What’s Left, Being Right: Looking Ahead: 2016 Presidential Race

What's Left, Being Right: Looking Ahead: 2016 Presidential Race

Erica Borsack & Briance Challenger, Maroon-News Staff

What’s Left

Ready For Hillary

A week ago, Senator Ted Cruz kicked off the 2016 Presidential race. Cruz is going to face harsh competitors, including Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky, who has plans to announce on April 7, and Senator Marco Rubio, who has plans to announce on April 13. Both former Governor Jeb Bush and Governor Chris Christie of New Jersey haven’t indicated when they will announce their bid for the Republican nomination, and finally, former CEO of Hewlett-Packard, Carly Fiorina, who just recently announced that there is a higher than 90 percent chance that she will run. On the other side of the aisle, there is really only one clear candidate: former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who is planning to announce by the end of April. Former Maryland Governor. Martin O’Malley is rumored to challenge the former secretary.

In regard to the 2016 Presidential race, there are two people whose participation I don’t understand. The first is Cruz. Cruz is the most conservative candidate in the race. In his announcement speech he talked about getting rid of the IRS and Obamacare. Getting rid of the IRS would create chaos in the U.S., and getting rid of Obamacare would take healthcare away from millions of people. Not to mention, after harsh criticism of Obamacare, Cruz signed himself and his family up for the healthcare plan. I don’t see how contradictory behavior is a good characteristic for a president.

The second candidate who I don’t believe should be running is Carly Fiorina. While she is a successful businesswoman, she doesn’t have any political experience. She ran for U.S. Senate in 2010 and lost to Senator Barbara Boxer. Aside from losing the race, she lost millions of dollars of her own money campaigning. I believe this is exactly what is going to happen again, should she officially announce her bid for the Republican nomination for president.  She has the least amount of political experience and exposure in comparison to her Republican competitors. Not to mention, even if she does get the Republican nomination, she will most likely be facing Clinton in the general election. Support for a female president has been behind Clinton since 2013. If the general election were Fiorina versus Clinton, Clinton would win in a landslide. 

Clinton is clearly the frontrunner for the Democratic nomination. Not only does she have the political experience – U.S. Senator and Secretary of State – to qualify her to become the first female President of the United States, but she also has the passion and leadership to inspire young women around the country and world to “break the glass ceiling.” As a feminist, I think having more than one female candidate run for the presidency is a good thing, and something I look forward to in the future. I look forward to the presidential debates in which there are more women participating than men. That being said, I don’t think Carly Fiorina has the political experience to take on the role of challenging a political powerhouse like Clinton. 

Come November, I hope history is made and the United States elects its first female president. I believe that the 2016 election is going to be one of the more interesting elections, especially when the Bush-Clinton family rivalry is sure to resurface. I think America is “Ready For Hillary.” It’s about time we had a female president.

Being Right

The GOP Pick

The presidential election is only a year and a half away which means that, of course, it is the only thing anyone can talk about. The presumed Democratic candidate is Hillary Clinton. She is widely believed to be the only democrat with enough allure to unite a fracturing party. Many democrats are unhappy with the idea of an unchallenged nominee; it deprives the party of a vigorous debate on its values and Clinton’s ideas are far from universal. Elizabeth Warren – another possible candidate – has repeatedly and strongly claimed that she is not going to run. The other possible candidate is Martin O’Malley. O’Malley is a popular former governor of Maryland, and he made the news recently saying, “the presidency is not some crown to be passed between families,” obviously referring to the Clinton and Bush political dynasties. But very few people are going to take a Hillary challenger seriously; the assumption that she is going to be the nominee makes it extremely difficult for any challenger to garner enough support.

So, Clinton is almost definitely going to be the Democratic nominee. The Republican race, on the other hand, is more crowded. The Republican Party has a lineup of rising stars, each with very loyal fans, who are gunning for the nomination. The frontrunner is Jeb Bush. He is a former governor of Florida and a member of the well-known Bush family. His last name is one of his biggest strengths and weaknesses. Regardless of his policy, there are many people who just don’t want to elect another Bush – his brother’s eight years in office are still too recent to be forgotten. But he is a centrist Republican who has managed to garner support from the establishment, as well as pro-gay, pro-choice, pro-immigration Republicans. Moderates see him as someone who can reach beyond the base and appeal to the nation. His fund-raising backs this up as he has massively out-fundraised any other potential candidate – one of the major benefits of being a Bush. 

But far too many are still unsure about him to call him anything close to a lock. Rand Paul is set to announce his candidacy next week in Louisville. The current Kentucky senator is a significantly more legitimate version of his father. He represents the libertarian wing of the Republican Party and has massive support among younger republicans. His father was known as a political gadfly; he ran every election in order to get a platform for his extremely libertarian views but no one took his candidacy seriously. Rand Paul has shown that he has greater ambitions. His brand of libertarianism is more tempered than his father’s – more palatable and acceptable to the general public. For example, he doesn’t advocate a return to the gold standard. He has also made an effort to reach out to minorities, which are traditionally not the Republican Party’s biggest supporters. Ted Cruz has already declared his candidacy and seems ready to step into Rand’s father’s shoes as the candidate who is there for attention. An ultra conservative firebrand with almost no political sense, him becoming the nominee would be a disaster for both the party and the country.  

Marco Rubio, the current senator of Florida, is tentatively set to announce next week. The son of Cuban immigrants who fled communism in the ’50s, he has become one of the Republican Party’s rising stars but is going to enter the race as an underdog. He is a relative moderate who has shown a willingness to reach across the aisle. As the son of a bartender and hotel maid, he is a powerful voice against the narrative that the Republican Party is only for rich, white males. But he draws support from the same groups as Bush – one of his former mentors – and may have a hard time fundraising. This combined with his relatively small national profile makes him an underdog but one to watch.