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Author Topic: Presidential Candidates 2016: 10 Democrats Who Might Be the Next Nominee  (Read 3958 times)
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« Reply #100 on: November 24, 2014, 12:46:40 PM »

Could Jim Webb give Hillary Clinton a run for her money in 2016?
By Kelley Beaucar Vlahos
Published November 24, 2014

WASHINGTON –  Does Jim Webb have what it takes to give Hillary Clinton a run for her money?

Webb thinks he does, and he fired his first salvo against her last week, announcing in a video on  new campaign website that he had formed an exploratory committee as the first step in a possible 2016 run for the White House.

Without mentioning Clinton by name, the former Democratic senator from Virginia stated bluntly that government is “paralyzed” and that he wants to help — not as a “career politician,” but as a public servant — to “re-establish a transparent, functioning governmental system in our country.”

“In my view the solutions are not simply political, but those of leadership,” Webb said. “I learned long ago on the battlefields of Vietnam that in a crisis, there is no substitute for clear-eyed leadership.”

“Obviously he is an incredible long shot,” said Terry Madonna, who directs the Franklin and Marshall College Poll in Pennsylvania. “But as sort of a moderate, more so a centrist, he will obviously have an appeal within the Democratic Party.”

Plus, Madonna said, “There are apparently some Democrats who are not willing to cede the nomination to [Clinton]. Conceivably she could have a real battle on her hands for the nomination by people who are saying, no, you are not just rolling away the nomination, it’s not necessarily yours.”

A Marine Corps veteran, Webb, 68, earned two Purple Hearts, the Navy Cross, a Silver Star and two Bronze Stars in Vietnam. He is considered a blunt, independent-minded Democrat who is conservative on issues like gun rights, immigration and the military. But he is cautious on the use of military force overseas and he wields more of a progressive — if not populist — message on prison reform, income equality and reducing poverty.

He received a law degree at Georgetown University after Vietnam and authored several critically acclaimed war novels before serving as secretary of the Navy under President Ronald Reagan in 1987-88, a position he resigned from in protest of budget cuts. He was elected to the U.S. Senate as a Democrat in 2006, unseating Republican George Allen by less than 1 percent of the vote.

“As a veteran and now somewhat of a ‘blue dog’ Democrat, he has the street cred and experience to bring swing voters to the table, especially in the conservative South,” said Donna Lorraine Barlett, a retired Army judge advocate general who lives in Georgia.

Webb was at the forefront in passing the sweeping reform of the GI Bill in 2008, and veterans consider him a champion of their issues. Coming from a “family of citizen soldiers,” he spoke strongly against the Iraq War before it was fashionable to do so — and while his own son was fighting with the Marines in Ramadi.

During a White House party for freshmen senators shortly after his election, Web refused to have his picture taken with President George W. Bush, who sought him out to ask, “How’s your boy, Jim?”

“I’d like to get them out of Iraq,” Webb said.

Bush would not be deterred. “That’s not what I asked you — How’s your boy?”

Webb snapped back: “Mr. President, that’s between me and my boy.”

He and Bush have since buried the hatchet, but that vignette pretty much encapsulates the “what you see is what you get” persona that Webb’s supporters find so appealing.

“He’s fearless, he doesn’t cover it up or pretend to be one way or another,” said Larry Korb, senior national security fellow at the Democratic-leaning Center for American Progress.

During an interview with the American Enterprise Institute in 1997, Webb said of President Bill Clinton: “I cannot conjure up an ounce of respect for Bill Clinton when it comes to the military. Every time I see him salute a Marine, it infuriates me. I don’t think Bill Clinton cares one iota about what happens in a military unit.”

But there apparently were no hard feelings, because Clinton actively supported Webb in 2006.

“I see him as a basic, old-fashioned conservative in the mold of Eisenhower and Reagan who is able to talk and act across the aisle,” said Phil Giraldi, a Vietnam veteran and libertarian who volunteered on Webb’s Senate campaign in Virginia.

Korb, who worked with Webb in the Reagan Pentagon, said Webb would insulate Democrats against the inevitable “soft on defense” attacks. “It would be so good to get a real veteran in the White House,” he added. “You don’t have to go to war to understand it, but it doesn’t hurt.”

During his 2006 Senate campaign, Webb was pummeled with attacks over the risqué and taboo subject matter covered in his novels and his position against having women in combat roles in the military. These issues are likely to resurface with any run for president, observers say.

