TheDC’s Jamie Weinstein: 12 possible 2016 Democratic presidential contenders
With only 1,456 days until Election Day 2016, the Democratic presidential primary is already heating up. Well, not quite. But the talk has at least begun. Last week, The Daily Caller previewed 13 potential GOP contenders for 2016. Here are 12 potential Democratic contenders (in no particular order):
1.) Hillary Clinton — It was supposed to be hers in 2008, but Barack Obama came from nowhere to rip the nomination from her hands. Now Clinton stands as arguably the most popular member of Obama’s administration (we’ll see if the Benghazi investigations tarnish her reputation). A poll taken after last Tuesday’s presidential election gives Hillary a decisive edge in Iowa, though if early polls meant a lot, a Nexis search for “President Giuliani” would yield many more results than it does. Or a search for “President Hillary Clinton,” for that matter.
2.) Joe Biden — You can thank President Obama for this one. Had President Obama not picked Joe to be his running mate, he probably would not likely be in serious consideration for 2016, especially when you take into account his pitiful 2008 showing. But since he is the sitting vice president, he is by default a contender if he wants to be. Among the things that go against him: If elected in 2016, he would the oldest president elected to either a first or even a second term in American history. Ronald Reagan, currently the oldest president ever elected in American history, was three months shy of his 74th birthday when he was re-elected in 1984. Biden would be just a few weeks shy of 74 if elected in 2016.
3.) Cory Booker — The Newark mayor is something of a rock star. Seemingly a fairly moderate Democrat, Booker has become a master of social media. His constituents tweet problems at him, and he often responds to the tweets by personally solving the problems. During Hurricane Sandy, he even offered one fellow tweeter the use of his house, which had just gotten electricity. In April, he saved a constituent from a burning house, suffering smoke inhalation and a second degree burn on his hand in the process. Interestingly, while completing his Rhodes Scholarship at Oxford, Booker, who is Christian, served as president of the Chabad organization there. He also angered the Obama campaign when he defended Romney’s role in private equity on national television during the presidential campaign. There is some speculation he could run for governor against Chris Christie next year, but even if he does, 2016 may be a bit too early for the 43-year-old mayor to run. But who knows?
4.) Mark Warner — If 2012 taught us that the American electorate hates rich, old white men, then Mark Warner’s presidential prospects aren’t particularly luminous. The Virginia senator made a fortune in the telecommunications industry before being elected Virginia governor in 2001. People thought Warner, who has positioned himself as a moderate, was going to run for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008, but he opted to run for the Senate instead.
5.) Andrew Cuomo — The New York governor fared well in PPP’s post-election poll of Iowa, coming in third place, behind Clinton and Biden. But political guru Larry Sabato recently told a blog that covers New York state politics that he couldn’t see Cuomo, who served as secretary of Housing and Urban development under Bill Clinton, running if Hillary gets in the race. “You can’t imagine him being a credible candidate if Hillary Clinton is in the race,” Sabato said. “I just can’t imagine two major figures from New York running against one another. And Hillary would obviously have the leading role.”
6.) Elizabeth Warren — The new senator from Massachusetts is a favorite among “progressives” (read: the far-left). Though she would only be on her fourth year in federal elective office by the time Election Day 2016 rolls around, there was another candidate who was in a similar situation recently. His name is Barack Obama. It turned out okay for him.
7.) Brian Schweitzer — Brash, bombastic and somewhat cartoonish, the soon-to-be-former Montana governor is often mentioned as a 2016 contender. During an interview in the midst of the presidential race, the classy governor used the term “polygamy” seven times when talking about Mitt Romney, noting that women won’t like that Romney’s “family came from a polygamy commune in Mexico,” because women are “not great fans of polygamy.” If you’re looking for a candidate to elevate the conversation, he may not be it.
8.) Deval Patrick –– The two-term governor of Massachusetts is sometimes mentioned as a potential 2016 contender, though he did say he had no intention of launching a presidential bid in 2016. Of course, you can’t really trust such denials from politicians. But Massachusetts politicians don’t have a great record when it comes to seeking the presidency, at least since John F. Kennedy was elected president — just ask Mitt Romney, John Kerry, Michael Dukakis and Ted Kennedy.
9.) Amy Klobuchar — The Minnesota senator doesn’t exactly have a national profile, but she is apparently going through the early motions of a contender. During the Democratic National Convention, for instance, she met with the Iowa delegation — a typical move for a politician considering a run. “I can see Iowa from my porch!” she said, trying to endear herself to the crowd by lampooning Sarah Palin.
10.) Martin O’Malley — The Maryland governor is widely believed to be interested in a run. A prominent surrogate for President Obama’s re-election campaign, he (in)famously admitted during one interview that Americans are not better off today then they were four years ago. Not surprisingly, the next time he appeared on air, he sang a different tune.
11.) Kirsten Gillibrand — The New York senator has been mentioned as a potential 2016 Democratic contender, but you would have to think she is the third option … in New York! Her profile is certainly not as big as her fellow New Yorkers, Clinton and Cuomo. That’s not exactly a great position to be in.
12.) Antonio Villaraigosa — The Los Angeles mayor is the most prominent Hispanic considered a possible 2016 presidential contender for the Democrats at the moment — though some might point to the very young mayor of San Antonio who gave a stirring keynote address at the Democratic National Convention, Julian Castro. This cycle, Villaraigosa served as chair of the Democratic National Convention, where he ludicrously ruled that a last-minute amendment to the Democratic platform putting God and Jerusalem back in passed by voice vote on the floor, despite all audial evidence. Watch the awkward spectacle below for yourself: