Determining the top 10 Republican leaders is a fluid challenge.
An article in the Washington Post yesterday carried the message that Republicans should be cautious about getting carried away with the President’s current problems because they don’t appear to rise to the level of impeachment. Attempting to capitalize on the difficulties would appear too opportunistic, and like a cheap shot.
At the heart of the problem for Republicans is leadership.
“The problem in all of this? That there is no clear leader of the Republican Party at the moment. Without that person, keeping the various elements of the GOP on the same messaging plan — particularly on an issue like Benghazi or the IRS that really fires up the party’s base — is extremely difficult.”
“Who’s the leader of the club that’s made for you and me?”
Let’s take a crack at the top ten Republican leaders. If you are a contender for president from the Republican Party, that would portend that you are a leader. However, there are also leaders in Congress, in the House and Senate who are influential and powerful in the party. There are powerful influencers outside government also. Leaders conduct and direct, in this case, the forces of the party to help shape the agenda and determine priorities.
Mitt Romney tried to be a leader as he developed a detailed plan about what he wanted to accomplish. He displayed superior CEO qualities in preparedness. The trouble is that he could not corral his party to leverage his considerable accomplishment. He permitted influencers to exploit his worst characteristics, undermining his appeal to all Americans. Republicans don’t want to acknowledge that their ideology is not for most Americans.
Last November, Sophie Quinton from the National Journal made a list of presidential contenders, and that is a good place to start. She made the list before Mitt Romney lost to Barack Obama.
Top on her list was New Jersey Governor, Chris Christie. Christie got his stomach stapled, apparently, and is trying to reduce his weight to become heart healthy. His obesity would preclude him from being a serious contender, so good luck with dieting. He still looked hefty the other day giving Prince Harry a tour of the Jersey shore.
Do you think that Chris Christie has any persuasive powers over Speaker Boehner or Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell? It doesn’t appear so. That would make those two higher in the leadership stack with Boehner in the catbird seat.
Since neither one will be president, the question is, who will be king of the mountain and knock them down a peg or two?
Florida Senator Marco Rubio is next on Quinton’s list. He was coming on strong, advancing immigration reform and carrying some weight around with Tea Party conservatives. However, they didn’t follow his lead, much to the disappointment of Latinos looking for a leader. In fact, the party snubbed his plan, and now he is lost. His lack of experience is glaring on his resume, and he doesn’t have academic snob appeal. Unless he can produce some tangible accomplishment, he will become another Latino left behind by the GOP.
Virginia Gov. Bob McDonnell is popular among Virginians, and he is popular among some Republicans. Yet, there are a couple of other popular former Virginia Democrat governors who will help steal his thunder. He is largely unknown in America today, and he has legal problems. He must move down on the list.
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is fourth on the Quinton list, and I would make him number 1. Boehner would pay attention to Jeb and Jeb would ignore Senator McConnell as he is not his type. Jeb Bush has more practical experience than the others and would likely carry the senior vote from Florida. It is all up to Jeb, and that is a characteristic of a leader because he is in control of his destiny.
Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan is number 5 on the Quinton list. Ryan should be removed from the list because he helped sink Romney. Ryan may be lucky win back his incumbency. Now, as for being a leader among the Tea Party, well let’s see how the TP performs in Election 2014.
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul is number 6 on the Quinton list. No doubt he is surging among a segment of the GOP, however, as Donald Trump once said, “He is unelectable.” Like his dad, Rand is an outlier without broad appeal to the electorate. He is offensive to women and minorities and therefore, not a leader.
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal is at number 7 on the Quinton list/ Jindal had the healthcare issue handed to him on a silver platter as health administration is his occupation by training. He could not articulate an alternative to ObamaCare. He could not make and effective speech and did not do well in debates. He is a leader in Louisiana, and that is as far as that will go.
Number 8 on the Quinton list is South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley. She is a leader, having sprung from her mother’s dress shop to governor. South Carolina is a handicap for aspiring national politicians. Haley is a woman leader from a quirky state that most Americans find highly offensive. Take her from the list.
South Dakota Sen. John Thune is number 9 on the list. South Dakota like South Carolina does nothing to enhance one’s credentials. That does not mean that Thune would not rise among the Senate leadership where a whole bunch of people might like to say so long to Mitch McConnell.
