possible, if not probable, that a candidate will emerge in the next four years that we’ve never heard of.
1. Hillary Clinton- she is the current favorite to run in 2016, despite that she has been saying that she plans on retiring from the public life. Some people have taken this to mean that she will spend the next four years recuperating and primed for a Presidential run in 2016. Clinton still commands the respect and disdain of rivals and allies. But the biggest deterrent to her running, in my opinion, is her age. If she decided to run she would be one of the oldest first term Presidential candidates in history. I have her number one despite these concerns because of her name recognition.
2. Joe Biden- Biden cryptically stated that this would not be the last time that he voted for himself. Some have taken this to mean that Biden would run for President in 2016. His biggest problem is his age, as well. Biden recently turned 70 and is older than Clinton. Biden’s name recognition and experience will mean that he is a popular name to throw out there as someone who might run in 2016. This is before they realize his tendency to go “off the cuff” is potentially a pitfall. The Onion would love if Biden ran.
3. Martin O’Malley- O’Malley has gotten some publicity and name recognition for his “rivalry” with Bob McDonnell, as well, as being a surrogate during this election for Barack Obama. O’Malley has a strong chance, if he decides to run, to be in the Democratic primaries.
4. Cory Booker + Julian Castro- I’m lumping them together to deal with them at the same time. Castro was mentioned, because he made the keynote address at the 2012 DNC, something Obama did in 2004. Booker has been mentioned because of his name recognition, popularity, being young, and being a minority. Booker and Castro’s largest problems are that the highest offices that they have held are being mayors. Their largest stumbling block is the lack of experience that they have. At least, Obama was a Senator before being President. If Booker and Castro somehow manage to gain some larger experience in the next four years, they’ll definitely move up this list.
5. Elizabeth Warren- she proved to be a fund-raising giant in defeating incumbent Scott Brown in the Massachusetts Senatorial race. She’s kind of the “hip” name among Democrats to talk about potentially running in 2016. She has fairly high name recognition because of the popularity of the race but Democrats might shy away from her, because of her lack of experience.
6. Rahm Emanuel- Emanuel, despite being a mayor like Castro or Booker, is not listed with them because he has served closely with two different presidents. Serving under two presidents might give him some experience that is needed. But are we really going back to where Chicago is the heart of politics, again?
7. Andrew Cuomo- current governor of New York. Cuomo has a lot of name recognition, particularly among Democrats, coming in 2nd in some polls as an early frontrunner for the 2016 election. Cuomo seems like a favorite to be in the Democratic primaries, if he decides to run.
8. Al Franken- The former Saturday Night Live actor/writer has gotten some notoriety in politics for his close election in Minnesota and his petitions to try and overturn the Citizen’s United ruling. It’s unclear if enough people take him seriously to run for President. His age might also preclude him from running.
9. Independent/Republican Convert X- It’s possible that a high-profile Republican/Independent converts to being a Democrat and gets into the Democratic primaries. The people that I think might be possible for this to happen is Mike Bloomberg. Bloomberg is an independent candidate and mayor, who has expressed interest in running for President in the past. Bloomberg also endorsed Obama after Hurricane Sandy because of climate change issues. He has been in the spotlight for a number of things whether, it was for his guns bill/law or trying to limit the amount of sugary drinks we can consume. Another possibility is Chris Christie. Christie has been blamed by some Republicans for failing to endorse Romney in the wake of Hurricane Sandy, there is a slight possibility that Christie becomes disenchanted with the Republican party if they continue down this path. It’s also possible that Christie runs on the Republican side in 2016.
10. Celebrity Candidate Y- This has a popular idea by Democrats on some websites. The idea is that the Democrats would want a celebrity candidate who has little or no government experience to run for President. Michael Moore in his book Dude, Where’s my Country? argued for Oprah running. The popular name that has been thrown out now is Rachel Maddow. Let me say, that this is absolutely a terrible idea. I don’t believe the Democratic party would be able to recover if they allowed a celebrity to run for president. That being said, they might do it.