And where Webb’s strength is in his toughness, his rigid exterior has often been mistaken for aloofness and a lack of charisma — “the antithesis of a rock star,” said one Democratic political consultant who asked not to be identified.   

But Webb’s greatest challenge may be going up against Clinton’s legendary political network.

“Where is [Webb’s] organization? Madonna said. “When you start these things in Iowa, it is large, it’s grueling, it’s expensive — you need a campaign organization.

“At this point in time, the money she has amassed, the infrastructure, the support … you would have to say she is the odds-on favorite. But don’t count Jim Webb out. He’s been down before.”
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« Reply #101 on: December 01, 2014, 09:27:16 AM »


Ex-Clinton Pollster Schoen Doubts Hillary Can Win Presidency
Sunday, 30 Nov 2014
By Greg Richter

Doug Schoen, former pollster for Bill and Hillary Clinton, isn't certain Hillary Clinton could win the presidency in 2016.

Appearing Sunday on "The Cats Roundtable" on AM 970 in New York, Schoen told host John Catsimatidis he doesn't think his former boss has the "new car smell" that President Barack Obama last week said was needed for a Democratic candidate.

He also said 2012 GOP nominee Mitt Romney would be a "formidable opponent" to Clinton.

"We’re in a real barn burner," Schoen said. "The race hasn’t even begun, and it’s tied ostensibly between Hillary and Mitt Romney."

Schoen pointed to a Nov. 26 Quinnipiac Poll showing Romney ahead of Clinton 45 percent to 44 percent in a possible 2016 race. Former GOP Florida Gov. Jeb isn't far behind Clinton in the poll, which showed support for Bush at 41 percent and Hillary at 46 percent in a head-to-head matchup.

"We’re in a statistical tie here. It’s anyone’s to be won," Schoen said.

Still, he believes Clinton, the Democratic frontrunner by double digits, will seek the office.

"The real question is how does she separate herself from Obama, yet not get so far away from him that … she doesn’t alienate his base constituents?" Schoen said.

Clinton needs to establish her own identity, but will find that difficult since her last four years of public service were spent heading up Obama's State Department, he said.

Romney has indicated publicly he has no plans to run again, though it is rumored he would do so if Jeb Bush decide against a 2016 bid.

If Romney runs he "would be a formidable opponent to Hillary," Schoen said.

"I think much of what Mitt said in the last campaign has been validated," he said. "And I think he’s been much better on the stump than he was four years ago."

Catsimatidis noted that Romney has been vetted already and anything that's going to be out on him was brought out in 2012.

Schoen doubts Democratic Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren will run, despite calls from the far left of her party.

"I think she’s a strong candidate, if she runs. But there’s a big if," Schoen said. "The Democratic political base wants (her) kind of populism."
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« Reply #102 on: December 02, 2014, 12:08:45 PM »

Poll: Romney, Clinton top 2016 field
By Sara Fischer, CNN
Tue December 2, 2014

Washington (CNN) -- Mitt Romney may say he's not planning to make a third run for the White House, but according to a new CNN/ORC International poll, Republican voters aren't ready to give up on the idea just yet.

While there is no clear frontrunner for the Republican ticket in 2016, most likely GOP voters say they would choose the former Massachusetts governor for the nomination, among 16 potential contenders.

According to the survey, 20 percent of voters say Romney would be their first choice for the nominee, with retired neurosurgeon and conservative activist Ben Carson coming in second with 10 percent of the vote.

Other big name contenders, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie, round out the top four, garnering 9 percent and 8 percent, respectively. Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee takes fifth place with 7 percent of the vote.

In what could be a telling 2016 indicator, when Romney is removed from the competitive set, the first place spot goes to Bush, who has had some family members publicly pressure him to throw his hat in the ring for months.

But even though Bush leads the pack among the hypothetical field of 15, he only edges Carson in second place by 3 percentage points, and Huckabee in third by just 4 points.

On the Democratic side, Hillary Clinton unsurprisingly receives an overwhelming majority of support, with 65 percent of left-leaning Americans saying she would be their choice for the 2016 nomination. Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a progressive favorite, and Vice President Joe Biden, fall way behind to take second and third place -- with 9 percent and 10 percent, respectively.

But when Clinton is removed from the vote selection, Biden pulls more support among voters, who say they would prefer him as their 2016 Democratic nominee with 41 percent, versus 20 percent for Warren.

