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The Sunday Political Brunch – Feb. 24, 2013

My weekly look at politics!


(Providence, Rhode Island) – I have an exciting movie project to tell you about, concerning an issue that has stirred a lot of political debate. More about that in a minute, but first I promised I would handicap the 2016 Republican presidential hopefuls as of now, just as we looked at Democrats last week. Here we go!

Bush v. Clinton – It's not outside the realm of possibility that we could see another Bush-Clinton "family feud" ala 1992. Right now Hillary Clinton is the Democratic frontrunner, and Jeb Bush has a realistic shot at being the Republican nominee if he chooses to run. Bush is a potential powerhouse for a number of reasons. He could put Florida (and its 29 votes) back in the GOP Electoral College column. Bush, who is fluent in Spanish, has polled well among Hispanic voters (his wife is Colombian). So he could help close that voter gap for Republicans. The bottom line, this race would just be plain fascinating to cover. It's the best headline maker among the possibilities.

Candid Camera – The outspoken and gruff Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, is also a good bet to run in the GOP primary. He's candid, quotable, colorful and spontaneous (which can be good and bad). The bottom line, he's a refreshing change from rehearsed speeches and canned sound bites that dominate American politics. He's the Forrest Gump "box of chocolates" candidate because you never know what you are going to get. People like his brash self-confidence and bravado. The fact that he was recently in the ultra-liberal San Francisco Bay Area for a fundraiser tells you he's serious.

Si Senor Rubio – Marco Rubio, who might be Vice President right now had Mitt Romney picked him, is a top-tier candidate. Then again he might be president of the Poland Spring water company after that awkward drink of water during the State of the Union response! I think they should call that controversy, "Watergate!" Ok, I'll stop with my stand-up comedy routine. But seriously, Rubio could be the Hispanic version of Barack Obama. He's young, energetic, and bright and has a compelling personal story. People like the "pull yourself up by your bootstraps" stories. It's truly American! One caveat: if Jeb Bush runs, Rubio won't. The two are close and Bush is his mentor. In fact Rubio ran for the Senate at Bush's encouragement, after Bush passed on the race.

Ohio Rules – I seriously think we will have a contender from Ohio. Either Governor John Kasich or Senator Rob Portman will run. Why? Because the GOP cannot win the White House without Ohio – never has, never will. Both men are budget experts, and we will likely come out of the Obama years with a federal deficit in excess of 20 trillion dollars. I'm not saying the GOP can fix it either, but Kasich was House Budget Committee Chairman and Portman was Director of the White House Office of Management and Budget. These guys are number crunchers, at a time when it's going to be an asset to have that experience on the resume.

There She Goes - A big problem for the GOP may continue to be the gender gap. Republicans don’t have to win the female vote; they just need to be more competitive. I don’t think Sarah Palin will run (because she can't win); and I don’t think Condoleezza Rice will run (even though she could win). Look for a female VP candidate to get serious consideration. Rice is plausible, as is Governor Susana Martinez of New Mexico. If Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee, a female Republican on the ticket is almost a  certainty.

Longshots – Former Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels has the right mix of political and private sector acumen. He's a possibility. Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky made headlines by teeing off on Hillary Clinton in the recent Libya hearings. He really skewered her, without coming off as a bully. But, he's too closely allied with the Tea Party, and its power is starting to wane. Paul may be viable someday, but I don't think that day is on the 2016 calendar. Paul Ryan would have to give up a safe House seat and the Budget Committee Chairmanship. Look, he could not even carry his home state of Wisconsin for the GOP in 2012, and the party needs to win the Badger State to get back into the White House. Like Paul, Ryan may be viable another year, but likely not 2016.

Amazing Ops: Siege at Benghazi – As mentioned at the top, I am doing some of the public relations work for a film now in production, "Amazing Ops: Siege at Benghazi." It is being produced by some friends at HistoriVision LLC (www.HistoriVision.com) and is an important film aimed at explaining what happened in Libya on September 11, 2012. If you've ever wondered about how special operations and intelligence forces operate this is the film to watch. Look at the movie trailer and click on the link if you’d like to help make it reality! http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/historivision/amazing-ops-siege-at-benghazi.

As always, if you have opinions, questions or disagreements, just click the comment button at www.MarkCurtisMedia.com.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Naome Lixes February 28, 2013 at 05:10 PM
"I am somewhat rabidly moderate." That's an oxymoron. "I realize the Democratic party is currently all about division - pitting black and Latino against white, gay against straight, union vs non union etc." Are you SURE you're not a Tea Party member, that's straight out of their playbook. "This 'us against them' mentality may be good for the party, but tearing the country apart by creating artificial divisions is not good for our society." Where, exactly, does the Democratic party encourage this? Cited examples would be good, if only to define your terms. http://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/lets-just-say-it-the-republicans-are-the-problem/2012/04/27/gIQAxCVUlT_story_2.html "I can actually believe that irresposible spoending is irresponsible and not be pigeonholed as some sort of fanatic." Most of those screaming loudly about profligate Government waste and "handouts" are on the dole, themselves. In particular, the cost of elder medical care is passed along (by borrowing) to be paid at a future date by young people unlikely to receive the same generous benefits in their retirement. These beneficiaries did not defend the jobs these young people can only dream about - sold out. Perhaps not, but it does sound a great deal about what we've heard before. (Not from moderates, rabid or otherwise.) http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/08/us/08iht-letter08.html?pagewanted=all&_r=0 Those born before the Regan years got a better deal than those born after.
Small Change February 28, 2013 at 05:31 PM
="I am somewhat rabidly moderate." That's an oxymoron.= No it is not. I first heard it from the ever admirable Chrissy Todd Whitman, who would have been the best choice for Pres I have seen in my lifetime. (I beleive she used 'radical' instead of rabid'.) The vast majority of the American people want a centrist government. Neither a Bush-Cheney (accent on the last two syllables) nor an Obama administration. Thanks to our bizzare primary system, where the special interest fanatics can be far overrepresented, we never get that oppotunity. The zealots at both ends of the spectrum are destroying this country (see under 'Fiscal Cliff.') I appreciate that you will not understand this, but one can be as ardently desirous of reason and moderation as of radicalization and polarization.
jim halsband March 02, 2013 at 07:08 PM
Naome, brilliant submissions, thank you! But as Einstein stated and it loses nothing in paraphrase.....'the stupidity of mankind has no limits' as our elected officials discuss fried calamari!
Naome Lixes March 02, 2013 at 07:20 PM
@ JH Thank you for the kind words, but I'm barely average - my IQ test says 100. (Three times over 4 years - same score, AND I've lost a step since then...) That makes a good deal of what gets posted here all the more unnerving...
jim halsband March 02, 2013 at 07:54 PM
Naome, those numbers mean less than nothing, as is more than apparent considering mine. It is not how deep the well, it's how you dangle the bucket! And you bring extraordinary insight to the discussion, a bucket full of refreshing intellectual truth! Good going, these discussions rely on exactly what you bring to it!

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