The Hill has their list of 13 Republicans most likely to be nominees for the Republican presidential nomination for 2016 (see 13 Republicans most likely to win WH). I don’t agree with some of their choices but it makes for interesting speculation.
Thirteen — an interesting number. Why not 12 or 14?
They’ve divided their choices into categories beginning with The Big Three: Jeb Bush, Chris Christie, and Rand Paul. The first two — Bush and Christie — have been governors and history has proven that governors make good presidents. When’s the last time a senator became president? Bush and Christie would be good choices. There are a number of reasons why Paul would not fit into the governing category for the GOP.
[Editor’s note: Perhaps I should have better worded the question, “When’s the last time a senator became president?” since it was pointed out that Barack Obama was a senator. True, but he was the exception. I should have better phrased the comment.]
The Hill’s second category is the Conservative Gunners: Mike Huckabee and Ted Cruz. Neither could pull enough supporters from all factions to make it into the White House.
The Second Tier has Marco Rubio and Scott Walker. Either could possibly be a contender although Walker would have the edge because he is a governor.
The two in the Needs a Miracle category would, indeed, need more broad base appeal: Rick Perry, long-time Texas governor (and, yes, I realize Austin-based GOP digital adviser and former Virginia blogger Vince Harris has worked with him quite a bit but even Vince couldn’t pull Perry over the presidential line, in my opinion), and Ben Carson who doesn’t have a chance in the high stakes world of D.C. politics.
Waiting in the Wings has Mike Pence, Bobby Jindal, Rob Portman, and John Kasich. I’ve always like Kasich for his common sense governing style so it would be interesting to see who claws his way to the top in this group.
The Hill could have rounded out the number to 14 by including Mitt Romney, someone many have hoped would throw his hat in the race even though he has responded over and over that he is not interested. Perhaps it is a sign that some in the media have taken him at his word.
The last senator to become president was Barack Obama.
True, but not generally the norm.
Governors in the past have generally made good presidents because they have a certain level of executive experience governing a state. In some ways that prepares them for the job of working with a legislature as an executive head. But given the complexity of national security and foreign affairs right now, the normal equation might be changing.
Somebody who has served as both a governor and also in the House or Senate with some credible foreign affairs and national security experience might be more suited to the presidency than somebody with just one experience and skills set.
Of the governors, Jeb Bush, though he never served in Congress, at least has proximity through his family ties to foreign affairs. He can easily tap into a network of foreign affairs and national security expertise. John Kasich and of course Rob Portman also have some street cred for that.
I pretty much agree with the rest of your assessments.