The poll surveyed 1,045 Americans, including 510 Republicans and right-leaning independents and 457 Democrats and left-leaning independents. The survey was conducted by telephone from Nov. 21-23.
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« Reply #103 on: December 08, 2014, 12:45:45 PM »

Bloomberg Poll: Clinton Tops 2016 GOP Contenders on Leadership
Monday, 08 Dec 2014

Former first lady, senator, and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton would enter the presidential race with positive views of her past experience and personal traits, making her a formidable contender against lesser-known Republican rivals.

Greater numbers of Americans view her as a strong leader, who has a better vision for the future, shares their values, and empathizes with their concerns, according to a new Bloomberg Politics Poll. Among the Republicans tested against her, former Republican nominee Mitt Romney has the best name recognition and strengths to challenge her standing as this early stage in the 2016 race. Romney, however, has repeatedly said he won't campaign for the presidency for a third time.

"Wouldn’t you want to hire someone for a job when they actually have some experience?”
Barbara Rishaw

With poll participants saying she is better than her potential Republican opponents on these four qualities, including the traditionally Republican strength of leadership, Clinton is positioned quite differently than President Barack Obama was during his re-election bid. In 2012, Romney won by 13 percentage points among voters who said the quality that mattered most in deciding how they voted for president was a candidate who "shares your values," by 23 points among those looking for a "strong leader," and by nine percentage points among those who prioritized a candidate with a "vision for the future," according to the election's exit polls with voters that were collected by Edison Research for the National Election Pool, a consortium of national media outlets. For Obama, a 63-percentage-point lead among voters who most valued a candidate who "cares about people like me" was a key attribute that helped propel him to victory.

“Her image and reputation with voters has been defined, and in some ways redefined, by her service as Secretary of State, where voters saw someone who was a strong leader in representing our country,” said Geoff Garin, a Democratic polling expert who worked for Clinton’s unsuccessful primary campaign against Obama. “If she runs, she comes to this election in much better shape then she did in the 2008."

While Clinton lacks Obama’s overwhelming empathy advantage, she's better positioned two years before the election in every other attribute. When respondents were asked which potential candidate did a better job on each of four qualities, she runs seven to 20 points ahead on leadership when pitted against former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, Texas Senator Ted Cruz, Kentucky Senator Rand Paul, and Romney. Though Clinton has yet to provide a detailed account of how she'd guide the nation as president, Americans think she has more of a vision for the future than any in the Republican field. When measured on that attribute, she leads Romney by 6 points, Paul by 10 points, Bush by 15 points, Christie by 17 points, and Cruz by 21 points.

A different story emerges when the potential presidential match-ups are tested among what likely voters say they value most. Clinton lags behind all the Republicans among likely voters who named “sharing your values” as their top quality in selecting a candidate. One reason for the shift is that a plurality–41 percent—of Republicans identified "shared values" as their most important trait. Maryanna Preston, a Florida clinical psychologist who favors Republican candidates, said she found Clinton untrustworthy. “I would not want her running this country,” she said. “She is a power-hungry woman wanting to be the first woman president of the United States. I think she’s dangerous.”

Still, in a general election showdown, Clinton wins against all five potential Republican candidates among likely voters, though she never breaks the 50 percent mark. Her margin is narrowest against Bush, Christie, and Romney, with a six-percentage-point lead. She beats Paul by eight points and Cruz by 13 points.

Clinton is far better known than most of her possible Republican challengers, with the exception of Romney. That familiarity, some Republicans argue, makes her appear to hold a more formidable position today. “She has 100 percent name ID. Among the potential candidates for 2016, Jeb Bush and Mitt Romney are the only ones who even come close,” said Republican pollster Whit Ayres. According to the poll, just 6 percent of American say they're "not sure" whether they'd rank her favorably or not, compared with 13 percent who said the same of Romney. All of the other Republicans tested were not known well enough to be rated by about a third or more of the respondents. “I would have been stunned if any of the Republicans beat Clinton on any measure.”

More than half–52 percent–of Americans have a favorable view of Clinton, a drop from a high of 70 percent in December 2012, less than two months before she left her post as Secretary of State and re-entered the national, partisan political dialogue. That diplomatic background, considered by some Republicans to be a point of weakness, is seen as beneficial by a majority of Americans. More than two out of three view her tenure as Secretary of State, marriage to former President Bill Clinton, and, perhaps as an indication that Americans want an experienced insider in the next president, her service in Washington, as advantageous to Clinton. About six in ten say the same about her previous presidential run and work in the Obama administration. "People get all critical about, ‘oh, so and so‘s a career politician',” said Barbara Rishaw, a deli clerk and self-identified “disillusioned independent” in Nashville, Tenn. “On the other hand, wouldn’t you want to hire someone for a job when they actually have some experience?”

