Let’s save time and go with a Kasich-Rubio ticket
Nov. 5 marked the unofficial start of the 2016 Presidential campaign – that being the day after the mid-term elections. With a new president guaranteed for 2016, New Hampshire political junkies should be excited about having two contested presidential primaries – except that Hillary Clinton is already the de facto Democratic nominee.
The Democrats have always been primary-averse around here, but don’t they realize that they’re spoiling our fun and costing Channel 9 a lot of money by anointing Hillary so early?
The Dems almost did that with Al Gore in 2000, but at least Bill Bradley gave him a run for his money in New Hampshire before bowing out. Who can possibly challenge the Clinton juggernaut, with all its money, power and connections? To run to the right of Hillary makes a candidate unviable in the primary. To run to her left makes a candidate enviable in the general election.
But are the Dems onto something? Should we Republicans follow suit? Should we also anoint someone and dispense with pesky primaries?
Looking at the field of potential Republican candidates eight years ago, I fixed my eyes on Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, who then stood at less than 5 percent in the polls. I was proud to be an early Mitt supporter and felt vindicated when he almost went all the way to the White House. So whom should we prescient political partisans fix our gazes upon this time? Whom might we anoint?
Yes, the governor of Ohio who has never lost an election. He was the only GOP candidate to take out an incumbent when he first went to Congress in 1982. He was re-elected eight times. He’s served on the board of directors for several major corporations. He understands the news media, having worked for Fox News. He’s a best-selling author. And as the recently re-elected governor of Ohio, he has the executive experience so sadly lacking in our current president’s resume. He’s a good-looking populist.
Ohio is the quintessential electoral necessity for the GOP – along with Florida, of course, where my gaze falls upon Kasich’s future running mate, Sen. Marco Rubio, a wonderfully conservative Cuban-American who walks the walk and talks the talk.
Our Kasich/Rubio ticket will be principled, photogenic, passionate and an electoral dream.
And it’s fascinating that so many Republicans seem quite content to see the Dems saddled with Hillary, while many Dems seem resigned to the dreary prospect of Clintonian inevitability.
But some of you are saying, “Not so fast!” If we follow the Dem playbook and anoint Kasich/Rubio, then we’ll miss out on all the energy and excitement of our quadrennial first-in-the-nation primary. How can we give that up?
I hear you. So let’s go ahead and have the primary anyway – or at least a Republican primary. Come on up Jeb Bush, Chris Christie and Rand Paul. Let’s have those debates and town meetings. Let’s pump more money into Channel 9 and the New Hampshire economy.
And then we can run – and win – with Kasich/Rubio in 2016!
Mike Moffett of Loudon is a retired Marine Corps officer, an award-winning author and columnist, and professor at NHTI.