The Republican build up to the 2012 Presidential election was reminiscent of the Rocky film. The United States frantically searched to find a suitable candidate to face Obama, strikingly similar to the films struggle to find a fighter to take on Apollo Creed. Finally, Mitt Romney was staged as the GOP’s Rocky. For a while the country was not so sure who would come out on top, but unfortunately for the right corner, Obama came out as victor in the fifteenth round.
With the 2016 election beckoning it is time for the Republicans to get back in the ring. Though the question on everyone’s mind is who exactly will be in the ring?
In recent weeks there has been much speculation on possible GOP candidates, and the will he won’t he headlines have circulated through headlines across the nation.
The Republican charge in the Midwest sets the scene for a possible 2014 gubernatorial takeover, meaning that the GOP is picking up pace and it is becoming ever more clear that the 2016 election will be a tight battle going into the final rounds. The Party will need a strong candidate to push them over the top.
New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie is the name on many peoples’ lips at the moment. Christie has impressed with his popularity in the Northeast and his ability to find common ground across the parties.
Though his friendship with President Obama may put him out of favor with many Republicans.
Former Florida Governor, Jeb Bush, has raised some eyebrows this past week for alluding to a possible Presidential bid. Winning Florida is important in every election, so Jeb’s credentials would be a big boost to the GOP if nominated.
Bush could lead his family’s name into a dynasty but would carrying his family’s name and legacy hurt, or help his chances?
Rand Paul’s positioning himself for the White House may be politics’ worst kept secret. He has been keen in gaining favor with the GOP and some big donors whilst maintaining high standing with other Libertarians. Though, his carefulness in not treading on anyone’s toes might work as a disadvantage if he does not stand out from the pack enough.
The Midwestern charge led by Scott Walker has put him in the limelight and won over many doubters as he leads the region into the 2014 Gubernatorial elections. The Wisconsin Governor deserves consideration as a viable candidate, but time and focus on reelection might hurt his chances in a Presidential bid.
House Speaker, John Boehner receives a lot of media coverage but in order to be seen as a potential candidate he must first bring the Republican party together within the House of Representatives before seen suitable to run the country.
Florida Senator, Marco Rubio, has demonstrated leadership during his days in the House of Representatives and continues to gain GOP support as his appeal spreads over to independents also. It would be likely that he would take Florida’s swing vote and win over the minority vote with his Latin roots.
Senator Rubio does fall flat in some areas though. The ideal candidate must have support from the entire party making it essential that he wins over the moderates within the next year. It also has become apparent that Rubio can crack under pressure. Rubio’s infamous response to Obama’s State of the Union Address was his chance to seize the political world, and he did manage to gain the attention, but for all the wrong reasons.
During Rubio’s response he appeared nervous and mouth was dry opting for an ill-timed sip of water. The clip warranted embarrassment and a “SNL” parody the following week.
Bobby Jindal is the Governor of Louisiana, and despite some bold policy reforms, has yet to make a bid enough splash in the political circuit for serious consideration.
House Majority Leader, Eric Cantor is another name that has bounced around in the news but has left some scratching their heads confuddled along with Ted Cruz who lacks adequate experience. Nominating Cantor would also cause further strife within the party as at the moment he leads the divide in the House.
The last man to look at is Paul Ryan. There are many debates on how much affect Ryan had on Mitt Romney’s campaign as his Vice-Presidential nominee, but there is no argument about his ambition. Paul Ryan plans to give the GOP a radical makeover. He might be the man to lead them into a new generation. Coined as the Ryan Gosling of the political sphere, Ryan may redefine the Republican Party in years to come.
What he may lack in leadership experience, it is made up with drive and potential. Losing the 2012 race has benefited Paul’s plight slightly, by working with Romney he has come a way with the do’s and don’ts of a Presidential race. Slowly Ryan is disenfranchising himself with the Tea Party Movement in order to take on a broader following. He may need to re-vamp and rethink some old stances but with the right backing Paul can become a leader in the race for the Presidential bid.
It is safe to say that there are quite a few potential candidates, and this race can go any which way, because as of right now there is no clear-cut favorite. Is this a sign that the GOP is in an undesirable mess, pulling in every direction, and ultimately leading to demise?
Or perhaps, and more likely so, that the multitude of potential candidates is a beacon of hope for the GOP. That the number of viable suitors for the Presidency is a signal that there is a future for the Party. A future that has many possibilities, and it is up to the American people to decide which journey the party will partake on.
Sticking true to the Rocky theme, it is important to realize that Rocky also lost to Apollo Creed in a split decision. It wasn’t until the sequel, Rocky II, where Balboa stood above Creed in a final round victory. If Republicans can come back fighting stronger and smarter, like Rocky did, maybe they can continue the parallels in 2016.
If indeed the Republicans did come out on top in 2016, the newly elected President would have to unite his/her party in a common cause with the backing of the country. The next step would be to seek common ground with the Democrats and work together, just like in Rocky III when Rocky teams with Apollo Creed to fight Clubber Lang.