1. Rand Paul: Ted Cruz's filibuster or fauxbuster garnered a lot of the attention lately. But people are still using the comparison to Rand Paul's #standwithRand. Cruz's fauxbuster is not being compared favorably to Paul's. Paul has been annointed the de facto Republican spokesperson for foreign policy. Let's say you have two candidates. They have virtually the same views on everything, but one is the expert on foreign policy, the other is not. Who is more presidential? Paul is one of the few potential 2016 candidates who has strong foreign policy ties. Paul and Cruz have been the new faces of the Republican party. Cruz has been trying to cultivate that image but Paul found it naturally. What hurts Paul in the primary is one of his biggest strengths. But confirmation bias will set in, I'm sure
2. Ted Cruz: I have made my thoughts on Cruz's fauxbuster known. Cruz's speech was rightly called out by other writers. But he made himself look like a more formidable foe come 2016. While other candidates have not showcased themselves to a national audience, Cruz took the floor and the call. Not surprisingly, Tea Party groups increased their fundraising for Cruz in 2016. Glenn Beck and his team wrote on Facebook that Cruz's speech was the truth. PolitiFact disagrees. But I'm sure Cruz can make up whatever he wants if he runs in 2016.
3. Chris Christie: Christie has been fairly vocal about the government shutdown being a failure. Christie has never been a fan of either Cruz or Paul and this is just another nail in the coffin of their relationship. But in the news that Christie wanted from his re-election, he has got a surge in African-American voters. That should be promising news to everyone on the internet who keeps telling me that the Republicans nominate the most electable candidate.
The non-filibustering favorite:
4. Marco Rubio: The joke around social media has been that Rubio will search for something to filibuster. Judging by the other filibusters, Rubio will filibuster something he agrees with, like immigration reform. Rubio joined Cruz on the Senate floor for Cruz's filibuster. Cruz had some kind words for Rubio. Ever since Rubio pushed through the Gang of Eight immigration bill, he has been courting the Republican base. It looks like it is continuing. Is it about racism or homophobia? I'm not sure. But it doesn't sound promising for Rubio.
No news is good news
5.. Jeb Bush: Bush has only been in the news about education reform. He has been advocating for Common Core and similar standards for awhile. But education reform is not going to be a major factor in an election. This is not the West Wing. Bush has some supporters with the Ohio GOP while advocating for his standards. Ohio is all that matters.
6. Scott Walker: Walker has not been in the news much lately, which is probably a good thing. He had some talks about healthcare in Wisconsin and education standards. Maybe healthcare and education will be the deciding factors in the Republican primary. Doubtful. Walker will have to survive 2014, first, if he wants a chance at the White House. Unions have put him as one of their top targets in 2014. I am sure that race will be expensive as all get out. Walker's legislative session will be to focus on job training. Maybe, he'll reach that jobs mark, he was supposed to.
7. Kelly Ayotte: Ayotte was in the news because she decided to block the nominee for Air Force Secretary until she learns about the fate of the A-10 aircraft. Ayotte has also proposed an infrastructure bank to help with projects. I know, these things seem boring, but they are policy issues. By being the one who brings them up, she can be the leader on these issues come debate time.
8. Rick Perry: Perry broke from the star of Texas, Ted Cruz, by calling the shutdown of government nonsensical. That is somewhat surprising since Perry and Texas have been one of the biggest detractors of Obamacare. Politico highlighted Perry's strategy to remain relevant for 2016. Basically, his strategy is to be more Christie than Perry.
A new book for his interns
9. Paul Ryan: House Republicans are using a strategy under Paul Ryan that attaches various riders to the passage of the debt ceiling. I thought about moving Ryan higher as he has recently inked a book deal. Ryan's book, I imagine, will just be him saying, we don't have time for facts.
10. Susana Martinez: Martinez decided to expand Medicaid for those in her state who are poor so that more people are covered by health insurance. She has decided not to focus on politics but rather what is best for New Mexico. But unfortunately, she is coming under fire for charging for public trips. That won't look too good. Or it wouldn't, except other governors have been doing it, too.