Thoughts on Presidential Candidates For 2016


Recently, The Deseret New published “The 23 people most likely to run for president in 2016.” These are my initial reactions to the potential candidates who made their list.

For the Democrats:

Hillary Clinton: Remember this? http://abcnews.go.com/Politics/story?id=121856 I don’t think that Hillary should have a second chance to loot the White House. Of course when you consider that they were flat broke at the time? Nah… She fails the moral test. No.

Jim Webb: It concerns me that his background is extensively military and not softened by non-military related volunteer service or enterprise. In light of his graphic novels, 3 marriages (in itself that is not a disqualifier), and the 1979 article “Women Can’t Fight; I seriously question whether his attitude toward women is in the best interest of this country. In the biblical story of King David we are told that God would not let David build the temple because he was a man of war. Similarly, I think the warrior Jim Webb has a place but it is not the President of the United States. No.

Elizabeth Warren: Extremely intelligent, well-educated, good experience and she seems to be a good person. Her politics are too progressive for The Moral Middle and while I approve of some of the anti-bank things she is doing, I hate that she is seems to be lumping credit unions in with them. The big question though; is she running? The answer is apparently, “No.”

Joe Manchin: Very popular former Governor of West Virginia and currently a sitting Senator. Good variety of committee assignments and he seems to be willing to vote what he thinks is best rather than basing his actions on poll results or even worse being a party puppet. Refreshing common sense approach and he seems to have a moral sense of what is right and wrong. I am very interested in Senator Manchin’s candidacy. Yes.

Martin O’Malley: Photogenic, ambitious and boring. Sorry but he seems to be exactly what I would expect of a Democratic Governor of Maryland. A politician. No.

Joe Biden: The bumpkin as President? Sorry. He feigns a good heart. He has political experience. But is he presidential? No.

Currently an Independent:

Bernie Sanders: A Democrat Socialist who favors a Scandinavian-style democracy. While there is nothing wrong with Nordic socialism if you happen to reside in Scandinavia, it is not right for the USA. What would you do with the cowboys and descendants of the western pioneers? Both groups have a deeply engrained sense of self-reliance and a great distrust of the government. His views are too far left and not representative of our country as a whole. No.

For the Republicans:

Mike Huckabee: He has been out of actually governance for some time now. I rather like some of his politics but based on his comments during the previous presidential elections I wonder if he might be a religious bigot. Undecided.

Chris Christie: A loud and uncouth bully. Could Governor Christie ever come across as presidential? Maybe if he can ride a horse, lead a cavalry charge up a hill and shoot buffalo (which is now very incorrect politically speaking.) No.

Rick Perry: Governor of Texas. Too hawkish. (What is it with Texans?) I don’t think that he has a chance after his last failure in the 2012 Republican primaries. No.

Ted Cruz: Excellent academic preparation. His record as a lawyer has been exemplary. Ted Cruz has been a Senator for 2 years so he is still relying on his pre-senate experience as a foundation in federal politics. Glenn Beck loves him, but I think it is still a little premature to be talking about Senator Cruz for the top line on the ticket. His politics are divisively right wing. No.

Rand Paul: Junior Senator from Kentucky. I do like some of his ideas especially on immigration. In totality his right leaning positions make me a little unsure. It all seems just a bit too crazy to trust with the Presidency leaving the door open as a possible running mate? No.

Jeb Bush: The possibility of a Jeb Bush vs. Hillary Clinton election sort of makes me ill. Sorry, but I really can’t get past the name. No.

Ben Carson: I like a lot of his ideas, especially about health care. However, he has no experience in governance. I think that a major reason for President Obama having the problems that he has was attributable to lack of experience. Lets get Ben Carson in the Senate or a high profile political appointment and see how he does before we start talking President. No.

Bob Corker: A successful Senator but I haven’t found anything that really sets him apart or that makes him stand out. No.

Lindsey Graham: Good legislative experience in both the House and the Senate. Air Force Colonel in the Air National Guard is as close as he has come to running a large and complex organization. Perhaps because of his military service, he is a foreign policy hawk and interventionist. I don’t think that our country has fully recovered from the last one yet. No.

Bobby Jindal: Excellent education and work experience prior to entering politics. He first served in the House of Representatives and was then elected Governor of the state of Louisiana. These two positions together provide an excellent background for someone with presidential aspirations. I like his straight thinking line on radical Islam. His stances on health care and immigration reform are more conservative than I think necessary. He is definitely on the right side of the political spectrum. Never the less, I like Bobby Jindal and think that he has demonstrated the kind of preparation and lived the kind of life that I would expect of a candidate for President. Yes.

George Pataki: Former Governor of New York from 1995 until 2006. He has been practicing law since then. If he were to run and be successful he would be 71 years old when he entered the White House. I don’t think he will run. No.

Rick Scott: Governor of Florida since 2011. One of the most difficult problems facing our country right now is Health Care. With bipartisan support for modifying or “fixing” the Affordable Health Care Act currently under way, the last thing we need is to have a president that has made a career out of for-profit health care. That is the exact opposite direction that we need to move to. No.

Rick Santorum: Rick is a good man but he wears his beliefs on his sleeve and I think he would be unable to build consensus or be respected as the President. I would vote for him as National Chaplain were there such a position but I would prefer a better candidate for President. No.

Scott Walker: Governor of Wisconsin where he has been very successful in getting controversial laws passed. He has even faced a recall election. Aggressive, ideological and controversial, I would love to see him in the fray just for the entertainment. Yes.

Marco Rubio: A junior Senator from Florida with only four years of Federal experience. That seems a little pithy to be running for President. He is fiscally and socially in line with the conservative movement but strays from that line on immigration reform. Both he and his political stances might benefit from a little more experience. Might possibly like to see him as a running mate where he could continue to grow. Undecided.

Mitt Romney: He let his opponents define him in the last election and the people of this nation have a very wrong perception of him. He has lost twice. Nevertheless, he is a moral man with good skills. I am interested to see if he can overcome that inaccurate perception. Yes.

Having taken a quick look, what would I like to see? Possibly a redefined and energized Mitt Romney with Marco Rubio as his running mate? With Bobby Jindal and Scott Walker also sitting as good choices, the Republicans may end up with a viable candidate this time around.

On the other side of the election, I would very much like to see Joe Manchin win the nomination for the Democrats. (Is that even realistic?) Whatever happens, it appears to be shaping up to be an interesting election cycle. Let the entertainment begin.

Samuel Waen Jensen

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About Waen

Educated through Golden Gate University's MPA program and previously employed in Human Resources by the Federal Government and Higher Education, Waen is now retired from working 8 to 5 and is writing about Politics, Life and a little Religion.
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