Please God, help Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush become the GOP nominees in 2016.
Hillary Clinton has already been praying for this matchup and most Democrats would love to see another Romney campaign. In fact, it doesn't matter who is president or vice president on this potential merger of dynastic conservative families. The two names are interchangeable, and whether or not Bush or Romney get the GOP nomination for president, both men on the same ticket might ensure that a Democrat ends up in the White House.
While liberals might scoff at the notion that another Bush should be anywhere near the Oval Office, 59 percent of Republicans would like Romney to run again while 50 percent of Republicans favor Jeb Bush. According to POLITICO, both Romney and Bush top the list of GOP hopefuls in 2016. However, why would conservatives want Romney to run for a third time? Why would they want another Bush in the White House?
First, the popular vote was close in 2012, with Obama gaining 50.1 percent of the vote to Romney's 48.4 percent. However, the Electoral College is far more important than the popular vote and Hillary Clinton matches up well with Mitt Romney. A USA Today article titled Romney would now beat Obama explains why even though Mr. 47 percent might beat Obama today, he'd still lose against Clinton:
It looks like some people are having second thoughts about their presidential vote in 2012.
A new CNN/ORC International Poll says that, if the 2012 election where held today, Republican candidate Mitt Romney would defeat President Obama in the popular vote by 53%-44%.
... The new poll probably says more about Obama than Romney -- it also shows that the Republican would lose a theoretical 2016 match-up to Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton, by a margin of 55%-42%.
So, one poll states Republicans today would beat Obama handily in the popular vote, but still lose to Hillary Clinton. This doesn't seem like a rousing endorsement for a politician who's already lost twice.
Then why are they fixated on Romney?
Presidential elections are typically about a pendulum swing. A view among many at the conference (aptly titled "The Future of American Leadership") was the perception of too much rampant incompetence for too long--by both parties. Peggy Noonan echoed this sentiment in a recent column for the Wall Street Journal: "Americans hate incompetence"... and "they've seen it now from two administrations."
...Call Mitt Romney what you will, but his core competence is just that: competence. Unlike career politicians who tend to rise or fall on the level of their oratory, Mitt is, at his core, a chief executive. No doubt Mitt is more comfortable tackling complex problems and analyzing data than kissing babies or yucking it up on a rope line. But maybe that's what America needs in 2016, and given the multitude of today's challenges, maybe the Quinnnipiac poll reflects the growing view that it's what we needed all along.
Many conservatives feel the pendulum has swung from six years with a "community organizer" to the need for a more competent chief executive. Romney "at his core" is a chief executive according to the author, and perhaps 2016 will afford him the opportunity to showcase his corporate persona in a more favorable light?
As for Jeb Bush, well, he's not his brother. This is a plus for him and for the nation. One CNN poll states Jeb's the GOP frontrunner in 2016. He's also a moderate on immigration (I've written a Congress Blog article defending his view on this subject), which could help with the Latino vote. Regarding his potential as president, a Cleveland.com article titled Jeb Bush's Ohio ties could foretell a presidential victory highlights certain elements of strategy in Bush's favor:
As for the Party of Lincoln and Reagan, ex-Florida Gov. John Ellis (Jeb) Bush will likely be Republicans' 2016 nominee. If so, Bush could carry Ohio. If he does, Bush becomes president. As for yammering about political "dynasties," Americans didn't have gripes about Adamses or Roosevelts or, today - despite this generation's antics - Kennedys. They still got elected.
Jeb Bush is the likely nominee because the Republican Establishment is behind him. The Establishment isn't ... comfortable ... with the so-called tea party, in Columbus or Washington. And the Establishment, except in 1964, when insurgent conservatives nominated Barry Goldwater, picks ... reasonable ... nominees.
True, Americans complain about dynasties, but they still get elected and this issue hasn't stopped Hillary Clinton from a run at the presidency. Also, Ohio is a battleground state with 18 electoral votes up for grabs two years from now.
According to conservative logic, this country has had enough of Democrats in the White House. Everything from Benghazi to Obamacare wreaks of extremism to the GOP. Therefore, 2016 offers a chance to turn back the clock and elect a more traditional president. If Americans want a "reasonable" candidate, they'll pick Jeb Bush over another Democrat. If Americans want a "competent" candidate, they'll choose Romney over the challenger. However, what happens if Hillary Clinton is also reasonable, competent, and another kind of corporate executive that runs against the Romney/Bush or Bush/Romney team?
I'm not the biggest Hillary fan, but she'll crush both Romney and Bush.
Here is why.
Women might be the deciding factor in the 2016 election. NBC News explains why Hillary Clinton is speaking more to female voters and how they can cement her victory:
Demographics are shifting as well, as women are voting at higher percentages than men and unmarried women have become an increasingly key electoral bloc. With those unmarried women in mind, the Democratic Party, in 2012 and 2014, has put women's pay and abortion rights at the forefront of its policy agenda...
This shift should not be overstated. In a country where women are about 51 percent of the population, they make up only 20 percent of senators...
The groundswell of attention on gender and the rise of new female voices could have a major impact on the 2016 campaign...
Clinton herself may be the biggest beneficiary of this new politics around gender...
Can Romney or Bush speak to American women in the same manner as Hillary? With 51 percent of the population and another chance at history with the first female president, Democrats have a secret weapon that the GOP hasn't taken into account with Bush or Romney. Furthermore, the "competent" and "reasonable" marketing benefits of a GOP ticket might not be enough to overcome more women voting and a female voting block increasing exponentially in importance.
In 2012, 55 percent of women voted for Obama as opposed to 44 percent who chose Romney. According to the Center for American Progress in How Women Changed the Outcome of the Election, American women helped Obama win a second term:
Women were the majority of voters. According to exit polls 53 percent of the voters in the 2012 elections were women--more than one out of every two voters across the country was a woman...
The gender gap grew to 10 points. The gender gap is defined as the margin between men and women's support for a candidate...
Women decided the election. This past November women determined the outcome of the presidential election. Only in President Bill Clinton's 1996 victory did a candidate succeed by winning with women and losing with men...
The gender gap extends beyond women of color. The gender gap widened considerably with Latinos and African Americans this year, but also with whites...
The top issues for women were the economy and a candidate who will fight for them...
Abortion and women's health issues played a real role. These extreme views might have driven many women voters to the arms of Democrats.
Hillary Clinton will benefit from this new political reality and the reasons women voted for Obama in 2012. If "Women were the majority of voters" during the last election, and Clinton wins the Democratic nomination in 2016, a Romney/Bush ticket will face an uphill battle.
Finally, all the "Obama fatigue" that the GOP and President Obama (inadvertently) have worked so hard to create will be mitigated by the female vote. Responsible, reasonable, competent, and traditional candidates will sound great to establishment conservatives, but 51 percent of the population might not gravitate towards a male CEO in 2016. While the GOP might have an answer for a male Democrat, facing the prospect of the first female presidency in American history could be another insurmountable challenge for Republicans.
If it's Romney and Bush for the Republicans two years from now, it's quite possible that even some atheist liberals will be thanking their flying spaghetti monster in the cosmos for such good fortune.