It was only a few months ago that Barack Obama was sworn in for his second term but the party war machines are already springing into action with an eye towards 2016.
United States Presidential Election 2016
The State of the Union in 2013
It’s too early to tell whether the shrapnel from the recent political grenades will affect any early frontrunner for the Oval Office four years hence. The Benghazi disaster coupled with recent revelations that the IRS was targeting conservative political groups could in fact reverberate well into the next presidential campaign. It all depends on how deftly the party strategists can deflect any accountability or responsibility away from their candidate.
The bottom line is that as heinous as the Benghazi debacle was, that political fallout will be limited to whoever dropped the ball. The IRS scandal, on the other hand, gives credence to what many Americans have suspected to one degree or another. If your freedom of speech rankles the sensibilities of Big Brother then don’t be surprised if you, your business or your political entity gets a “random” audit. While Barack Obama would be highly vulnerable if he were to seek another term, the fact is he is out the door but will some of his allies be tainted by the stench of government overreach?
Let’s take a look at some of the favorites, courtesy of Paddypower.com, in our 2016 US Presidential betting odds.
Hillary Clinton (Democrat) 7/2
The former Secretary of State is the early chalk in the presidential race but will she be able to distance herself from Benghazi? She is a polarizing political figure to begin with and her advocates are as zealous as her detractors. She will need to soften her steely exterior if she is to woo the moderates on both sides of the aisle.
Paul Ryan (Republican) 8/1
Ryan was tapped by Mitt Romney to energize and humanize the Republican ticket but was either muzzled by the campaign managers or got stage fright on the campaign trail. He never caught fire and his weakening on conservative issues was far too tepid for moderates and considered hypocrisy by the Republican Party elders. He will need to buff up his image and pander to the middle if he is to gain any traction.
Marco Rubio (Republican) 10/1
As the son of Cuban immigrants, the charismatic Rubio has the political cache to be the lead attack dog on government abuse. His parents fled a repressive regime in Cuba which gave him the perfect canvas on which to paint the IRS as a despotic and arrogant government agency. He was well ahead of the president himself when he demanded the resignation of the IRS chief and invigorated his conservative base when he paralleled the scandals in Washington to Third World nations.
Slamming the IRS is something that even the most strident liberal can get behind so that will vault him into the thick of the presidential conversation. However, his anti-conservative stance on immigration could spell doom in the primaries even if it could be the key to a Republican victory in the general election.
Jeb Bush (Republican) 12/1
Are we sick enough of Obama and the Dems to welcome the Bush’s back to the White House? It's somthing to consider while researching your presidential picks. Can George’s brother rekindle the wave of patriotism exhibited after 911, the heroics of our first responders and the fire and fury of our military? Or is the specter of brother George simply too polarizing for him to be considered a real player on the presidential landscape? The Democrats will most certainly welcome a Republican attempt at Bush 3.0 but will the conservatives take the bait? Those questions and many remain to be answered.
Find US Presidential odds on these and the field of candidates at Paddypower.com