Current Republican candidates can't compete with Clinton
She may not have officially announced her run at the presidency, but you can go ahead and pencil in Hillary Clinton as the Democratic nominee in 2016.
However for Republicans, there’s been so much frantic scribbling and scandal-fueled erasing of names that you have to wonder: can anyone on the right compete with Hillary?
Let me do my best Bruce Buffer impression.
Introducing first: FIGHTING out of the red corner, at a whopping 315 pounds (before his weight loss), New Jersey Gov. Chris "the Traffic Jam" Christie! Up until bridge-gate, Christie was considered the frontrunner to snag the nomination. Christie's weaknesses are his fuming temper, insatiable appetite and hatred of properly flowing traffic. On the bright side, he's already made a tremendous effort to lose weight, which will no doubt help his image if he decides to run.
Christie's personality is, to say the least, abrasive. If he wants to sway undecided voters, he will need to tone it down and show off his moderate stances. According to ontheissues.org, Christie calls for mandated treatment rather than jail time for petty drug offenses, supports green energy, and wants a pathway to citizenship for illegal immigrants. He's conventionally conservative everywhere else, so we'll have to see if these key stances make or break Christie's campaign, if he decides to run.
Introducing next: Hailing from the Lone Star State, here comes the Texas Gov. Rick "the guy who took George Bush's place after switching political parties" Perry! Unfortunately, Perry's recent indictment on abuse of power has all but sealed his fate in 2016. He brought plenty of experience to the table, having been in the military for five years before serving as a member of the Texas House of Representatives, being elected Commissioner of Agriculture and then finally as governor — all in a span of 42 years. Some say Perry was wrongfully convicted; if that's true, he'll undoubtedly use that as a springboard for his campaign.
And finally, you guessed it: our final contestant in the red corner — Kentucky Senator Rand "the All-seeing Eye" Paul! In addition to being a licensed ophthalmologist, Paul is known for his resplendent curly hair and highly uninformed worldview. He's already taken shots at Clinton as well as his fellow Republican nominees, so it appears he's ready for a take-no-prisoners approach to his campaign. Paul, who was once viewed as fairly libertarian, has adjusted his views to pertain to a hyper-conservative audience. He believes that gay marriage will lead to "economic and moral problems," doesn't want to "let the liberals tread on the Second Amendment" and isn't sure if he believes in the absolute fact that global warming is real.
Among the other fighters in #REPUBLICANSMACKDOWN2K14 are former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Texas Sen. Ted Cruz. All six of these contenders will do anything for a title fight, so nobody really knows who will emerge as Clinton's final opponent.
All of the jockeying for position hasn't exactly helped any of these guys' campaigns, but what's worse is the other factors destroying the reputation of the party in the eyes of undecided voters. Among said factors: John Boehner's ridiculous decision to sue the president, the fact that nearly every house Republican doesn't believe in global warming and the insistence of conservative news outlets that not only is Barack Obama a Kenyan, but he's also a Muslim and a Socialist.
For Republicans to even challenge Clinton in 2016, they need to abandon their unpopular (and incorrect) stances on a number of issues. In my eyes, swaying undecided and moderate voters is far more important for Republicans than appealing to the most extreme views of their party.
Clinton brings a bevy of experience to the table and is regarded as a foreign policy expert, given her work as Secretary of State. If elected she would be the first woman ever in the oval office, and former President Bill Clinton would be the first-ever "first husband." I'm no fan of royal families in a democracy, but at this point, Clinton and her husband are on a fast track back to the White House. That is, unless Republicans (with the help of FOX News) can groom a candidate into a conservative icon with moderate views on key issues.
Otherwise, the Democratic Party will wrestle itself into power once again.
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Editor’s note: The opinions presented in this column are the author’s and do not imply any endorsement from The State Press or its editors.
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