I know a lot of people may wonder why a liberal blogger would write profiles of Republican candidates in the 2016 election. The answer is quite simple. I would write profiles of Democrats but it would only take one: Hillary Clinton. So instead I’ll take Republican candidates and talk about their strengths, weaknesses, potential V.P. choices, and chances to win the GOP primary and the hypothetical general election against Hillary.
First up is Fox News’ very own Mike Huckabee. The man who just recently ended his Fox News show Huckabee has said that he is exploring his options and popularity for a presidential run in 2016.
The most glaring strength that stands out immediately for Huckabee is experience. Unlike many of the other potential candidates he has ran a presidential campaign (2008) and knows what to expect and should be more prepared, especially early on in debates. His 2008 run, along with his weekend television program on Fox also gives him notoriety. People know who he is across the country, unlike someone like Scott Walker. Along with that popularity he will almost certainly be the chosen horse of Fox News. I mean why would they not “support” a former anchor? And last but certainly not least is his willingness to speak openly about controversial issues. Republicans have been quiet on issues such as same-sex marriage as of late, but Huckabee has openly stated that he would leave the party if they changed their stance on the issue. His willingness to speak openly and talk on a level that everyday Americans understand immediately put him ahead of the likes of John McCain and especially Mitt Romney.
While his willingness to speak openly on issues is a strength for some, it is also a huge weakness for him as well. Can you imagine how many sound bites being looped we will here from comments that he has made? In politics, sometimes the best answer is not giving an answer; something that the former governor will need to embrace during his second run at the nomination. Another glaring weakness for Huckabee is his faith. While of course many in the Bible Belt will view this favorably, America has become more and more secularized and openly opposed to religion. When Huckabee goes out to more liberal cities and talks about evolution being a lie and schools only teaching creationism, he’s not going to be very successful. The last weakness is contingent on his party affiliation. If he were to leave the GOP as he has threatened to do, and run as a TEA Party independent, it would be a huge blow to the GOP causing a split vote and would essentially place a big blue bow on Hillary’s election. However if he stays with the party and becomes the nominee, they’re going to be seen as endorsing his very conservative views, something they seem to be shying away from as of late.
Potential Vice Presidential Pick
For Mike, there’s no question he will have the TEA Party vote. He will never choose a far right V.P. In fear of isolating independents, so that rules out guys like Mike Lee, Marco Rubio, and Ted Cruz. He would want a moderate, preferably in a swing state. One name that will certainly be floated around by a lot of candidates that fits this mold is the current governor of New Mexico, Susana Martinez. Not only is she a moderate, but she’s a female and Hispanic, two categories Republicans have not been able to figure out how to win over. The biggest drawback for Huckabee is that two governors on a ticket is rarely successful; as a matter of fact, the last successful election of two governors on the same ticket was Woodrow Wilson and Thomas Marshall in 1912. The last time that two governors appeared together on a ballot was all the back in 1948 when Thomas Dewey and Earl Warren were defeated. A more realistic pick for him would be Senator Rob Portman. Portman comes from a swing state (Ohio) and gives Huckabee someone that knows what it’s like to work inside the beltway.
Chances to win
Chances of winning the GOP nomination: B
Chances of winning the general election: C-