You may have noticed that yesterday was Election Day in the USA. Well, big whoop. It was only the mid-terms and exactly what was predicted to happen – a freakin' bloodbath – happened. The Republicans gained control of the Senate and maintained control of the House. Wendy Davis lost her bid to become the first Democrat elected to statewide office in Texas since who the fuck knows. The only thing left is to figure out whether the Republicans spend the next two years holding hearings and forcing Obamacare repeal vetoes or realize that they now own a bigger, more noticeable part of what happens in DC and start actually working with the President to get shit done.
But who cares? That's governance and governance is for the losers who actually give two shits about the well-being of this nation and whether it has a functioning government. Let's talk politics.
That's right, this is about 2016. We don't really know who is running yet or what the biggest issues will be but that shouldn't stop us from wild and meaningless speculation.
1. Hillary Clinton: If (lol) she runs, she's the prohibitive frontrunner for the Dem nomination. Of course, she was also the prohibitive frontrunner in '08, so take that with a grain of salt. But a lot has changed in six years. She's got stronger credentials and gravitas, if an additional scandal or two, from her time as Secretary of State. Her new status as a grandmother provides a warmth that, unfortunately, women need to succeed in politics. And, perhaps most importantly, there ain't no Barack Obamas in the field this time around.
2. Joe Biden: He's made no bones about the fact that he's going to run in 2016. And why shouldn't he? He's the sitting Vice President, he can charm the pants off the little old lady voters, and has the ability to get people to take him seriously despite his tendency to stick his foot in his mouth. He's not likely going to win the nomination but, boy, it'll be hilarious to watch him try.
3. Martin O'Malley: Telegenic, Irish-Americanish, plays guitar in a band that covers Springsteen and the like, was once the mayor of Baltimore…it's as if David Simon and Aaron Sorkin teamed up to create a show about a candidate for the Democratic nomination. Sadly, they forgot to give him any charisma. He'll be the guy at the debate who is just trying to get the others to focus on the question asked.
4. Elizabeth Warren: has said she isn't going to run but what does she know? We'll believe her when the filing deadline passes. The liberal conscience of the Dems, would likely bring some good old fashioned populism to the debates. Zero chance of winning but is a far smarter and more serious contender than, say, Dennis Kucinich.
Has filed papers but doesn't stand a snowball's chance in hell of winning the nomination: James "Titus the Great" Law
1. Ted Cruz: the de facto head of what once was the Tea Party movement, is hampered by the fact that he's kind of a jerk and no one really likes him. Will get a ton of attention over the next two years as he plays the spoiler to Mitch McConnell's inclination to pass legislation that President Obama will actually sign. The establishment will support someone else but he has a legitimate shot at the nomination.
2. Rand Paul: the closest thing to an actual libertarian in the Republican Party, comes off as the fratty but likable guy who is actually kind of fun to hang out with. He'll be very popular with the college kids, like his dad, but may actually be able to build a campaign that can get turnout. The real test will be whether he can avoid those classic moments Paul, Sr. always has at the debates where you're reminded just how much of a nutter he is.
3. Paul Ryan: he's got good looks (despite a resemblance to Eddie Munster), a reputation as a policy wonk and hard worker, and tons of name recognition thanks to 2012. But he's also dull as dishwater and, at just 44, his boyish appearance may work against him. He's also about to win the chairmanship of the all-powerful House Ways and Means Committee and has a passel of little kids at home, so it's questionable whether he'll actually run.
4. Chris Christie: depending on your leanings, he's either a bullying asshole or exactly the kind of fighter that can take on the Democrats and win. He's got the reputation of a political maverick more for his delivery than his content, which is squarely in the Republican mainstream. There are scandals out the wazoo but it's questionable whether the more moderate primary voters will care in the face of claims that the allegations are politically motivated. What's more likely to sink him is his habit of blowing up at inopportune moments and the fact that the Tea Party-types think he isn't conservative enough.
Has filed papers but doesn't stand a snowball's chance in hell of winning the nomination: Ole Savior
1. The economy
4. The Great Ebola Outbreak of 2015
It's going to be a fun two years, folks. Let the horserace begin.