2016 Race for the White House Has Begun

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This may seem like a discussion of an event that is three years and five months in the future.  Already the presidential race is in full force.  2016 is not that far away, and the race for the White House has begun.

For Democrats there is little mystery.  Only two possible candidates appear to be in consideration.

Vice-president Joe Biden is at a distinct disadvantage.  He is involved in the Obama administration, and must show support for the President’s agenda.  Putting him in a delicate situation is the success or failure of Mr. Obama in his final three-and-a-half years.  The President’s favorability rating will weigh heavily on Biden’s chances of attaining his party’s nomination for 2016.

The front runner continues to be Hillary Clinton.  For nearly two years she was the most admired politician in America.  Mistakes she made in 2008 when she was competing with now President Barrack Obama, will be part of the past.  She is known as articulate, strong, intelligent, and extremely qualified.  The emergence of women as a political power will be a driving force, should she formally declare her candidacy.

The Republican Party is far more interesting.  Multiple candidates surfaced in 2012.  There was perennial candidate Ron Paul, disgraced by his own party Newt Gingrich, and son of the Pope, Rick Santorum.  Also hopefuls were Herman, ‘I never met a woman I didn’t want,’ Cain, Rick, ‘I never passed a bar without tasting its wares,’ Perry, and Michelle, ‘I know I’m crazy, but crazy is what the TEA Party is all about,’ Bachman.

None of them could match Mitt, ‘corporate raider,’ Romney.  He had more money and more contributors than the rest combined.

Republicans will not want for financial donors in 2016.  Thanks to the allowance by the Supreme Court of illegal campaign financing, they will assuredly be inundated with more money than in 2012.

The man, or woman, who receives the Republican nomination will be chosen by a small group of the GOP.  And, that person will not truly be representative of the Republican platform of the past.

Immediately after the Democrat’s devastating victory in 2012, one name survived the ashes of destruction.

Democrats decisively won the election, and exit polls demonstrated the who, why, and how.  Republicans lost the vote of Hispanics, women, and younger voters by a huge margin.  Polls also showed that voters felt Romney was out of touch with the average American.

TEA Party darling, and virtually obvious choice, was Florida Senator Marco Rubio.  He was handsome, young, energetic, and a son of Puerto Rican immigrants.  He would undoubtedly change the direction of the GOP.

Ensuring his prominence as a Republican, he was selected as a member of the ‘gang of eight,’ to draft a bill encompassing a program of universal immigration reform.

Four Democrats, and four Republicans, including Rubio, labored long and hard to create a bipartisan piece of legislation.  When they rose from committee, as a group they expressed pride in their accomplishment.  Days after their combined victory, Rubio said he would vote against his own bill.

The Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, has become a political conundrum.  Once considered to be in the group of front runners for 2016, he has been ostracized by his own party.

When Super Storm Sandy struck the northeastern coast of the United States in 2012, New Jersey suffered unbelievable damage.  President Obama visited the area with Governor Christie, and promised federal aid.  A camaraderie crossing party lines found the Governor and the President joining in a combined effort to secure relief for the devastated citizens of New Jersey.

That was a cardinal sin for the extreme right.  How dare Christie give any type of approval to a black Democratic President?

From that day forward, Christie lost the support of many extremists in his party.  But he gained the respect of the American people.  His punishment was not being invited to the CPAC earlier this year.

The front runner early in 2013 is the new TEA Party standard bearer, and self-proclaimed libertarian, Rand Paul.  Numerous publicity stunts and unofficial campaign events have increased his popularity ratings.

Paul reminds me of Ronald Reagan.  I know most of you are not old enough to remember Reagan’s rise from actor to California Governor to President of the United States.  But I do.  I actually was present for a speech he made while running for the Governorship of California.

He had great advisors.  He was charismatic, and told us what we were begging to hear.

Reagan was a competent governor.  He was instrumental in solving many of the state’s problems.

When he was elected as President of the United States, he was adequate in the first two years of his initial term.  It was all downhill from there.  Reagan displayed his true colors.  He was pro-big business.  He was anti-labor.  He began what became the continuation of Republican economic policies of ‘trickle down economics’ which have proven to be a fantasy.  And he was as corrupt as most while he attempted to achieve his personal imperialistic goals with the Iran-Contra scandal.

Mr. Paul appears to be his clone.  He portrays himself as an advocate of the American people and as a protector of the Constitution.  My fear is that he is bought and paid for by the Koch brothers.

If he achieves the position of ultimate power, he will mirror the lack of principals of Ronald Reagan.  Big business will own America as it did during the Reagan and Bush administrations.

It may be early, but, in reality, the race for the 2016 White House has begun.

As far as I, and most of my fellow independents are concerned, so far we have “slim pickens.” Like it or not, the 2016 race for the White House is on!

James Turnage

The Guardian Express

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