644 Days Until the 2016 Presidential Election
(as of Tuesday, February 3, 2014)
it is that time again, folks. Presidential contenders for the 2016 election are coming out of the woodwork, at least on the Republican side. A whole bunch of Presidential wannabees showcased themselves at a recent Iowa sideshow.
Mostly conservatives bowed before the people, discretely but obviously (an oxymoron, I realize, but such is politics) imploring the devoted to seriously consider them to be their esteemed candidate, their banner-holder, their representative against the evils generated over the past six years, their 2016 Presidential candidate. It is imperative, they entreated the attendees, to elect a Republican to right what is wrong with the world – or at least with our country.
The lone not-really-a-Tea-Party-conservative present was the maverick from the Eastern (and usually politically blue) state of New Jersey, Chris Christie, attempting to convince right-wing Republicans he should be their man. He declared a too-far-right candidate would never win a Presidential election.
Other party stalwarts parading onstage included Gov. Scott Walker of Wisconsin, proud of his anti-teachers-union crusade, Rick Santorum (again), Senator Ted Cruz, exhorting members to prove their conservative leanings with action, Mike Huckabee (again), Rick Perry (again), and for a few laughs Donald Trump (again).
The moderate wing of the Republican Party was underrepresented, only Christie braving the conservative headwinds. Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney made sure they had other commitments.
Subsequently Romney bowed out of the race, graciously leaving the contest open for younger, more animated, vibrant, energetic, less-known candidates. Maybe Romney felt he was getting a bit too old to withstand the rigors of a Presidential campaign. After all, he will be 68 in March.
Jeb Bush, on the other hand, a top contender, is only 61. Rick Perry is 64 and Ben Carson a year younger, at 63 just two years away from Medicare eligibility. Huckabee is 59. Many are quite a bit younger – Chris Christie and Rand Paul are 52, Scott Walker is 47, Paul Ryan 45, Ted Cruz 44 and Marc Rubio 43. These guys, if not chosen in 2016, can be viable candidates remaining on our radar for years. Think four and eight years from now.
Not to slight the Democrats, Hillary Clinton is 67. No comment…
The path to the Oval Office passes through the door of wealthy donors. The greatest impediment for any political candidate for any office representing any political party is MONEY.
The Koch brothers, long-time Republican Party donors, announced their plan to contribute, along with a few of their multimillionaire and billionaire friends, $889 million dollars to the 2016 Presidential campaign.
To get an idea of their largesse, in 2012 the Republican National Committee and the two Congressional campaign committees spent $682 million on the elections.
The 2012 Presidential race cost $2 billion, and the total cost of the 2012 elections reached almost $7 billion, the first year corporations earned the right of free speech (thanks to the Supreme Court Citizens United decision), allowing undocumented millions to flood political coffers.
The 2014 elections – no Presidential race – cost $3.7 billion.
The rush for donor money is on. As soon as Romney announced he was out, the other aspirants immediately began knocking on the doors of Romney donors. The real contest, now and in the near future, is being played out behind closed donor doors.
The only prediction I can make is that none of the contenders will be knocking on my inadequately opulent, bourgeois, middle class door.