Saturday, August 8, 2015

How I Rank the Republicans' Chances

Right this minute...

1. Jeb Bush - On the strength of his name and the fundraising capacity that goes with it. It's certainly not anything else he brings to the table.

2. Marco Rubio - He's young, he's handsome, he's articulate, he's Hispanic, he held his own nicely in the debate. A "gifted politician," as one Democratic commentator put it.

3. Carly Fiorina - Coming out of nowhere, she absolutely killed the junior varsity debate and was the toast of the night in general.

4. Rand Paul - He is NOT running a particularly good campaign. But he is interesting and distinctive. No shot at a VP slot though, unlike Rubio and Fiorina.

5. Donald Trump - The wild card. I may have him too low or too high, who knows. I think the debate hurt him.

6. Scott Walker - Totally lackluster, too bland for a national campaign, made no impact during the debate whatsoever. He would be a credible VP possibility, except SO boring. A much less telegenic Paul Ryan.

7. Chris Christie - His combativeness simply will not wear well over the long haul, and he has more negative baggage than almost any of the 17. He will not be anyone's VP pick. His star has really faded.

8. Ted Cruz - He can't keep up with Trump in the crazy department, and hell, that's his strong suit.

9. John Kasich - This year's Tim Pawlenty.

10. Mike Huckabee - I used to think, well, at least he has a sense of humor. But what an embarrassment the man has become.

11. Ben Carson - He is not disgracing himself, which is something.

12. Rick Perry - Didn't do too badly in the J.V. debate, but has a long history of stupid.

13. Bobby Jindal - Also OK in the J.V., but for some reason I cannot take him seriously. Is it superficial of me to note that, like Walker, he lacks the handsomeness a male candidate in this day and age needs? It probably IS superficial, but it's also probably true.

14. Rick Santorum - I assume he wants to maintain his visibility for reasons other than thinking he has a genuine shot at the candidacy.

15. Lindsey Graham - Why?

16. George Pataki - Why?

17. Jim Gilmore - Why, oh why?

I think the most solid team that the GOP could put up against Hillary would be Rubio-Fiorina. Appeal to youth, women, Latinos - hitting the Dems where they're strong. Rubio would look majorly vigorous next to the increasingly grandmotherly Clinton. He could pull off an upset, while Jeb would just put everyone to sleep.

My guess is that Hillary is rightly looking very hard at Martin O'Malley for her VP. I think he would be a superb pick. He and Fiorina debating would be something else. I hope that happens.

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