Faces surface for 2016 US elections

  • Hillary likely to be challenged by Jim Webb
  • Third Bush might take a plunge
  • Indian Jindal is another contender

(Venkata Kondubhatla)

Washington, January 3: Even before the November mid-term elections had completed, the political pundits across the country began talking about the potential candidates for the 2016 presidential elections. With all the opinions and speculations in air, the established onset of the elections has already compelled many leaders in the league to pass statements about their possibility to contest.

As the months passed, some of the candidates from both the parties have made up their mind or formed  committees to pursue their possibility to contest, but slowly the clarity on the contestants of on-coming elections is becoming discernible.

Hillary Clinton, one of the chief potential contenders who is all but decided to contest, is the most watched and phenomenal candidates of all in this race. She is the most powerful and well-known figure in the Democratic Party. Her influence and experience as secretary of state, and as a contester in 2008 presidential elections who ran a powerful campaign, will make her a difficult candidate to contest against.

Yet, there are some candidates in the Democratic Party who have recently surfaced and may give a tough fight to Clinton. Jim Webb, a novelist, war veteran and ex-governor of Virginia, has been seriously mulling about contesting, and his committee has been working hard to evaluate his chances of winning, if he contested. Though he is not known to many and does not have good ratings, he may still give nightmares to Clinton, especially on foreign policy, where Clinton would have a difficult time convincing people about her policy of intervention. On the other hand, Webb has been seen as a person with non-interference foreign policy. Clinton has moved away from President Obama in many of the decisions taken before the beheadings of the journalists by ISIS, which veered the direction of the White House’s policy. The decisions, such as removing army troops from Iraq and Afghanistan, which Clinton rejected, have been proving right.

Further, Webb has a long history of disagreeing with wars. He has been loud in rejecting the idea of Iraq war right from the beginning. He has always said that wars would inflict pain and destruction that take years to recover. These ideas he recently expressed in a book he wrote, “I Heard My Country Calling.” His experience makes him a sound candidate with respect to foreign policy and a greater threat to Clinton than Elizabeth Warren, senator from Massachusetts, who has been carefully thinking about challenging Clinton.

Coming to the Republicans, there are many more possible contestants from GOP than that of Democrats at this time. One of the candidates who are heard loud is Senator Ted Cruz of Texas. He is not particularly liked by many of his senior colleagues, for his metier of grandstanding and browbeating. A Cuban descendant, he has popularity among the Cuban dissidents, many of them are now upset with America normalizing relations with Cuba. He was in the forefront to protest against the nomination of Chuck Hagel as the secretary of defense. Another early aspirant for presidential elections is Rand Paul, a libertarian who won as senator of Kentucky with the support of Tea Party.

Governors like Chris Christy of New Jersey and Rick Perry of Texas are likely to contest for the elections as well. Both of them have been carefully planning their respective stand for the fight. But the recent committee formed by the ex-governor of Florida and the second son of senior Bush, Jeb Bush, to pursue his chances of winning has made the fight more interesting. Bush, who is known as a liberal Republican for his stance on issues, such as his support for Obama’s healthcare, has influence and power to run a powerful campaign.

Last but not the least is Bobby Jindal, an Indian American and Republican governor of Louisiana. He has been indicating that he will be contesting for election in 2016, but critics argue that he may be aiming for vice-president position.

With more than one-and-a-half year to go, many things may change, but it is certain that with all these players, the elections are going to be intriguing and interesting.

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