Thursday, November 08, 2012
Is there some reason why the media in this country can't at least wait a week or two before they start talking about the next presidential election?
The election was two days ago. Not all the absentee and provisional ballots have even been counted yet. But it seems like all I've been hearing and reading today are speculations about who will run for President in 2016.
Since Barack Obama can't run again in 2016, names from both parties are being mentioned as possible contenders. On the Republican side, and since few people expect Mitt Romney to make another run, the most commonly-mentioned names are Paul Ryan, Chris Christie, Florida senator Marco Rubio, and former Florida governor Jeb Bush.
There are troubles with most of these names. The Romney campaign all but hid Paul Ryan in the last weeks of the election. I suspect that they did not trusting him to stay on-message. New Jersey governor Chris Christie made points for fighting so hard to make sure the residents of his state got the aid they needed after Hurricane Sandy, but he lost points among the hierarchy in the GOP and the Romney campaign for appearing to be too friendly to, and saying nice things about, President Obama during that time. Jeb Bush, the son of one president and the brother of another, still has questions hanging over his head in some people's minds (including my own) about just how much of a role he had in the electoral shenanigans in his state during the 2000 presidential election. I don't know much about Marco Rubio, so I can't say what his strengths or handicaps might be should he decide to make a run for the White House.
On the Democratic side there is, of course, talk that current Vice President Joe Biden might run for President next time. There is also much speculation, especially after Bill Clinton took such a vocal role in the Obama campaign this year, that Hillary Clinton might be thinking about running again in 2016. New York Governor Andrew Cuomo's name has also been mentioned. Another name I've been hearing, although he is apparently considered to be a longer-shot as a candidate, is Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villarigosa.
All the speculation is interesting, I'll admit. But I don't really care right now.
What I do care about is hearing about how the Republicans in Congress plan to dial back their ideological rhetoric and start doing the business of the country rather than simply trying to obstruct any legislation proposed by the Obama administration in the name of trying to deny Obama a second term. Since that plan failed and he can't run again, continuing to hold up important legislation will only be seen as mean and spiteful.
I also want to know what the leaders of the Republican Party are going to do to disassociate themselves from the misogynist, racist, and classist rhetoric we heard so much of during the run-up to the election. How are they going to step away from the excesses of the Tea Party? I want to hear them say that, yes, Barack Obama is a Christian and not a Muslim. And that it wouldn't matter if he was a Muslim. I want them to put a stop to this "birther" nonsense coming from the extremists in their party.
And, dear God, I want them to put a muzzle on Donald Trump, who holds no position in the GOP, but walks around like his money and notoriety give him some special dispensation to interject himself into the political conversation, to the point that he clearly retains only a tenuous grasp on reality.
I would also like the Republicans to step away from Rush Limbaugh, but I suspect that that's asking too much.
But, mostly, I'd love it if I didn't have to hear about politics at all for at least a little while. I'd like to see all the campaign signs down. And I'd like to pretend that the next campaign for California governor won't start ramping up in about six months, since it's just two years until that election. This is especially something I' like, considering that by the time that's over, the next campaign for President will be strating in earnest.