2016 GOP Dream Team To Drop All Jaws
OnTheIssues.com provides many links to quotes and voting records on abortion, going back a ways. That site also of course gives links to all the issues and quotes by the potential candidates. Some of those not actually listed on that page have links at the top of the page (Christie is an example).
Other good reference links include RealClearPolitics.com, with its running compilation of polls and "rankings."
BallotPedia.com is an excellent source "to learn more about a potential candidate's views on running, key states visited, fundraisers attended and campaign issues."
Here's a January 2015 candidate assessment from The Washington Examiner that's actually more reasoned and level-headed than I expect from that publication.
This is TheHill.com's Thanksgiving 2014 snapshot of 13 of the potential candidates.And BusinessInsider.com published this handicapping list September 2014.
This is not an exhaustive list of assessment articles, by any stretch. Just a first stab.
As a first pass (i.e., ignoring pro-life/abortion issue completely), those I'm taking seriously are former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan (brilliant mind financially but has already taken himself out of Presidential contention), Florida Senator Marco Rubio, Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal, former Secretary of State Condi Rice, Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, neurosurgeon Ben Carson, among others.
Although several of them are more moderate on some issues than I'd like, there is something about each of them that resonates. I used to think that way about Christie, too, although his "brashness" I'd prefer to be more "toughness," a la Reagan.
I love New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez and former Florida Congressman Allen West, and I like Carly Fiorina, but none of them for President, at least not yet.
Not so much Kentucky Senator Rand Paul (I like former congressman Artur Davis', a Democrat-turned-Republican, ideas better), Chris Christie (even if the Justice Department—"so far"—plus a state investigative committee "headed by partisan Democrats" have found no culpability in BridgeGate), Texas Senator Ted Cruz (seriously, he is no rockstar except of course in Texas and surely we don't need another perceived "rockstar" in the WH?), Mitt Romney (3rd time's not the charm; the ship has sailed), Mike Huckabee, Newt Gingrich, Lindsey Graham (much the same reasons: they're too much of the OLD in the G.O.P.)
Don't yet know much about Ohio Governor John Kasich, Texas Governor Rick Perry (not another Texas Governor?) or remember much about former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum.
Several articles indicate that Jeb Bush might be the right one. The Wall Street Journal cites as one compelling reason, the fact that he is "heir to a vaunted network of Republican contributors built over his family’s two presidencies, his own governorship and other campaigns. It is one of the most formidable assets in GOP politics..." The New York Daily News said that "A Jeb Bush-Rob Portman ticket could be the worst-case scenario for a Hillary Clinton presidential campaign, a close Clinton adviser [Harold Ickes] said Friday."
And as Carl Hiassen of The Miami Herald wrote, speaking to Hillary,
"You can't really slam him just for being another Bush without getting slammed yourself for just being another Clinton. The fact that Bill is dear friends with Jeb's dad, the elder George, also complicates that formula. Nor can you slop any blame on Jeb for invading Iraq because that was his brother's call--and you voted for it yourself as a Senator. You totally fell for all that crap about weapons of mass destruction. So scratch Bush fatigue off the list of campaign issues. Ditto for Iraq."A Naples Daily News (Florida) article quoted local politicians who had worked with Jeb Bush, as saying
"He's one of those few people who runs for office who has both the intellectual ability to figure things out, but also the emotional and the people skills to hold together a lot of factions that are really tough to hold together."Last March, The Washington Post ran this quote, "'Jeb has the capacity to bring the party together,' said Fred Malek, a top Republican official who said he has been in regular contact with Bush."
State Sen. Garrett Richter and former Rep. Dudley Goodlette also said they are 100 percent in the Bush camp. "I know Jeb to be a person of principle. I know Jeb to be a leader. And I know Jeb to have a strong interest in and acumen for policy," said Goodlette, who served eight years in the Florida House during Bush’s governorship. "I really believe that’s what this country needs."
The International Business Times writes how Rubio won't run if Jeb Bush does, for sound reasons present and future.
Like it or not, both parties have their uber-rich, enormously influential money donors. The Democrats have George Soros at the top of their heap. The Republicans have the Koch Brothers at the top of theirs. Same song, just two verses. And like it or not, it is a prerequisite for running for President of the United States.
I am not sure I was at first keen on another Bush, though the first two were in many ways unlike each other. Several articles have indicated Jeb is even more unlike them, more moderate (not necessarily to my taste), but for the sake of argument, for now, let's look at what it might be if he would be a good enough leader to put him there.
What I'd love to see is them all getting together, even if by teleconference, and hashing out a scenario where realism about winning the Presidency--about trying to really fix what's been turned wrong about this country--takes the utmost precedence. I'd love to see the best of the best of them recruited into a powerful team, to create the most potently smart and effective White House Cabinet, perhaps ever.
Imagine the nationwide sound of jaws dropping you'd hear for this:President: Jeb Bush Vice President: Susana Martinez
Secretary of State: Condi Rice or Rob Portman
Secretary of the Treasury: Paul Ryan
Secretary of Defense: Eric Edelman
Attorney General: Kelly Ayotte
Secretary of Commerce: Scott Walker or Mitt Romney
Secretary of Labor: Chris Christie
Secretary of Health and Human Services: Dr. Ben Carson
Secretary of Housing and Urban Development: Nikki Haley
Secretary of Transportation: John Kasich
Secretary of Energy: Bobby Jindal
Secretary of Education: Carly Fiorina or Louisiana State Senator Elbert Lee Guillory
Secretary of Veterans Affairs: Lt. Colonel Allan West (US Army, Ret)
Secretary of Homeland Security: Marco Rubio or Rick Santorum
Secretary of the Interior: Ted Cruz or Sarah Palin
Secretary of Agriculture: Chuck Conner, President/CEO, National Council of Farmer Cooperatives; former deputy secretary of Agriculture under George W. Bush
Imagine presenting that as The "Grand New Party" Ticket to the nation?
Almost everyone's favorite horse is there, in the White House, making the difference for all Americans, where they can best do so.
Imagine that: Five or six women. Three people of Hispanic descent. Three, possibly four African-Americans. Four persons born of immigrant parents (two Indian, two Cuban).
Naïve? Simplistic? Too many big egos wouldn't settle for cabinet posts? Perhaps. But I believe it would prove the Republicans are truly serious about getting progress done, this time.
I can see the mainstream media stunned into silence over that line-up. Even they would have to admit it was impressive to get all those big dogs, working on the same team, at that highest level of our national government.
So, Republican contenders, what do you say? Give this country a real Dream Team, and let's stop just talking about righting the ship, and get to work.