Republicans and Conservatives: Be of Good Cheer
By Gregg Keller
Be of good cheer, Republicans and conservatives: the 2016 Presidential slate on our side is shaping up better than you might think. In fact, the list of potential Republican candidates for Commander in Chief stimulates every lobe of both the Republican and the conservative brain. And our reasons for optimism extend to what’s happening with the Democratic field, as well.
Surveying the Republican primary field, one must come to the conclusion that there’s something there for everyone. Searching for a northeasterner capable of energizing business-minded Republicans? I give you Chris Christie. If Gen-X rising stars are your thing, you go with Marco Rubio. Looking for a gubernatorial technocrat and policy wizard? Bobby Jindal. Pull the lever for Rand Paul if you’re a libertarian-leaning conservative. Culture warriors can choose between Rick Santorum and Mike Huckabee. Jeb Bush was a hugely popular big-state Governor with a great story to tell. Conservative true believers are in love with Ted Cruz. Romantics who love a good comeback story can run to Rick Perry, who’s enjoying a renaissance thanks to the bumbling of national Democrats.
If you’re a Republican or a conservative who can’t find someone in this field to like, I’d submit you can’t be pleased.
And what are the prospects for Democrats? I’d submit they aren’t as pretty as the culturally-ascendant Left would have you believe. They have a frontrunner 2 years ahead of Election Day who can’t go anywhere but down in terms of grassroots energy. She has inherent problems with her Party’s base that aren’t going to go away and that, laid bare, guarantee a legitimate challenge from her Left. But Hillary Clinton’s greatest limitations aren’t political: they’re personal. Politicians should be shrewd, calculating and smart. Hillary is certainly all of those things. But they also must have personal skills, be likable and charming. Barack Obama cut right to the heart of her problem in the 2008 debate when he called her “likeable enough.” And that’s her greatest limitation. I’m sorry, but Hillary Clinton just isn’t a good politician. That doesn’t mean she can’t win – she can, and she very well could. But Republicans and conservatives should enter the next Presidential cycle confident that their slate of candidates feature several who can go the distance.