“The Sunday Political Brunch”—December 11, 2016

Sunday, December 11, 2016


View Larger +

Last week we profiled some possible Democratic Presidential candidates for 2020. A lot of their fates and fortunes depend on how well - or how poorly – the Trump White House goes. The same is true for aspiring Republicans in the event Trump only serves one-term. Let’s “brunch” on that this week:

“Marco? Polo!” – From the get-go I thought Senator March Rubio (R-FL) made a mistake entering the 2016 primary campaign. In my book he was still too young and inexperienced, (yes I know, about the same level of experience as a young Senator Obama in 2008). Rubio also has an inspiring personal story similar to Obama. My recommendation was that Rubio run for Governor in 2018. However, he broke a promise about not running for his Senate seat again in 2016, (which could be problematic down the road), yet he won. Rubio, at age 45, will be viable for the next four or five Presidential election cycles.

“Pence-ive” – The Vice President is almost always in the driver’s seat for the nomination, but it’s a double-edged sword. If Trump does well, Pence stays as VP. If Trump falters, Pence can be viewed as guilty by association. It’s hard for a VP to become President, short of the death of a Commander in Chief. President. George H.W. Bush won by direct election in 1988, but the last person to succeed his boss by vote (not death) before then was President Marin Van Buren, way back in 1836. (By the way, both Van Buren and Bush were voted out after just one-term).

“Sic ‘em Kasich” – Governor John Kasich (R-OH) is termed-out in 2018. He still has a political future. Maybe the U.S. Senate? Who knows? And, yes, the White House is possible, if Trump falters badly. Kasich was one of those who ran like a scalded-dog from Trump, and never endorsed him, and, in fact, never showed up at the Republican National Conventions in Cleveland. Kasich is one who can legitimately say, “I told you so,” if Trump bombs. That could be an advantage! Kasich is 64, and likely has only one more shot at the White House.

“Cruz Cruise” – He had the second largest number of Republican delegates, and he is from the largest Electoral College vote-rich state of Texas, with 38 votes. He’s only 45; he’s Hispanic; and, the most conservative wing of the party loves him. Cruz came through at the end by endorsing Trump, after dissing him at the Republican National Convention. Cruz has opportunities through – probably – the next five election cycles. Part of me says he’d rather be on the U.S. Supreme Court, than the White House, or Senate, so keep an eye on that,

“Walking with Walker” – Does Gov. Scott Walker (R-WI) try again? I met him in October when he visited West Virginia (photo above). In the early days of the 2016 campaign, I remember Walker leading one New Hampshire campaign poll by 12 points, but his momentum never materialized in the crowded field. He had one tough debate performance, and lost traction. But Wisconsin is now a critical player on the national stage, so his fortunes could change. He’s only 49, so he has at least 20 years “shelf life” in politics.

“Oh, Susana” – I believe Gov. Susana Martinez (R-NM), is still viable nationally. She is termed out as Governor, but could choose to take on incumbent Senator Martin Heinrich (D-NM) in 2018. Governor Martinez had an unfortunate incident at a hotel party in 2015, in which some police (and others) thought she might be inebriated – an allegation never proven. Time may heal that, and U.S. Senate experience could boost her resume. She’s only 57, so she could be a Presidential or Vice Presidential contender for a few more cycles.

“Bush Back” – I have no doubts that former Gov. Jeb Bush (R-FL) could resurface as a contender. He could enhance his resume by taking on Sen. Bill Nelson (D-FL), in his 2018 reelection bid. Nelson has served three-terms, and most U.S. Senator are most-vulnerable after three-terms. Bush could use some foreign policy chops if Trump is vulnerable in the 2020 primary season. Senate experience could round out his resume. Bush will be 67 in 2020.

Who would you like to see as the GOP nominee in 2020, if Trump should falter? Click the comment button at www.MarkCurtisMedia.com.


Related Slideshow: Trump’s Win - What Does it Mean for Rhode Island?

View Larger +
Prev Next

Jennifer Duffy

Cook Report

"We don't really know what a Trump presidency means for the nation, never mind the smallest state.  One of the unintended consequences of last night's results is that Sen. Jack Reed won't be chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee.  Chalk that up as a loss for RI."

