With so many presidential sights officially being set in recent days — Hillary Clinton officially announced her candidacy in 2016 on Sunday, and Marco Rubio made his choice set in stone on Monday. There are a decently long list of other candidates who are likely to shoot for the White House, including former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley, former Sen. Jim Webb, former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, Wisconsin’s Gov. Scott Walker, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, former Sen. Rick Santorum, and New Jersey’s Gov. Chris Christie.
However, there are also a few political forces that likely won’t be running for the presidency, and it’s interesting to their take on the presidency and who they would prefer to see fill it. Some were potential candidates themselves, but decided not to run, like Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) and 2012 presidential candidate Mitt Romney. Some, like John Boehner are leadership in their party, and as such, have an interesting perspective. And others, like Sarah Palin, have zero chance of taking the presidency, but still have a unique perspective on candidates.
The Republican Speaker of the House made it clear early on that he wouldn’t be interested in running for president, telling Jay Leno that the sacrifices aren’t worth it to him. “I like to play golf. I like to cut my own grass. I do drink red wine. I smoke cigarettes, and I’m not giving that up to be President of the United States,” he said, according to CNN.
But if he’s not running, who would he like to see in charge of the country? While he never officially decided to endorse him, Jeb Bush has certainly been a name on his lips. “I’m not endorsing anybody. But Jeb Bush is my friend and, frankly, I think he’d make a great president,” he said, according to The Hill. He even admitted in 2014 that he had been giving Bush a bit of a shove in that direction. “We have a lot of good candidates out in the field,” he said, according to Politico. He once again put his disclaimer in, but then added that the best candidates for the Republican party have come in the form of governors, saying, “And yes, Jeb Bush is my friend, I think he’d make a great president. And I’ve been nudging him for some time.”
When Romney announced that he would not be running, he emphasized the need for new opportunities for other Republicans. “I believe that one of our next generation of Republican leaders, one who may not be as well-known as I am today, one who has not yet taken their message across the country, one who is just getting started, may well emerge as being better able to defeat the Democrat nominee,” he said at the time, according to ABC. “In fact, I expect and hope that to be the case.”
But who specifically is that commentary directed at? Romney was quickly flooded with positive responses from his own party, particularly his competitors in the party who would no longer need to run against him. Jeb Bush, Rand Paul, Scott Walker, Ted Cruz, and Mike Huckabee all made comments expressing their gratitude for his leadership and his influence in shaping the party. But looking at his words, it’s unlikely he sees the next generation of unheard Republican voices to include potential candidates like Jeb Bush. However, it’s been noted that following his decision he met privately with both Bush and Christie. And there are candidates it’s obvious he doesn’t support, like Donald Trump, who tweeted the following after his announcement:
I will take full credit for Mitt Romney dropping out of the race—looks like he won’t be endorsing Trump any time soon.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 30, 2015
Warren has made it more than clear she won’t be running for president, despite the constant enthusiasm from supporters who hoped she’d pit herself against Clinton in in 2016. However, Warren isn’t holding back because she’s supporting Clinton. In fact, she isn’t outright supporting anyone.
She’s said generally what she thinks candidates should focus on — namely middle-class American families — which is what many candidates, including Clinton, have claimed to work toward. But she’s also named both Ted Cruz and Rand Paul as candidates she doesn’t feel truly fit the bill. “In my view [they’re] out of the running for really working for middle-class families,” she said, according to CNN.
Technically, Palin herself is still eying the presidency with a hopeful gaze, but realistically she’s not a true contender at this point so we’ll add her to the list as a bonus. Her desire to run hasn’t kept her from commenting on current candidates, and as a voice of the Tea Party and far right conservatives, her input is instructive, if not exactly objective — or entirely informed.
In particular, she has been discussed in conjunction with Donald Trump as potentially pairing up — something Trump quickly denied, following a skit on SNL where she joked the two might partner up for a run. “I think she’s a terrific person,” said Trump. “I think she looked totally beautiful last night and everybody was talking about how beautiful she looked and I was honored by the skit,” he said, according to the NY Daily News.
More from Politics Cheat Sheet:
- Here’s Why Clinton Needs Elizabeth Warren if She Runs for President
- Hillary Clinton vs. Rand Paul: Is This What 2016 Will Look Like?
- Here’s Why Marco Rubio’s Tax Plan Is Bad for Everyone
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