So much attention has been paid to the concept that Hillary Clinton, Joe Biden, and Jeb Bush will run for President, but what if none of these three career politicians choose to run?
There are some hints that Hillary will not run, and there has been concern about her health, her age, and whether she wants to go through the “hell” of running for President, knowing that she is soon to be a grandmother, and will be in her 70s nine months into her Presidency. There seems to be the belief that she wants to be President, but does not relish running for the job. The vicious attacks have begun anew, as when she was First Lady, and she could have more leisure time, and make more money by writing more books, doing more lectures, and being a “statesman”, instead of being a politician.
The problems to be faced by the next President in domestic and foreign affairs are overwhelming, and cannot make her feel that there will be any sense of peace or tranquility, with the total chasm between the Democratic and Republican Parties. And despite lack of criticism openly by the Left in the Democratic Party, many would rather see Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, or Governor Martin O’Malley of Maryland, running as fresh faces. Some even imagine Socialist Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont as an alternative, although both he and Warren are not good on the age factor, with Sanders in his 70s, and Warren entering it late in the next term of the Presidency.
Vice President Joe Biden faces the same situation–age and health issues, and the desire to spend more time with his family, with him reaching the age of 74 shortly after the next Presidential election. Biden loves his job, but is he, maybe, having second thoughts as well about the challenges ahead, and after 44 years of public service, it would not be surprising if he decided not to run.
Jeb Bush is being promoted by his brother, George W. Bush, and his dad, George H. W. Bush, while his mother, Barbara Bush, advises against his running for President. Jeb has a quandary, as the “establishment” in the party wants him, as Chris Christie flounders with his scandal in New Jersey, but it is clear that he has strong doubts, as to the wisdom of running, and facing vehement opposition from the Tea Party Movement and others in the right wing dominated GOP, that it would be a tough battle to win the nomination, and he is behind, even in Florida, to Hillary Clinton. Also, remember that Jeb has not been public office for ten years by 2016, and will not have faced a campaign since 2002, by 2016, and his experience does not come anywhere near that of Hillary and Joe.
But the question arises, what happens if these three “leaders” do not run for President? Who would benefit, come out of the shadows, and become the new John F. Kennedy, Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, or Barack Obama for the Democrats (all not considered front runners in the second year of the Presidential term before they were elected)? And who would become the man able to demonstrate the experience and ability of Richard Nixon, George H. W. Bush, Bob Dole, and John McCain, which led the GOP to pick people with foreign policy expertise as their candidates (even if Dole and McCain did not win the White House)?
Would another woman be likely to run if Hillary did not run, and to have a real chance to win–such as Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, Kirsten Gillibrand of New York, or Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota? Or would a Northeastern Governor, such as Martin O’Malley of Maryland or Andrew Cuomo of New York be the best bet? Or would another African American Senator, Cory Booker, be the way to go? Or would the Democratic Party go to the moderate center, and pick Senator Mark Warner of Virginia, or go out to the Mountain West and pick former Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer? Or could Senator Bernie Sanders of Vermont really have a chance to be the nominee?
For the Republicans, would former Utah Governor and Ambassador to China Jon Huntsman, easily the most qualified in foreign policy and effective in domestic matters while governing Utah, be able to gain “establishment” support, and overcome the Right Wing extremism of the Tea Party Movement? Or would the party go to a Governor Scott Walker of Wisconsin, or John Kasich of Ohio, or Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, or Rick Perry of Texas? Or would they go for the newcomers in the Senate–Ted Cruz of Texas, Rand Paul of Kentucky, Marco Rubio of Florida, or go for 2012 Vice Presidential nominee, Congressman Paul Ryan of Wisconsin?
The reality is that IF Hillary, Joe, and Jeb were to choose not to run, the 2016 Presidential campaign would be wide open, and probably chaotic, path breaking, and historic, and no one could possibly predict the ultimate outcome!