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Ear to the Ground

Howard Dean, Andrew Cuomo Join Speculative List of 2016 Candidates

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Posted on Jun 21, 2013
Photo by Benjamin Ragheb (CC-BY-SA)

Although at least one super PAC has already formed to oppose Hillary Clinton’s unannounced 2016 presidential campaign, the Democratic Party is not without other talented politicians, some of whom are also considering a run.

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo could resurrect his state’s position as the natural home of presidents, including Teddy and Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Scott Conroy reports on Cuomo’s chances:

Less than 2½ years into his first term at the helm of the nation’s third most populous state, Cuomo already ranks among the most accomplished governors in the nation. And in addition to his legislative achievements, he strikes a commanding appearance, enjoys an extensive fundraising network, and possesses natural political instincts on par with any current officeholder.

If Cuomo is considering a run, he had better not take as long as his father, Mario, another talented and popular New York governor who, it is said, took so long to decide whether or not to run for president in 1992 that he lost a race he never actually entered.

Political Wire reports that another name from the past could make a splash in 2016. Howard Dean has been a doctor, the governor of Vermont, the head of the Democratic Party and, in 2004, he was the front-runner to win the nomination until John Kerry started inexplicably winning everything. Dean, when asked about running again, told CNN “you should never say never in this business”:

“If you had to put a gun to my head and make me decide right now, I wouldn’t,” said Dean, who became chairman of the Democratic National Committee after failing to win his party’s nomination in 2004. “But who knows?”

As has been observed, there is an opening on Obama and Clinton’s left for a candidate who is critical of the administration’s assassination program, surveillance of Americans and cozy relationship with powerful banking interests. That person could be Howard Dean, who has always been popular with progressive voters. It could also be Elizabeth Warren, a woman who has generated much enthusiasm on the left since before she was in the Senate and seems to be one of the few politicians who actually understands the financial markets.

Of course this is all wild speculation, but in a country where presidential candidates start their campaigns years before voters head to the polls, it’s worth considering the bench. Especially since President Obama has proven to be simultaneously well liked by and disappointing to his own base. Perhaps the Republicans, who have won the popular vote only once in the last six elections, will get their act together, or maybe 2016 will be the year an alternative candidate finally makes some headway. Is it really already campaign season? No, but some people are already running anyway.

—Posted by Peter Z. Scheer.

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