View Larger +
Prev Next

Pam Gencarella

Head of Ocean State Taxpayers' Association

"Trump’s win means that his signature issue, illegal immigration, could have a big impact on RI, hopefully reversing our course as a sanctuary state and saving the state taxpayer millions of dollars.  While we agree with his 'repeal and replace' Obamacare stance, we have no idea what that means to the RI debacle known as UHIP.  It is not a stretch to believe that federal funding for this kind of system will be off the table so, will RI be stuck with this massively expensive system that still doesn’t work and that is expected to cost another $124 million to fix?  

Trump's belief that there is significant fraud in the Food Stamp program and the policies that may come from that belief could have a negative impact on RI's local economy since there are businesses in certain cities that rely heavily on this program, fraud and all. On the upside, we may be able to ditch the UHIP program if there is significantly less need for processing welfare program requests (ie. Medicaid and food stamps) resulting from fewer illegal immigrants and less fraud.  While we are ambivalent about his touted child care policies, if enacted, it may force our legislators to revisit the ever growing state cost of subsidies in this area and possibly reduce the fraud and abuse in this system." 

View Larger +
Prev Next

Kay Israel

Professor at Rhode Island College

"With a Republican President and Congress, Rhode Island will probably be excluded from the 'fruits of victory."  

The congressional delegation will be able to vocally make their presence felt, but in the long term it's more symbolic than substantive.  

For Rhode Island it's a matter of holding on and waiting until '18 or '20 and a surge in Democratic influence."

View Larger +
Prev Next

Jennifer Lawless

Professor at American University

"The RI congressional delegation just became even less powerful than it was. With unified government, Trump doesn’t need to quell Democrats’ concerns or acquiesce because he’s worried about a Democratically-controlled Senate.

His appointments will reflect that. His executive orders will affect that. And the conservative policy agenda he puts forward will affect that."

View Larger +
Prev Next

Len Lardaro

Professor at University of Rhode Island

"Well there's a few things -- because there's not going to be gridlock, that's a big difference if it had been Hillary and a GOP Congress, in which nothing would got done. We'll at least get a half a billion in infrastructure that's going to pass which will have an impact.

I think you'll see there will be reduced reliance on government nationally -- and that's where we'll stick out like sore thumb. We've relied way too much on government -- and our government is highly inefficient and ineffective.  Maybe, just maybe, in this who cycle of things we might be forced to be small and more efficient for once.

A couple of other things -- interest rates jumped. The one to follow is the ten year government bond rate -- which is tied to mortgages. It went from 1.7% to 2.05% in one day. The point is -- if the ten year stays high, mortgage rates will start going higher -- and in the short time people will run to re-finance. 

That's the short term impact -- but then if rates stay hight, that will make mortgages more out of reach. And we just passed a bond issue to limit open space -- housing has limited upside here.
The next thing -- the Fed Reserve will go ahead with tightening next month. A strong dollar will hurt manufacturing. When the dollar is strong our exports become more expensive overseas. 

Our goods production sector -- manufacturing and construction -- in the near term will do a little better, but as time goes on will be more limited. But something you won't hear, is there are lags in fiscal policy, of six months to year. So we won't really see the effects until the third our fourth quarter of 2017, going into 2018."

View Larger +
Prev Next

Mike Stenhouse

RI Center for Freedon and Prosperity

"As the unbelievable turned into reality this morning, it struck me that the presidential election was not really all about Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton. It was about a fed-up people, revolting against a corrupt system - the "beast" - that relentlessly favors insiders. Hillary personified the beast, while Donald personified the slayer.

Sadly, based on election results in our state, Rhode Island's version of the beast lives on. I fear our political class has not learned the lessons from the Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump movements - and will continue with their government-centric, anti-family, anti-business status quo."

View Larger +
Prev Next

Kristina Contreras Fox

VP of Young Democrats of America

"A Trump Presidency means the validation of the ugliest part of America. In RI, as with the rest of the country, the hammer of his hatred will fall hardest on minority communities. Being a blue state doesn't make us immune from this danger.

Trump won over 35% (39.5) of the vote here! We need to look in the mirror, and not lie about what the reflection shows us. No more hiding underneath a blue blanket. I expect those who claim Democratic values to be true to those values. The gulf between words and actions have turned into fertile ground for Trump's message to grow here in RI. If you call yourself a Democrat, if you claim to stand in opposition to Trump, now is the time to prove it. Show up and fight back."


Enjoy this post? Share it with others.


Sign Up for the Daily Eblast

I want to follow on Twitter

I want to Like on Facebook

Delivered Free Every
Day to Your Inbox