Originally Posted by L.A. BRONCOS FAN
Julian Castro is the man to watch.
In 2024 maybe. He's a freakin' mayor and he's in Texas so his path to higher office is pretty narrow, especially since his brother holds the 20th congressional district and another dem holds the 35th district. He's got to win a senate seat or the governorship of Texas, which is damn hard to do with that (D) next to your name.
The dems have a very solid and deep bench, people just don't know the names yet but they will. The stratigraphy of it that I see is as follows:
1. Hillary - Bill has always claimed that it is a moral responsibility for those who can effect change to do so. I don't see how he isn't constantly in her ear and there has to be a reason he campaigned so hard for Obama. That's a favor he's waiting to call in down the road. I'd expect her to stick to her undecided/reticent talk until mid-2014 when she'll throw her hat in the ring and everyone else will get in line.
2. Brian Schweitzer - incredibly strong candidate who destroys the majority of the GOP's arguments against dems. When/if he runs for POTUS he isn't going to just bring Montana, he'll bring Idaho, the Dakotas, Wyoming, and turn Nevada and Colorado from toss ups to hard blue. He makes the mountain west a potential sweep with the exception of Utah. 'A' grade from the NRA, fiscal record solid as granite, strong economic growth in his state that didn't rely on oil and NG explosions like his neighbors did, and a record setting pace for the nation at adding college graduates year on year.
3. Martin O'Malley - showing some success as governor and a strong candidate based on urban reform/crime prevention. I think he needs a bit more seasoning than 4 years will give him, but he could be a very legitimate dark horse.
4. Andrew Cuomo - I don't think he's got a real shot. His record implies that he is, but he's your stereotypical northeast liberal. He adds nothing new to the political landscape and isn't an inspirational figure on the stump.
5. Kyrsten Gillibrand - congresswoman turned senator, wins election in landslides, strong history of full disclosure of the gov't. process. Needs some time on the national stage, but she's a legit dark horse as well.
6. Elizabeth Warren - not really a POTUS candidate at all. She's too far left to gain national traction. Her best career path is being a long term senator a la Ted Kennedy (who gave up his POTUS aspirations after losing to Carter in the primaries and did great work in the senate). That is what she should be focused on.
7. Marty Booker - Needs to knock off/replace Chris Christie for the governorship and take a more significant office if he wants to further climb that ladder. I think he's a legitimate 2024/2030 candidate.
8. Julian Castro - Same as Booker. Needs more on the resume than being a mayor. A 2024/2030 candidate as well.
My bet is we'll see the following: Hillary runs and she chooses Schweitzer as her VP, helping her a lot in the mountain west. Her and Schweitzer on the ticket would also be a serious play towards some southern states and turn a lot of toss up states real strong blue. I could see that ticket adding Missouri, Indiana, Montana, and Arkansas without any real game changing electoral season events.
If Hillary doesn't run it'll be Schweitzer and he'll pick Gillibrand as his VP to solidify the female base and the northeast liberals. That is a HARD ticket for the GOP to compete against.
On the other side of the isle they've backed themselves into a corner based on who can/can't get through a tea party owned primary process. What I really hope to see is for Huntsman to run again and to name Colin Powell his VP during the primary process, doubling his ability to get the message out and proving that he isn't going to bend over to party pressure and pick a neo-con or tea partier for his VP. It would solidify them as a serious duo and legitimize his ticket like nothing else. No other GOP candidate has a real shot.
Rubio has too much double speak in his past and will feel like a token candidate for hispanics (same if he's the VP).
Christie has damaged himself with the tea party by not hating on Obama during Sandy, already faces an uphill battle charismatically for being a heavy dude, and has too much potential to stick his foot in his mouth when he gets worked up on at the podium.
Jindal is too socially conservative and that will be a failed path for the GOP. The way to protect fiscal conservatism is to move to the left of the democratic party socially.
Jeb Bush isn't a bad candidate but his brother is poison even before the dems tie them together. No one wants the suggestion of a "royal family". Add some dem ads tying them together on policy and he'd be DOA.
Rand Paul has the same problem as his father. Too damn crazy. No real chance.
If Hillary runs in 2016 it's hers. If not then I really hope to see competing tickets of Schweitzer/Gillibrand and Huntsman/Powell. That would be two compelling tickets that can really dig into policy.