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Clarence F. “Rick” Olson, Published April 21 2013

Letter: A look ahead to 2016

I did some rough figuring the other day and, according to my calculations, there are only 1,004 days left in Barack Obama’s presidency. Can Jan. 20, 2017, come soon enough? The talk has already begun about possible presidential contenders from both the Democratic and Republican parties who may consider a candidacy come the 2016 election cycle.

The only problem is that the Republican Party’s bench in my opinion is pretty thin when it comes to a viable and electable presidential contender, while the Democrats’ bench on the national scene appears to be pretty well stocked.

New Jersey’s Republican governor, Chris Christie, is often mentioned as a potential GOP contender for the White House. It seems to me while Christie may be a sincere man who wants to do what’s best for his state and his country, I honestly don’t think many Americans will take him very seriously as a presidential contender. He will be the butt of every fat joke there is. Christie is a very overweight man.

Another person who’s been mentioned as a possible Republican contender is Louisiana’s governor, Bobby Jindal. Another person who really isn’t all that well-known outside of his state and region. Jindal is an Indian American who was born in Baton Rouge, La., to parents who are both immigrants from India.

Although I like former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin very much, I hope the GOP doesn’t turn to her in 2016 to make the run. She was way too much of a lightning rod when she was Sen. John McCain’s running mate in 2008. I don’t see that having changed very much.

I also don’t see Rep. Michele Bachmann, the Republican congresswoman from Minnesota’s Sixth Congressional District, having what it takes to go the distance in a presidential race, either. Outside of her congressional district in southeastern Minnesota, Bachmann is known in some political circles nationally, but for the average American, Bachmann is relatively unknown.

Is there another member of the Bush family waiting in the wings, who could become a serious presidential contender? Perhaps. There have been numerous stories centering around Jeb Bush, who served as the Republican governor of Florida for two terms, which mention him as a possible presidential candidate. Bush has not given any indications as to whether he is considering a presidential candidacy in 2016.

Since President Obama cannot run again in 2016, the race for the White House will be wide open and pretty much anyone’s to win. It will be interesting to see who the parties settle upon for candidates for the presidency in 2016.

Olson, Fargo, is an occasional contributor to The Forum’s commentary and opinion pages.

Email rickolson@cableone.net