Since my computer is not working, I've had to stop posting my link-heavy presidential power rankings. So, this will be the first time I've posted a power rankings, in awhile. This is sad to me, but oh well.
The two favorites
1. Rand Paul: Paul maintains his lead as the favorite for being the Republican nominee. Paul began the last week with a bang, proposing an amendment that really fired up his Republican base. He would like to propose an amendment to the Constitution that would not allow Congress to propose any law that would not be also applicable to Congress. This is mainly about Obamacare and the panic that Congress is exempt from Obamacare. Of course, this is blatantly untrue. It has also pissed off a number of Congressional staffers who have to answer why they're exempt from Obamacare, even though, they aren't. He has begun his strategy to run for President, although, he won't announce his intention until after the 2014 mid-term elections. Paul is pulling out some of the stops during his tour of Kentucky. Paul also threatened a hold on the nomination of Janet Yellen until there would be an audit of the federal reserve. I'm sure that it has placated some of his conspiracy minded think-alikes. But then, Paul decided to quote verbatim from the pages of Wikipedia on the movies Gattaca and Stand and Deliver on a speech he gave at Liberty University about eugenics. His speeches have a habit of plagiarism. But in all honesty, it is probably one of his staff members fault for using the lines. Paul has not had any trouble with any members of his staff, before.
2. Chris Christie: Christie is likely to win his November re-election by 25-30 points. Christie, who had lap band surgery earlier this year, is apparently losing weight steadily and got a clean bill of health from his doctor. So, we can put those worries away. Shaquille O'Neal believes that Christie is shaqtastic and gave him his support. Christie recently vetoed a bill that would ban pig gestation crates in New Jersey. The National Pork Producers Council opposes gestation crates and said that politics had nothing to do with Christie's decision. It's just science. Some people believe that because Iowa is the number one hog producing state in the country, Christie chose to veto the bill with an eye to Iowa. But it could be just to gain financial support from outside spenders.
Meh. They were hot at some point.
3. Ted Cruz: Just a short time after his non-filibuster filibuster, Cruz was raking in money from all sorts of people. But some on the right are not too happy with Cruz. Grover Norquist, the uber-lobbyist, can't find Cruz's strategy in delaying Obamacare. Norquist represented a new challenge to Cruz, as he is coming from closer to the base of the Republican party than established Republicans, such as John McCain. Cruz criticized the establishment Republicans at the Ronald Reagan dinner. He defended his non-filibuster by criticizing the rest of the Republican party. Cruz believes that the people do not want Obamacare. I've already written about how he's wrong, but oh well. Cruz believes that government should get out of healthcare. Even though, he is on his wife's plan, through Goldman Sachs. His plan, worth $20,000, is a part of government assistance through tax deductions or tax credits. If the government was truly out of healthcare, his wife could keep the $20,000 but have to pay taxes on it and also have to purchase health insurance in another way. But oh well.
4. Marco Rubio: Despite majority support from Americans, his constituency, and his party, Marco Rubio has decided to back away from comprehensive immigration reform. Rubio now wants to deal with immigration the piecemeal way. Rubio has decided to begin to listen to the extremists of the Republican base who believe that immigration reform can only happen through enforcement only measures. Rubio can also make the claim that he tried to deal with immigration reform in the debates and on the campaign trail. But he will have to say that he was for it, before he was against it. That always works out so well. It's a good thing, American voters have suck fickle memories. Rubio has also decided to talk about the ghost that's haunting America, Obamacare. He still believes that Obamacare should be repealed and wants the individual mandate to be delayed. The shift of the Republican party to the delay of the Obamacare individual mandate is an attempt to push Obamacare back after the 2014 mid-terms so they can run against the shadow Obamcare, as opposed to what is really happening.
5. Jeb Bush: If the established Republican party wants someone to run, they'll look toward Christie and Jeb. Bush, again, railed against the Tea Party and the extremists with his own party. Bush also talked about the need for the free market to decide energy policy. I know this might play well with Republicans and maybe even neo-liberal Democrats, but the environmentalists will not be happy with his call for the approval of Keystone. He gave into the pressure of the right and also stated that Obamacare should be repealed, with a populist argument. He has also stressed the need for education reform, as well as, his continued support for Common Core.
6. Paul Ryan: Ryan's definiton of a grand bargain is a lot different than the definition used by progressives. Ryan has been pitching for entitlement reforms for years but he is getting more serious. The budget talks will basically determine his ability to run in 2016. If he is able to negotiate a Republican or Ryan approved plan out of the Democratic party, but who knows what his end budget will look like? Some believe that his newest budget, which he wants to have a suplus within ten years, would require closing a majority of tax loopholes for the middle class. But Ryan probably doesn't have time to go through the math with the Democratic party, in order to look at his budget.
I'm sure some people like them
7. Rick Perry: Perry has said that he has learned from his past mistakes at the Iowa caucus. Considering, he wants to make the Obama camp and the entrenched politicians look like they're incompetent, he's going to have to make everyone forget what happened last time, he ran. Some people belive that his ineffective way of trying to lure jobs and companies to Texas is merely just a way to gather attention three years before the presidential election. That's probably true. People ssee him touring and assume he's successful at getting these companies to move, even though, so far, he is not doing so well at it. Perry has to appeal to the social conservatives and he will, by fighting a Texas judge's decision stating that the new abortion restrictions were unconstitutional.
8. Peter King: I'm not really sure who Peter King is supposed to appeal to, at this point. I mean there are probably Islamophobes who enjoyed the executive power increase by the Bush administration. But King said that Obama should stop apologizing for the NSA surveillance programs, because they have saved thousands of lives. King also believes that drones are useful and blasted Rand Paul's only claim to fame, so far. He believes that the President should stand with the armed services and intelligence agencies. Maybe, he's supposed to appeal to the warhawks of his party.
Some people to fill out the debate stage
9. Scott Walker: Walker has a new memoir out that talks about his anti-union policies and credits God for his political success. Walker also talks about how he would not have flubbed the 2012 campaign, such as Mitt Romney. Walker has a challenge in 2014 and might not even get re-elected in 2014. Walker will not be a strong name for 2016. But his view of himself is definitely presidential.
10. Rick Santorum: One of the things I learned while working through the previous Republican presidential primaries was that, a loser of the primary, often re-emerges and runs again. I think Santorum might be that guy. Santorum has fairly high name recognition among the Republican electorate. He joined the rest of the Republican establishment in bashing Ted Cruz. Santorum appeals to the Christian right of the Republican party and the sensibilities of the Iowa caucus voters. Nobody else on this list, at least, has near enough appeal to the religious right. You cannot win the Republican primary without getting some support from the Christian right or the support of someone they trust. Santorum holds that power, right now. If he does not run, he'll choose to endorse someone and that person will likely be the favorite. My guess is that Santorum does not run and endorses Christie. But that's just me.