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September 20, 2014

Saturday Politics Thread: "Young Guns" [Y-not]

Over the past few weeks we've been looking over some of the GOP prospects for 2016, focusing on governors. Last week we reviewed Kasich, Haley, and Martinez and there seemed to be a certain amount of enthusiasm for Governor Haley. Before that, we reviewed Walker, Jindal, and Perry and found that both Perry and Walker had strong support.

Interestingly, when I polled the horde on all six of these governors, Nikki Haley dropped behind Bobby Jindal. I'm not sure if this is a reflection of people feeling they don't know Haley very well or if the dreaded "electability factor" reared its ugly head. It seems as though there's a reluctance to nominate a woman because of fears of what the media will do to her based on past experience with Palin.

I thought this week week we'd dip our toes into somewhat murkier waters and review three high-profile senators whose names have been bandied about as prospective candidates for 2016: Marco Rubio (FL), Rand Paul (KY), and Ted Cruz (TX). I think the waters here are murkier for several reasons. One, as U.S. Senators each one of these men is paid to pontificate. Let's face it, without control of the Senate, there's not a heck of a lot a Republican Senator can accomplish except to make speeches, appear on television, and make social media posts.

Second, there seems to be a strong feeling amongst a lot of likely Republican voters (who post on blogs, at least) that we should nominate a governor or possibly a businessman, but most certainly NOT a Senator or even a Representative. I should add that although I understand the arguments, I think they are being given far too much weight and, in some cases at least, I think they are being used to exclude candidates from consideration who are deemed ideologically unacceptable to people who influence elections. So when we discuss these three men, let's try to compare them to each other rather than spend a lot of time hashing out the "don't nominate a Senator" thing. I'd really like to hear more about what you think of their backgrounds, accomplishments, and ideologies today, if at all possible.

Third, all three of them (even Rand Paul who was born in 1963) are sometimes considered to be "young guns." They have not been on the national stage (or even in office, in the case of Paul) for very long, so there is going to be a tendency by all of us (self included) to project our biases and wishes onto their records. When that happens things tend to get heated.

I should add that one advantage of examining Senators' records is that they are all voting on the same measures that impact the nation. And, although they should be voting in a way consistent with their state constituents' views, they are less likely to be voting purely based on their state's interests. So it should be a more apples to apples comparison than trying to compare the records of governors to one another.

The previous two of these 2016 threads have been very productive, I think, and remarkably cordial. Let's see if we can keep up the trend!

First, a brief poll to get a sense of where the horde stands on these three:

Without further ado, here are brief biosketches of the Young Guns. I'm going to use Ballotpedia again this week because I found their summaries more concise than Wiki's. (Ellipses indicate edits for length.)

Marco Antonio Rubio (b. May 28, 1971, in Miami, FL) is a Republican member of the U.S. Senate from the state of Florida. Rubio was first elected to the Senate in 2010...
...Rubio is a member of the group of senators deemed the "Gang of Eight." This term is used to reference eight of the most influential Senators on immigration reform and includes four senators from each party.
He previously was a member of the Florida House of Representatives from 2000 to 2008.
Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Rubio is an average Republican member of Congress, meaning he will vote with the Republican Party on the majority of bills.

Born to a family of Cuban exiles, Rubio was raised in Miami, FL, and Las Vegas, NV... He earned his Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Florida in 1993, and his J.D. degree cum laude from the University of Miami School of Law in 1996.

- Prior to 2000: City Commission for West Miami, FL.
- 2000-2008: Florida House of Representatives
- 2008-2010: Visiting Professor at Florida International University Metropolitan Center; Florida Chairman of GOPAC; Political Analyst for Univision for 2008 Cycle

Also from the Ballotpedia entry for Rubio, there's this summary of his stand on the issues. (Note: This is their take on it. I'm not sure I'd agree, but it'll be a starting point for discussion.)


Randal Howard "Rand" Paul (b. January 7, 1963, in Pittsburgh, PA) is a Republican member of the U.S. Senate from the state of Kentucky. Paul was first elected to the Senate in 2010...
...On February 12, 2014, Paul officially filed a class-action lawsuit against the Obama administration over National Security Agency data collection.
On March 6, 2013, Paul led a filibuster of President Obama's CIA Director nominee, John Brennan, that lasted 12 hours and 52 minutes - the ninth longest Senate filibuster on record. In addition to delaying the final vote on Brennan's confirmation, Paul's stated intention was to highlight his concerns about the Obama Administration's drone policies.
Based on analysis of multiple outside rankings, Paul is an average Republican member of Congress, meaning he will vote with the Republican Party on the majority of bills.

Paul was born in 1963 in Pittsburgh, PA, and grew up in Lake Jackson, TX. He attended Baylor University, although he did not receive an undergraduate degree. Paul received his M.D. from Duke University Medical School. Prior to his election to the Senate, Paul worked as an ophthalmologist in Bowling Green, Kentucky.
Paul is the son of former Republican Congressman and presidential candidate Ron Paul.

Below is an abbreviated outline of Paul's professional and political career:
Ophthalmologist in Bowling Green, KY
U.S. Senate, 2011-Present

Also from Ballotpedia:


Rafael Edward "Ted" Cruz (b. December 22, 1970, in Calgary, Alberta) is the Republican junior U.S. Senator from Texas.He was first elected in 2012. He defeated David Dewhurst in the primary runoff on July 31, 2012...
...Cruz is one of three Latino members of the U.S. Senate.
Cruz identifies with the Tea Party. Although Cruz is considered a more moderate right of center Republican party vote, according to an analysis of multiple outside rankings, it is due to a tendency to vote against Republican-sponsored bills that are not conservative or libertarian enough...
Cruz was born in Calgary, Alberta, where his parents were working in the Alberta oil fields. In 1974 they returned to the Houston area.
...He earned his B.A. in Public Policy from Princeton University in 1992. He went on to receive his J.D. from Harvard Law School in 1995. Cruz then worked in the following positions in the law field: Law clerk to Chief Justice of the United States William Rehnquist, associate deputy attorney general for the U.S. Department of Justice, and director of the Office of Policy Planning for the Federal Trade Commission. He is currently partner of Morgan, Lewis & Bockius Limited Liability Partnership.
Cruz served as Solicitor General of Texas from 2003-2008. In this role he was the youngest Solicitor General in the nation, as well as the longest-serving and first Hispanic Solicitor General in the state. Among his accomplishments, Cruz argued 40 oral arguments, including nine before the U.S. Supreme Court...
Cruz won election to the U.S. Senate on November 6, 2012.

Below is an abbreviated outline of Cruz's academic, professional and political career:
1992: Graduated from Princeton University with B.A.
1995: Graduated from Harvard University with J.D.
1995-2003: Worked in the following positions: Law clerk to Chief Justice of the United States William Rehnquist, associate deputy attorney general for the U.S. Department of Justice and director of the Office of Policy Planning for the Federal Trade Commission.
2003-2008: Solicitor General of Texas
2013-Present: U.S. Senator from Texas

Also from Ballotpedia:


To wrap things up, let's get a sense for your top FOUR choices out of all nine potential candidates reviewed thus far:



**Updated with the poll I forgot to add:

Finally, which candidates, if any, would you be unable to bring yourself to vote for going against the Democrats' nominee for President in 2016? (If it helps you make a decision, feel free to assume that the Democrats nominate Hillary.)

What would YOU do to stop this woman from becoming the next Commander-in-Chief?

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posted by Open Blogger at 08:58 AM

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