Now that the presidential race is over, it’s time to take a break from presidential politics. Just kidding. If we did that, The Daily Caller would be out of business. Here are 13 potential Republican contenders for 2016 (in no particular order):
1.) Marco Rubio — Considering the GOP just lost the Hispanic vote by a very large margin, Rubio is suddenly an even more appealing potential 2016 presidential contender than he already was due to his Cuban-American heritage. Many wanted Romney to pick the first term Florida senator as his running mate. Rubio is arguably the most exciting Republican politician on the national stage today, able to give speeches that are as electrifying as they are inspiring. But there are concerns that he may have been more enmeshed in a Florida Republican Party ethics scandal than people know, even if a complaint against him was tossed out by the Florida Ethics Commission in July.
2.) Chris Christie — The bombastic New Jersey governor rebuffed an effort by Republican donors and commentators to get him to run for president this cycle, saying he wasn’t yet ready. But in 2016, he just may be. Christie is most popular for boldly taking on the budget problems in his state, as well as his YouTube videos confronting questioners in New Jersey about the necessity to make hard decisions, which have attracted millions of views. But Christie has recently taken heat from Republicans for the effusive praise he heaped on President Obama for his leadership during Hurricane Sandy in the waning days of the presidential race. Nonetheless, he has to be considered a very real contender for 2016, especially if he wins a second term as governor next year.
3.) Jeb Bush — In a country of 300 million people, you would think that there would be plenty of serious presidential contenders, but it seems we keep going back to the Bushes. Considered a serious man and a policy wonk, Jeb has also been talking about the need for the GOP to do a better job reaching out to Hispanics for a very long time — his wife was born in Mexico. Jeb’s downside is his last name: George W. Bush still isn’t Mr. Popular nationally and there is a natural reticence to electing the third member of the same family as president in less than three decades. But watch out: Jeb could be for real.
4.) Rand Paul — Paul could carry on the legacy of his father, Ron Paul, by making a run in 2016. But though the Kentucky senator seemingly shares many of his father’s views, he packages them in a more palatable way and is seemingly more interested in working inside the Republican Party. Just as an example: While Ron Paul refused to endorse Romney, Rand did after his father dropped out of the race.