Last there is Indiana Rep. Mike Pence, number 10 on the Quinton list. Being from Indiana, he would surely be considered as a vice presidential candidate, especially since he is an able fundraiser. As for being persuasive with the current leadership, there isn’t much evidence of that.
Missing from the lost are people outside politics such as Margaret Cushing “Meg” Whitman. She is an American business executive, and the president and chief executive officer of Hewlett-Packard. Her managerial achievements and academic credentials should make her number 1, but if Jeb Bush is in the game, she might have to settle for Vice President.
Passover: You may ask, where are the following persons: Eric Cantor, Majority Leader, Ken McCarthy, Majority Whip, Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Conference Chair and others? Like Mitch McConnell in the Senate, Eric Cantor is the Republican Democrats love to hate as well as many Americans because he is so arrogant and offensive. Cathy Rodgers is one that the GOP might pluck from the list to push up the ladder.
Now, let’s construct the list.
My how things can change.
“Top 10 Republican Presidential Contenders for 2016
By Sophie Quinton
Updated: November 6, 2012 | 1:46 p.m.
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie tops the list and projects a real sincerity that voters on both sides of the aisle appreciate. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
If Republican challenger Mitt Romney doesn’t emerge triumphant on Election Day, the party will have a deep bench of contenders to draw from in 2016. Here is a list of the top 10 to watch.
1. Jeb Bush is the top Republican at this time
Former Governor Jeb Bush may be the most likeable of the entire Bush family. He is a bipartisan sort of person, and may be what the nation needs in 2016. If he decides to go forward, he will have to fight from being a victim of his own party as was Mitt Romney. That means that he must lead on his own terms.
2. Meg Whitman could be second fiddle
After losing to Jerry Brown in pursuit of being Governor of California, Meg Whitman moved up to become CEO of Hewlett Packard. Her academic credentials are stellar. Her businesses accomplishments are extraordinary. If the GOP has an answer to Hillary Clinton, Meg is it. However, will the GOP ever accept a woman on the point? As a VP to Jeb Bush, what a powerhouse that might be.
3. Chris Christie is a pal
Governor Chris Christie has shown Americans why the folks in New Jersey like him. He has demonstrated that in times of crisis, he puts politics aside. He has a health issue that must be resolved to be a serious contender. At present, he is nearly as wide as Obama is tall. Team him up with Jeb Bush and the GOP can win some urban votes.
4. Marco Rubio is a flame
Marco Rubio has demonstrated leadership in a bipartisan manner, but his own party doesn’t follow him. Immigration reform success is essential to the GOP’s chances and Rubio served up a victory. However, that is all awash once again. Without legislative achievement, Rubio’s resume is too light. He won’t help Jeb Bush on the ticket since they both are from Florida.
5. Mike Pence is a true Republican
Indiana Rep. Mike Pence is number 10 on the Quinton list. Being from Indiana, he would surely be considered as a vice presidential candidate, especially since he is an able fundraiser. As for being persuasive with the current leadership, there isn’t much evidence of that.
6. Bobby Jindal is cajun
Bobby Jindal is a great governor of Louisiana. He had a healthcare credential to play, and he missed the opportunity. He didn’t deliver effective speeches when he had the opportunity. His moment in the sun has past, but he is influential.
7. John Thune is cheerful
He looks like a Republican. South Dakota like South Carolina does nothing to enhance one’s credentials. That does not mean that Thune would not rise among the Senate leadership where a whole bunch of people might like to say so long to Mitch McConnell.
8. Niki Haley has her hands full
Her academic and business credentials are far below the threshold for qualifying as President of the USA. She is an influential governor from South Carolina and her state affiliation is problematic.
9. Bob McDonnell is suspicious
He doesn’t like gay people and wrote a dissertation to prove it. He is a popular Virginia governor. He is largely unknown in America today and he has legal problems. He must move down on or off the list.
10. Cathy McMorris Rodgers is underplayed
Cathy McMorris Rodgers, Conference Chair needs to be plucked from the weeds and pushed up the ladder. She can help the GOP win women. Her abilities as a leader are currently not leveraged.