With Hamas Rockets falling on Israel, massive layoffs decimating America’s family’s finances, and Barack Obama demanding massive tax increases or he will drive us over the fiscal cliff, we cannot help but day- dream about four years from now. We dream of days when Barack Obama will finally be retired, and his ignorance of economics will no longer plague our homeland.
We don’t want to think about the pain of the present. Let’s focus on a better brighter future which is possible once the blight of Obama is gone. Who will step forward in 2016 and ask to lead America?
For the Democratic Party the answer is clear. Joe Biden has all but declared he will run again. Maybe this time he will have a leg up as the presumptive heir of the Obama legacy. But if our hunches are correct, it will be even harder to blame George W. Bush for the stagnant economy which is likely to persist.
Next on the Democratic team will be Hillary Clinton. She will still be in her 60’s and can still muster the energy for a run. She and Bill haven’t stopped dreaming about reclaiming their old house since the day they stepped out of it in January 2001.
On the Republican side, it is harder to read the tea leaves. The best place to start is with the losers to Mitt Romney in 2012.
We believe Senator Rick Santorum will return from the 2012 line-up. Santorum was a surprisingly strong finisher in Iowa, and he took an underfunded campaign and challenged Mitt Romney deep into the primary season. He rallied conservatives of all stripes. He is strong with social conservatives, economic conservatives and foreign policy conservatives. Plus, he has the benefit of an ongoing organization. Santorum is now traveling the country keeping his supporters engaged and involved.
After Santorum the most popular of the challengers was Ron Paul. Paul is likely too old, but he has a son in the United States Senate who could pick up his father’s mantel and libertarian leaning supporters. Senator Rand Paul went out of his way in 2012 to endorse Mitt Romney and travel coast to coast helping Republican candidates lower down the ticket. He has a savvy political team in place, and if he should run we believe he will do even better in the primaries than his father.
Another contender which merits close watching ran in 2008, but he skipped 2012. We are speaking of Governor Mike Huckabee. Still in the public eye because of his highly rated FOXNEWS TV show, Huckabee has stayed engaged in politics by helping dozens of candidates through HUCK Pac, his political action committee. Huckabee is tireless and travels making speeches relentlessly.
Huckabee also may have an advantage based on the issues. Mike Huckabee is an expert on Israel and Mideast politics. If Israel survives four more years of neglect by Barack Obama, it will likely be fighting for its life against the forces of radical Islam. If Iran gets nuclear weapons, they would be tempted to use them against Israel. Huckabee can speak with clarity and vision on the problems of this region, and he likely could help foster peace in the region.
Lastly, we don’t know if he will run, but he would make a great candidate, and that would be Senator Marco Rubio of Florida. Rubio is the Republican Party’s highest profile Hispanic leader. He is loved by the Tea Party, and he has a voting record which any conservative could love. Marco would have to give up seeing re-election to the US Senate run, but it is a possibility.
Dreaming of 2016 sure beats thinking about the ongoing slow motion wreck happening in Washington DC under the stewardship of Barack Obama. We hope the time passes quickly.
The Browns are bestselling authors and speakers. To comment on this column, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. Together they write a national weekly column distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate. Floyd is also president of the Western Center for Journalism.