I guess it’s fun to have extreme candidates grab their time in the spotlight. Better put, the media has to report and opine on something until the real campaign begins. Because some small sliver of the electorate becomes energized well before the vast majority of voters come out of their dysfunctional-Congress-induced comas to even begin thinking November 2016, the substance-challenged pundits get all hot and bothered. It’s like the novice racing fan cheering wildly when seeing her or his 100-1 shot break from the gate and take the lead….after just one-tenth of the race has been run. And speaking of betting: I will book anyone’s bets on Trump or Sanders.
I would put my money on Jeb Bush to get the GOP nod. In fact, his early stumbles created better value in this bet as his odds increased. But Republicans are not so suicidal as to nominate an anti-immigration candidate and most of the Republican candidates are just that. Bush on the other hand can’t have too much more credibility with his pro-immigration persona. For God’s sake, in addition to his policies, his wife Columba is from Mexico and he speaks fluent Spanish. The prospect of the first-ever Latina as first lady will resonate. (I wonder if it’s ok for Jeb to punch Trump in the nose if the bankruptcy-proficient Donald continues to denigrate Mexicans. Talk about a spike in the polls.)
Here’s the reality: W received an estimated 43% of the Hispanic vote in 2004. Romney received just 27% in 2012. It would be difficult to imagine how Jeb doesn’t at least match his brother’s number and it’s not inconceivable he might receive a majority of the Hispanic vote. Likewise, don’t be surprised if Hispanics become much more energized in 2016 compared to their rather anemic voting records of the past.
This is why Democrats will be looking very closely at former San Antonio mayor and current Housing and Urban Development Secretary Julian Castro as a possible candidate for vice president. Castro was chosen for his post leading HUD by President Obama, in part, to provide national exposure and experience for the 40-year-old, who will be 42 by the time November 2016 rolls around. Though light in experience, Castro is appealing. Possibly more important, the Democrats have almost no bench when it comes to Hispanic legislators. Besides, Clinton-Castro has a nice alliterated ring to it.
Though Hillary now has a few challengers, it is difficult to imagine a scenario short of scandal, health concerns or an Obama-backed Biden run in which she doesn’t get the nomination. Bernie Sanders has drawn crowds in the thousands, but this does not translate into a viable candidacy. It seems more like an emotional release. Blow off some steam about the unfairness of it all and many will gladly join in the chorus.