Don't spend a lot of time thinking about 2016 in 2015
One election is over, and another one is coming. The 2016 election will soon start taking shape as rumors and even some candidacy announcements are made in 2015.
Here is my suggestion: don't make a lot of bets about 2016 a year before we hold a caucus or primary.
Also, there is a lot of uncertainty in the air, as my friend Barry Casselman wrote this week:
On the Democratic side, there is an early and seemingly overwhelming favorite, Hillary Clinton, but she was similarly dominant in 2007-08, before being upset by Barack Obama. In 2015, Senator Elizabeth Warren seems to be mounting a growing campaign to replace Mrs. Clinton, and former Senator James Webb has now appeared for some serious media attention.
Should Mrs. Clinton surprise everyone by deciding not to run, the bats would be cleared from the liberal belfry, and a donnybrook would likely result. Serious candidates such as Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York could then possibly get in the race with former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer, California Governor Jerry Brown, Vice President Joe Biden and a parade of other wannabes.
The Republican contest is now an open field. Perhaps as many as a dozen or more conservative candidates could enter the race, including a few bats from their conservative belfry, but the early primaries and caucuses should narrow their number quickly to much fewer contenders.
By December, 2015, we will have long known whether or not Mitt Romney decided for another run, whether or not Jeb Bush’s surname is a help or hindrance, whether or not the New Jersey bridge incident still hurts Chris Christie, and whether or not Rand Paul is more than [a] niche candidate.
We will also know much more certainly whether or not there will be severe Obama “fatigue,” especially among independent voters.
There is too much up in the air, and I will not get consumed in the next election just yet.
On the GOP side, I continue to believe that a Midwesterner, such as Governor Walker or Kasich, would be a fresh face with a résumé of results. At the same time, the voters may be ready to give a second look to a Governor Romney. And there are Governor Bush, Governor Huckabee, and Governor Christie. And new governors in Illinois and Maryland who would be great choices for VP.
On the Democratic side, the base can't get excited about Clinton, no matter how big her lead is or the size of her campaign team. I'd keep an eye on a Governor Brian Schweitzer, a man with a populist message that may play well in various primaries.
My 2015 resolution is simple: let's focus on issues and sending bills to President Obama, from the Keystone Pipeline to repealing Obamacare.
I'm in no mood yet to worry about 2016! Let's address our nation's problems, and things will take care of themselves.
P.S. You can hear CANTO TALK here & follow me on Twitter @ scantojr.