Posts Tagged scott walker
Once again this week the field of contenders for the 2016 Republican Presidential Nomination continued to grow. There is great diversity in what is shaping up to be a historically large field of would-be presidents. Diverse not just by gender, race and ethnicity, but collectively the candidates bring a wealth of experience and expertise to the contest.
A few years back the historian Doris Kearns Goodwin penned a book entitled Team of Rivals which went into great detail as to how President Abraham Lincoln brought those who competed against him during the nomination process into his cabinet. President Lincoln was both secure enough in his own abilities, and wise enough to recognize his erstwhile opponents had talents the country sorely needed.
If Republicans reclaim the White House, the large field of contenders will give the new president a deep pool of qualified individuals from which to pick his, or her, cabinet. Just for fun, let’s take a look at the Republican presidential contenders and see how they might fit into a new administration:
The big four cabinet posts are State, Defense, Treasury and Justice. U.S. Senator Marco Rubio has emerged as one of the leading voices on foreign affairs making him well qualified to become the next Secretary of State. Both the current Secretary of State John Kerry and his predecessor Hillary Clinton had competed for their party’s presidential nomination and served in the U.S. Senate prior to becoming the nation’s top diplomat, so Rubio would be following a well-worn path.
For Secretary of Defense U.S. Senator Lindsey Graham would be a perfect fit. He, along with Senator John McCain, for a decade now have traveled extensively to the mid-east and other areas of global conflict. He would be well positioned to begin restoring the confidence in America’s resolve which has been lost over the past six years. And George Pataki, the former New York governor who led his state in the wake of the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, would be an excellent fit for Secretary of Homeland Security.
Nobody on the campaign trail speaks as well or argues as effectively as the U.S. Senator from Texas, Ted Cruz. His passionate defense of conservative principles and strict adherence to the U.S. Constitution would make him an ideal candidate to become the next Attorney General of the United States. And, who better to be Secretary of the Treasury than the man who has made an $8 billion personal fortune – The Donald, Donald Trump?
As we continue to build the ideal GOP presidential cabinet let’s put the former U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania Rick Santorum in as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development. Santorum cares passionately for families and could walk in the innovative footsteps of another conservative icon, Jack Kemp, who proved that housing policy could be compassionate and realistic at the same time. Along those lines, Dr. Ben Carson – a highly respected neurosurgeon, would be an ideal fit as Secretary of Health and Human Services.
For Secretary of the Interior, former Texas Governor Rick Perry would be ideal. Western states need an Interior secretary who will fight for their interests. Perry is steeped in the issues, a passionate and effective advocate for his causes, and as a westerner would be widely acceptable in that role. Alternately, he would fit well as Secretary of Energy.
Conservatives would applaud the appointment of Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker as Secretary of Labor. Walker has successfully battled the labor unions in Wisconsin and intrinsically understands how the nation’s current labor policy environment is hindering the economic recovery. Pair him with Carly Fiorina as Commerce Secretary and they could put the nation’s economy back on the right track.
His support for Common Core standards aside, former Florida Governor Jeb Bush was an innovator and strong supporter of school choice making him a good pick for Secretary of Education. Ohio Governor John Kasich would be effective as White House Chief of Staff. And, to really make liberal heads spin, let’s put Senator Rand Paul on the U.S. Supreme Court.
Finally let’s appoint New Jersey Governor Chris Christie as Secretary of Transportation. Who better to rebuild our nation’s roads and bridges . . . OK, well, maybe not.
Those are my presidential cabinet picks. Of course, one of these folks would have to end up as president, and another likely vice president, but the bottom line is the GOP has a wealth of talent which could be called into service if the party prevails in November of 2016.
(Lowman S. Henry is Chairman & CEO of the Lincoln Institute and host of the weekly Lincoln Radio Journal. His e-mail address firstname.lastname@example.org.)
Permission to reprint is granted provided author and affiliation are cited.
Pennsylvania’s presidential primary, held in late April after more than half of the other states have already voted, means residents of Penn’s Woods generally have little impact on the selection of the nominees of the two major political parties. Legislation has been proposed to move the primary to an earlier date, however, it is unlikely to happen in time to take effect for 2016.
But, there is a scenario in which Pennsylvania’s delegation to next year’s Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Ohio could play a major role in the selection of the nominee. That would be if the primary season fails to yield a candidate with a majority of delegate votes triggering a rare brokered convention.
In recent decades the quadrennial nominating conventions have been little more than stage managed coronations of the candidates who already had collected enough delegate votes through the primary and caucus process. The last time a convention really mattered was in 1976 when incumbent President Gerald Ford arrived in Detroit still locked in a battle with Ronald Reagan for the nomination. Ford prevailed, but was unable to shake off the after effects of the Watergate scandal and lost the General Election to Jimmy Carter.
Prospects for a brokered GOP convention in 2016 grow greater every week. That’s the frequency with which candidates are entering the presidential contest with 15 or more candidates ultimately expected to compete. A recent Quinnipiac University poll found five of those candidates – Scott Walker, Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, Ben Carson, and Mike Huckabee – all tied for the lead with 10% of the vote each. It could be argued those candidates constitute a top tier, but clearly no one has taken command of the race.
It is, of course, still early in a climate where even one or two news cycles can completely alter the political landscape, but the Republican bench is so deep every one of the top five, and just about all of the others, can lay claim to a base constituency and make the argument that they are qualified to become the next president. Few, however, can outline a plausible path to the nomination.
The winnowing process could still occur, especially if one candidate manages to win two out of three of the earliest contests in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina and then go on to dominate the so-called Super Tuesday primaries. But, 15 candidates with diverse geographic and ideological bases within the party presage a Balkanization of the vote and the allocation of delegates.
If the Republican Party arrives in Cleveland with no one candidate having a majority of votes, a quirk in Pennsylvania’s delegate rules could put the commonwealth’s delegation in a strong position to be the king-maker. Unlike most other states, all of Pennsylvania’s delegates run uncommitted. Republican delegates are elected by congressional district, with an additional group selected by the Republican State Committee. Pennsylvania will have 71 delegate votes, making it the seventh largest delegation. While candidates for delegate can express support for a particular presidential candidate, they are not legally bound to vote for that candidate at the convention.
This means Pennsylvania’s delegation will arrive on the shores of Lake Erie technically uncommitted to any of the candidates and free to wheel and deal with potential nominees. Assuming any degree of unity among the delegation, Pennsylvania’s delegate votes could be enough to put a candidate over the top or at least provide major momentum in a brokered scenario.
It would take all the stars aligning for this to play out, but in a year where there are an unprecedented number of candidates participating in a long string of primaries and caucuses anything is possible. If it does come down to a brokered convention Pennsylvania might once again become the Keystone State.
(Lowman S. Henry is Chairman & CEO of the Lincoln Institute and host of the weekly Lincoln Radio Journal. His e-mail address is email@example.com.)
Permission to reprint is granted provided author and affiliation are cited.