The facts, faces and hum of local politics with Steve Kraske and Dave Helling
White House 2016: Pins and needles without a point
04/04/2014 11:27 PM
04/04/2014 11:27 PM
Here we go again. Here comes the race for the White House 2016.
As a veteran political scribe, the thought has crossed my mind: What’s the point?
the point? The winner, almost certainly, will be vigorously, even angrily, opposed by 45 percent of the population.
Then what are we left with? No matter whom we elect, he/she won’t get along with the other side, and we won’t be able to fix the many problems facing the nation — the tax code, entitlements, national security and, of course, health care, health care, health care.
Take my hand and let’s run down the field together.
• Jeb Bush. Poor Jeb. The former Florida governor may be the Bush with the best shot at a successful presidency. But a recent poll showed that nearly half of all registered voters won’t back him for the presidency, thanks, no doubt, to his older brother’s eight years.
• Hillary Clinton. She’s riding high. But the second she announces, the golden sheen vanishes, and the right will point to Benghazi, Monica and even Whitewater. Those who consider her a shoo-in should think again.
• Gov. Chris Christie. Bridgegate will linger. Will Democrats ever trust him?
• Sen. Marco Rubio. The best shot at inheriting Barack Obama’s fresh-face mantle, but he’s awfully green and his “big defense at any cost” stance will drive Democrats nuts.
• Sen. Rand Paul. He’s a Paul, for gosh sakes, a libertarian trying to morph into a moderate. That’s a tough cross-dressing act.
• Joe Biden. He’s saddled with Obamacare and every misstep of his boss’s presidency. That won’t work for Republicans.
You get the idea. This is a field that lacks a shooting star in the image of Obama, who stormed the country as a new-generation pol without a long record to be dissected.
But his look has gone stale.
If a Republican wins, Democrats will want payback and will seek to undermine that new president with a vengeance. They will recount Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell’s infamous remark, taken somewhat out of context, that Obama should be a one-termer.
And if a Democrat wins, Republicans will replay the same “undermine the new leader at every turn” approach that proved so successful against Obama.
Yes, presidents set the tone and speak for the country. But when it comes to getting stuff done, these days you can’t help but wonder: What exactly is the point?