1. Rand Paul: Paul and McConnell were caught with hot microphones discussing the Republican talking points about the government shutdown. This is probably not good news for people who believe that Paul is a new breed of politician who doesn't have to rely on talking points. But it will be largely forgotten. But if you keep repeating that Republicans are willing to compromise, people will forget what happened beforehand. Paul chose to have a bipartisan coffee with Senate Democrats. Only one Democrat showed up but it still gets good news that Paul is willing to have bipartisan discussions. Paul is going out of his way to show that he is not Ted Cruz. He has proposed a clean one to two week stopgap measure. It will give him crossover appeal to the more moderates in the Republican party, a part of the party he has had problems with, in the past. He also tweeted out something that quickly became a Facebook meme for the more right-wing part of the party. Of course, no one bothered to check its accuracy before sending it out.
2. Chris Christie: The biggest winner of the government shutdown in politics, is Chris Christie. Christie ran a new advertisement in New Jersey stating that compromise is not a dirty word in politics. I think that if Christie runs in 2016, this will be a typical advertisement for his presidential run. Christie also put partial blame on Barack Obama for the government shutdown. This will win him more supporters of the Republican base.The Huffington Post believes that the gestation crate for pigs will be a controversy for his 2016 presidential campaign. This is false hubris by animal rights organizations. They won't stop Christie from running for president, sorry. But the government shutdown has protected Chris Christe from getting too much press for attempting to block marriage equality in New Jersey. MSNBC doesn't count.
Shutting down his chances at a presidential run
3. Ted Cruz: Grover Norquist, the uber lobbyist, has railed against Ted Cruz for shutting down the government. In a closed-door meeting in the Senate, Cruz received significant pushback from other Republicans about his strategy for repealing Obamacare. This gives him cover in the Republican primary from some of the electorate but not all of them. Other Republican lawmakers will likley not support him in his run for president. A left-leaning contributor to Forbes believes that Cruz has failed in the Senate because he can't go across the aisle. Christie's compromise message will resonate with voters over Cruz who refuses to compromise on anything.
4. Marco Rubio: Rubio is finally doing smart things politically! He is staying out of the spotlight while the government shutdown has taken place. By staying out of the spotlight, Rubio is not getting hurt by any of the politics that is happening during the shutdown.
The favorite governors
5. Jeb Bush: Bush is still pushing his education reform by, more or less, dissolving teacher unions and implementing common core standards. As long as he stays out of the fray about the government shutdown and funding Obamacare, I think he'll continue to rise.
6. Scott Walker: Walker has decided to defy the federal government and keep national parks open. That'll satisfy those who think the states should make all the decisions. By the way, the Washington Times is a terrible website. Walker is trying to create a self-funded insurance program for state workers.
It doesn't really matter at this point
7. Kelly Ayotte: Ayotte does not believe that shutting down the government is a winning strategy. So I imagine that she will be called a RINO at some point. She also offered a reality check that defunding Obamacare was not working. But, but, but, Republicans only cover facts.
8. Rick Perry: Dear Lord, Rick Perry. Perry stated that implementing Obamacare constitutes a criminal act. But, what? Taking $100 million in grants because of Obamacare is not? Jeebus. Perry, apparently, believes that people without health insurance have access to health care by showing up to the emegency room. It's that type of thinking that explains why Texas has more uninsured people than any other state. Despite Perry's trips to nearly every state to lure people to Texas, he can't convince people to move there. Sorry, Breitbart.
9. Paul Ryan: People are taking the government shutdown and the upcoming debt ceiling to talk about Paul Ryan's failed policies. Ryan and others suggest Congress should wait until the debt ceiling negotiations to negotiate about the government shutdown. But Bloomberg explains why Paul Ryan is keeping a low profile during these negotiations. I imagine because he is tired of having people attack him and his path to prosperity.
10. Peter King: I think King might beat up Ted Cruz at some point. He really doesn't like him. King has expressed the same feeling that other people who are not in Congress are thinking, I don't know what the GOP wants from this shutdown. Actually, I know. They want to undo the results of the 2012 presidential election, as well as to allow there to be no balance of powers to merely attach whatever they want to needed legislation. Oh well. King also believes that 30 to 40 birthers are driving the government shutdown. King is at odds with the new Republican party that Cruz and Paul are supposed to represent. He will stump for Christie when he runs.