Contrary to conventional media wisdom, this week’s CPAC proved Republicans are likely going to put a formidable team on the presidential field in 2016—and they’ll have at least one advantage going into the election: Their primaries are going to be much more interesting, dramatic and entertaining than the Democratic primaries. This means Republicans are going to soak up a whole lot of press coverage and attention while the media and voters largely tune-out what is likely to be a foregone conclusion on the Democratic side.
Now, I believe someone will rise up, albeit briefly, to challenge Hillary Clinton. There will likely be a scare. Someone will emerge as the alternative and provide some "giant killer" storyline for awhile. But what was thought to be "inevitable" in 2008, will be more so in 2012, and the Hillary machine should role up the nomination early.
But, on the Republican side, never have things been more undecided and uncertain. And, therefore, a whole lot more fun. The typical paradigm of handing the baton to the senior statesman who has paid his dues and waited patiently in line (Nixon, Reagan, H. W. Bush, Dole, McCain) is out the window.
There is no frontrunner on the Republican side, thanks in part to Bridgegate. Chris Christie may survive the scandal, but he's scarred and has become just another mere mortal candidate. Jeb Bush may decide to run, but he will get no immediate dynastic anointment and will have to navigate a much different kind of primary electorate than his brother or father.
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