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Who’s Got the Mojo to Win in 2016?

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7. New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie

Chris Christie is arguably more popular nationally than ever. In the wake of a natural disaster, he did what leaders are supposed to do — he put politics aside, worked across the aisle, and focused on getting things back to normal for the people in his state. Whatever you think about Christie’s positions on unions, education and women’s rights, you have to respect his willingness to work with and praise President Obama.

Still, that willingness to work with Obama is a big problem for Christie. Republicans are still struggling with Obama’s victory, and Hurricane Sandy’s impact is considered a factor in that. More than a few Republicans see Christie as a Benedict Arnold, whose kind words for Obama’s leadership helped the Kenyan Muslim Usurper win the presidency. For those voters, Christie committed an unforgivable sin.

Of course, Christie’s base is with the hacks, not the true believers. The political operatives in the GOP know full well that Christie helped himself with swing voters, and they will cut Christie some slack. Because of that, Christie still has a reasonable shot at the nomination. Of course, all this presupposes that he beats Cory Booker in 2013; if he loses, he’s probably done, at least for the 2016 cycle.

8. Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell

Bob McDonnell has made no secret of his lust for power. He was willing to reverse course on abortion restrictions to make himself a more palatable VP candidate, and he’s mentioned often as a GOP player for 2016.

That said, McDonnell earned the nickname “Vaginal Probe Bob,” and he’s unlikely to shake it. That’s not a big problem for the GOP, but it will hurt his chances of winning in the general. More than that, McDonnell simply lacks a strong argument for GOP support; he’s the early favorite to be the Tim Pawlenty of 2016.



9. Texas Gov. Rick Perry

Perry’s implosion in 2012 was truly an awesome thing to behold. Perry went from front-runner to national punchline in a matter of months. He was rambling, incoherent, and…uh…I forgot the third thing. Oops.

Still, Perry hasn’t totally given up on the idea of running for president again, and his camp has been blaming drugs he took to manage pain from back surgery for Perry’s decidedly uneven performance.

It’s hard to imagine Perry making a comeback, but interestingly, the thing that really did in his candidacy — his support for the DREAM Act — is something that could be a feature, not a bug, in 2016. Is it possible Perry could return? Well, it will take luck, money, and…er….



10. Sen.-elect Ted Cruz, R-Texas

Ted Cruz has already begun to be touted as a 2016 candidate, for much the same reason as Marco Rubio — he’s Latino, and the GOP needs to win over Latinos. Unlike Rubio, however, Cruz has not yet learned to moderate his positions to win over a broad swath of the electorate. He’s from Texas, and he’s a Republican — he hasn’t had to.

It’s a bit early for Cruz to be contemplating a run, and I doubt he jumps in if Rubio runs.




11. Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin

Finally, we come to the Rogue herself. Sarah Palin makes the list simply to allow me to say this: Sarah Palin shouldn’t be on anyone’s list. She didn’t run in 2008, when she had every opportunity to. That was her best chance. With every passing day, Palin becomes less of a political figure and more of a joke. It’s pretty clear that Palin has decided that she’s better off cashing in on her 15 minutes of fame, rather than seeking higher office. I encourage her in this — because the country is better off, too.

Palin will not run. If she does run, she will not get the nomination. You can take that to the bank.




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1:21PM PDT on Mar 11, 2014

Hillary in 2016!!!!!

6:46PM PST on Jan 25, 2013

DLC? Maybe you all know what it stands for, but after the second time you tossed it around I had to do a web search to figure out that you were probably talking about the centrist Democratic Leadership Council in reference to Cuomo. But I'm still not sure. Did you mean Cuomo's "downloadable content" (by far the most hits) style of governance? Disability Law Center? Dragonlance Chronicles? Democrats for the Leisure Class? All go by the acronym DLC. Back in the day, we followed the AP Stylebook. One cardinal rule: always spell out an organization on first reference, and save the acronym for subsequent uses. You take away from the flow of a good piece when you send your reader off to explore the web.

4:53AM PST on Jan 25, 2013

None are suitable.

5:30AM PST on Nov 28, 2012

Joe is a joke....literally.
Hilary is a COWard. She takes responsibility for the failure of Benghazi and then disappears, avoiding any questions before congress about that failure. Why didn't SHE make the rounds on news shows explaining Benghazi instead of Rice, who obama admitted knew squat about it???? Powell and Condi Rice were pretty busy people, yet THEY found time to do news programs to answer for and explain policies and actions.
Warren is another ideological professor ( much like obama) who knows nothing about the real world, the free market economy and job creation.

2:34PM PST on Nov 25, 2012

This is the clearest, most comprehensive list of possible 2016 candidates I've ever seen. It's bookmarked on my computer- job well done!

7:00PM PST on Nov 19, 2012

I would have voted for Hilary Clinton in 2008 if she had won the Democratic nomination then. I would vote for her in 2016. She is clearly the most qualified candidate for the job. I can't believe any person with a brain in their head would vote for Palin. But then again, there are candidates in the Senate who don't believe in "science" who somehow were voted in.

I wouldn't vote for Joe Biden because he was wishy washy about what to do with Bin Laden. He wanted to" wait and see". That is no way to deal with a sworn enemy of the U.S.. Thank God President Obama stepped up to the plate and declared him "wanted dead or alive no matter what" .

11:06AM PST on Nov 19, 2012

I think that Hillary should run. She would at least be respected by the other countries we deal with and she knows what the job entails.

9:03AM PST on Nov 19, 2012

I'll be watching Elzabeth Warren these next few years, hoping someone of her brains and ethics becomes a shining star in the Senate, connecting with people emotionally and through her ability to get the right things done.

For all Clinton's talents, she leaves me cold as a person, and I know I'm not the only one. I have warmer feelings for Sherrod Brown and Biden, but he's gaffe-prone.

12:15AM PST on Nov 19, 2012


10:21PM PST on Nov 18, 2012

Just thought if America elected a woman president, would her husband be referred to as "The Fist man?" lol!

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