Symposium 2012: 2016…Are you willing to make any predictions on the Democrat presidential nominee and Republican nominee?

Sydney: On the Democrat side Hillary Clinton is probably the standout candidate at the moment. She is vastly experienced in politics. Her stint as Secretary of State further bolstered her credentials in the important area of foreign relations and should serve her well if she does decide to run for the Presidency.

She has also thrown her hat in the ring before and it is difficult to believe that such ambition would fade easily. The only real question mark at this stage is her age. She will be 69 in 2016 which would make her the second oldest President in history (behind Ronald Reagan) if she won. I think Hillary Clinton will still have the ambition required to run for President in 2016 and probably will be the Democrat nominee. The answer for the Republicans is much less clear. Paul Ryan would definitely have to be considered a strong contender (and perhaps the fore runner) because he is young and regarded by Republicans as intelligent and a great thinker. Some of his economic policies are a bit on the conservative side and may have hurt his and Romney’s chances in 2012 but he has four years to learn more about politics and develop policy that is palatable to more voters. If the Republicans learn from their biggest mistake of 2012 and realize that they need to court the Hispanic and black vote there are a few other contenders who could come into the mix. Jeb Bush is a strong contender. He has a strong Republican pedigree and is married to a Mexican–American. It is also significant that he won 80% of the Cuban–American vote and 56% of the non–Cuban Hispanic vote. He also speaks Spanish fluently. Chris Christie and Marco Rubio are also strong contenders and it would be a mistake to discount Condoleezza Rice given her experience.

Michigan: My picks for the GOP would be Marco Rubio. He has what the voters seem to be looking for. Do not discount Jeb Bush. On the outside I like Bob McDonnell (Gov./VA), Bobby Jindal (Gov./LO), and I don’t think we have seen the last of Paul Ryan. On the other side people are saying Hillary Clinton. I don’t see that happening. Maybe Cuomo (Gov./NY), O’Malley (Gov./MA). What about Julian Castro? Wouldn’t that be a race for the history books—Rubio vs. Castro.
RMC3: Julian Castro, Mayor of San Antonio, Texas will be the Democratic nominee in 2016. Marco Rubio will be the Republican nominee in 2016. End of story. We will have someone whose name is associated with Communist Cuba running against a man whose family is from Cuba. Ironic, isn’t it? Personally, I’m 100% behind former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice should she decide to run.

Cartwright: If some of the new faces or speakers at the Democratic National Convention and the Republican National Convention are any indication of the future of the parties, I don’t think there’s much hope for our country. We’re four years out so it’s a pretty hard thing to predict. A lot can happen between now and then and a lot of new faces can burst onto the scene.

On the Democratic side, I think we’ll see a couple of people come to the forefront. Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa is a name that keeps getting mentioned. I wouldn’t be surprised if someone like former Virginia Governor Tim Kaine or Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper get in the mix. Newark Mayor Cory Booker gets some TV time now and then. And I wouldn’t be surprised if Rahm Emanuel tries to get the nomination. I don’t think Hillary Clinton is going to get involved. I think she’s pretty well done. I don’t know that a mayor from San Antonio would be seen as a credible candidate for President of the United States. I don’t think the party establishment would allow that. Today, I’d say it’s probably going to be Tim Kaine.

On the Republican side I think Ted Cruz the newly elected Senator from Texas is going to be in the mix. I also like Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice. She is a brilliant and likable woman, and I also wouldn’t hesitate to get behind her. Unfortunately, I don’t think she has any interest or ambition to be President of the United States. I think the same goes for former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, but I would not discount the possibility of that. Marco Rubio seems to be the darling of the Republican party right now along with Paul Ryan, but I don’t think the latter is a credible candidate. And I certainly hope the Republican party doesn’t even consider some slob like Chris Christie who was Obama’s best friend just before the election. You’ve got Virginia Governor Bob McDonnell, John Thune the Senator from South Dakota and Susana Martinez the Governor of New Mexico. And listen, Rick Perry could make another run at it. If I could only pick one person today, it would probably be Ted Cruz.

Of course, I think the parties have already selected who’s next in line, we in the general public just don’t know it yet. And let me also qualify my previous comments by saying this only matters if Obama’s supporters don’t find a way to allow him to run for a third term or if he doesn’t find a way to make himself king or dictator or emperor or whatever title he wants.

Just remember, a lot can happen in the next four years. Obama has given the office of the President a lot of powers via executive orders including the power to take over energy infrastructure, private property, etc. And why is the Department of Homeland Security the biggest purchaser of ammunition? And we’ve got a huge movement for tougher gun control in America. How long before they find a way to effectively take away our second amendment right to bear arms? And what happens when we are forced to have financial austerity here in America? We’ve seen the rioting and burning cars and buildings in Europe where they’ve had to resort to austerity measures to get their finances back on track? Think it can’t happen here? When the hand outs stop, these people will rise up and just take what they want from anyone. We’re one click away from a real class civil war in America where those without take what they want by force from those that have. It’s a scary prospect, but it can happen.

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