For all the bigots, birthers and ideologues out there, I hope you're ready for Hillary!
At this juncture, perhaps the two most qualified candidates for the Republican nomination have dropped out. Leaving conservative faithful's choices that are, at best, risky. My definition of "risky" amounts to "easiest for Hillary Clinton to defeat!"
Donald Trump isn't the one! Even if he secures the nomination, it will be difficult for him to lure sufficient women and Hispanics to collect 270 electoral votes.
Carly Fiorina is a smart, somewhat colorful player. But, she is rich. Extremely rich; the result of a multi-million dollar parachute, courtesy of Hewlett-Packard. Did anyone review Barbara Boxer's Senate attack ads? You could expect more of the same from the superbly hypocritical Hillary. Remember Bank of America CEO, Ken Lewis? For those who don't, he ran his company into the ground, exiting with a cool 65 million! Americans are tired of millionaire CEO's turning in less than stellar report cards while exiting with buckets of cash!
And for God's sake, forget Ben Carson. Not because he got it right about Moslems! He just doesn't have the experience for the top job. A cabinet position? Absolutely! But this is no game! We must get it right.
The key is to win. The media is in the tank for Hillary. Opponents can expect nothing short of the most biased coverage in election history. And make no mistake! She will be the nominee. Bernie Sander's accomplished his objective: to slide her ten degrees or so to the left. Joe Biden still might get in. But, if he does it will be only because something extraordinary, such as an indictment comes down within the next 30 days.
Ted Cruz has secured a place in the hearts of conservatives. He has truly said all of the right things. But where is he realistically? Those who know him will attest to his intellectual brilliance. Same could be said about Dr. Carson! But, we're talking about accomplishments, real accomplishments! Shutting the government down or threatening to do so doesn't qualify.
There are the Karl Rovers who continue to relish the idea of a Jeb Bush Presidency. But, the anti-Bush syndrome is so high at this moment that something amazing will need to take place. On paper, Bush did a reasonably good job in Florida. He is slightly to the right of his brother and father. As Rick Perry once said, "if his last name was Smith, he would be a shoo in."
Mike Huckabee has Executive experience and is in touch with "blue collar" America. But, he has no money. True, he could gain some early momentum by winning in Iowa. And he likely has more "dirt" on the Clintons than any candidate. But, it still might not be enough to win those purple states.
Marco Rubio may be the most electable Republican option. And, his retreat from the "Gang of Ocho," modifying his position is encouraging. Where Cruz is a decided Ideologue, Rubio appears to be a pragmatic. His positions on certain issues such as Climate change, Common Core and Obamacare are carbon copies of Cruz' positions.
Worrisome are his stances on globalization. The "I-Square" proposal is a stinker. For those not familiar, it would triple the number of international student visas while expanding the guest worker program. Too many benefactors would be from Islamic nations who are exporters of terrorism. Bad idea, Marco!
John Kasich is perceived by the Tea Party as "a RINO." But, he may be one of the more electable Republicans. His state is a "must win."
In short, Republicans have two quandaries'. Nominating a candidate who can get the job done while making sure that the chosen one can beat Hillary Clinton.
The Evangelical right would love to see a Cruz-Huckabee ticket. But, I can't see it. And, I don't think it will be Trump-Cruz. Too many negatives on too many fronts. Even solid conservatives compare the Texas Senator to a "television evangelist."
Marco Rubio's wife is a devout Evangelical. He admits to attending Christ Fellowship, the Saddle Creek church, with her more often than Mass. And, having worked on his campaign, I can attest to his deep religious conviction. His positions on defense, Iran, Russia, China and certainly Cuba are right on target with conservatives.
On defeating Hillary Clinton, Marco Rubio gets all "A's". Jeb Bush called him the "most gifted orator" he had ever seen. I can imagine what he would do to Hillary in a debate, even with her receiving expected help from the moderators! Cruz is known for his debating skills. But, in the debates he has come off as "canned."
America likes underdogs. That amounts to someone who came from very humble circumstances and vaulted to the top. Rubio did this. Cruz did it to a lessor extent. And, Ted was a superb student at Princeton and Harvard. Which brings me to the next consideration. Do we want another Ivy Leaguer in the White House. The last non-Ivy Leaguer was Ronald Reagan. I must admit! I have "cold feet" where Harvard Lawyers are concerned!
Globalist tendencies aside, Marco Rubio looks to be the best overall option. He will be only 45 when November 2016 rolls around. Young people see him as a "rock star." Immigrants look upon him as a champion. Both groups broke for Barack Obama in '08 and '12.
Obviously Ted Cruz has his advocates. But I see him as unelectable as Rubio is electable. No candidate is perfect, after all. Rubio's orientation is purely "supply side." Not because he talked about it! But, because he sponsored it, during his tenure as Florida House Speaker.
Texas will go "red" no matter who the Republicans nominate. But Florida will be determined by which candidate splits the Hispanic vote. Hispanics make up 27% of the Sunshine state's electorate. Smart money says that Rubio and Bush are the only two candidates who could do this. Ultimately the question becomes, "are you ready for Hillary?"
By the way, I think John Kasich would be an excellent choice for Vice President.