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2012 and 2016 page 2
More election reflections

Date published: 11/14/2012


It came as no surprise that Florida Sen. Marco Rubio was first out of the gate with speaking engagements that sound suspiciously like preliminaries for the 2016 GOP nomination. For a party that desperately needs Florida as part of its presidential base, as well as a higher percentage of Latino support, Mr. Rubio comes close to looking like a dream candidate. But what pressure on him to deliver the presidency for the GOP in four years. Call him Atlas.

Though he's facing a 2014 political dead end as governor, Virginia's Bob McDonnell is not to be overlooked, either. By 2016, the bitterness over the General Assembly's "anti-woman" legislative antics presumably will have subsided. Mr. McDonnell would bring to the table swing-state credentials, good connections to his conservative base, a moderate record as governor, and an amiable personality.

As for Democrats, once you get beyond the usual suspects (Hillary Clinton and the very suspect Joe Biden) you find interesting possibilities on both sides of the Potomac. Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley has made no secret of his appetite for national office. But his blue-state orthodoxy would be a hard sell to swing voters.

More promising is Sen. Mark Warner of Virginia, who thought about taking on Hillary Clinton in 2008--before a certain Illinois senator stole the show. By 2016 there's a good chance that voters will be hungry for the post-partisanship many had hoped Mr. Obama would bring. If so, Mr. Warner could be the right candidate in the right place at the right time.

So could it be an all-Virginia Warner vs. McDonnell fight for the presidency in 2016? Would the Mother of Presidents be bursting with pride that one of her offspring would add to her total? As we seem to be saying more and more about politics, almost anything is possible.

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