One show of weakness for Clinton: 52 percent viewed her ties to Wall Street as a positive—a ranking that could provide an opening to a populist primary challenger or an avenue for attacks by Republicans.

The poll of 1,001 U.S. adults was conducted Dec. 3-5 by Selzer & Co. of Des Moines, Iowa, and has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points. Results based on the 753 likely voters in the 2016 election have a margin of error of plus or minus 3.6 percentage points.
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« Reply #104 on: December 10, 2014, 01:27:53 PM »


Survey: Hillary Clinton top 2016 pick for millionaires
By Dan Merica, CNN
Wed December 10, 2014

According to a CNBC survey, Hillary Clinton -- with 31% support -- would be the top choice for people with "investable assets of $1 million or more" if the 2016 election were held today.

Clinton is followed by former Republican Gov. Jeb Bush with 18%, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie with 14% and Vermont Independent Sen. Bernie Sanders with 11%.

In the poll, CNBC notes that "people with investable assets of $1 million or more" make up the top 8% of American households and their poll was "evenly split between Democrats, Republicans and Independents."

Among Democrats, Clinton's lead is massive, with 72% of the 500 people polled stating they support the former first lady. Bush, likewise, is the top choice for Republican millionaires with 36% support.

Despite the fact that millionaire supporters have outsized influence because of campaign contributions and donations to super PACS, this distinction could be one Clinton doesn't want.

Since she last ran 0for president, the Democratic Party has become more populist and in order to win in 2016, many political experts see her needed to reconnect with middle and working class voters. The party has also been overtaken by skepticism of Wall Street and, in some cases, wealth, meaning having the backing of a majority of millionaires may not be a badge of honor in 2016.

What's more, the support of more millionaires has not always been indicative of electoral success. In 2008 and 2012, Republicans John McCain and Mitt Romney had support of most millionaires in their respective elections. Both went on to lose to President Barack Obama, who had the support of most people with $30 million or more.
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« Reply #105 on: December 16, 2014, 12:31:17 PM »

9 Under-the-Radar Politicians Who'll Dominate News in 2015 — Including the 'Female Obama'
By Gregory Krieg  December 15, 2014

As the rest of the world waits for Hillary Clinton's big announcement (spoiler alert: she's running) there will be other serious political fights unfolding in 2015. Many will revolve around who might oppose the former first lady's inevitable presidential campaign, while others will be centered on important, immediate issues like economic inequality and marijuana policy.

There is no separating the issues from the people who will be leading the debate. In the coming year, new faces are set to emerge on the national stage. And at least one is primed to return to old glory.

If you want to get a jump on what promises to be a dramatic and important year in American politics, get to know this formidable gang of nine:

1. Indiana Gov. Mike Pence (R)

Source: AP
The dark horse: Mike Pence, the Hoosier State's Republican governor, has deep ties to the mega-donor Koch brothers, which means he'll be able to take the necessary time building up his inevitable presidential campaign. (Candidates with fewer backers need lots of early success to build fundraising momentum.) That he's spent these past two years working so nearby Iowa, home to those all-important first presidential caucuses, doesn't hurt either. Pence also enjoys the unique ability to sell himself as a "Washington outsider" — that priceless political talking point — while also being deeply connected to the Beltway, having spent a decade there as a congressman from 2003 to 2012.

What they're saying: "He is an evangelical Midwestern conservative who has the compelling family story to tell of his grandfather being an Irish immigrant who drove a bus in Chicago," John Dunagan, a former George W. Bush campaign aide told the Daily Caller. Mix that in with a spotless record of anti-union, pro-tax cut policy initiatives and you have the candidate Republicans hoped Ricky Perry would be in 2012.

2. California Attorney General Kamala Harris (D)

Source: Getty Images
California's next senator? Kamala Harris was elected as California's first-ever black female attorney general in 2010, and she will begin her second term as the highest-ranking law enforcement official in the country's biggest state this January. But pundits are already speculating about Harris' next move. If someone like Vice President Joe Biden or former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley can upset Hillary Clinton and grab the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, expect to see Harris on the shortlist for vice president.

Barring that, she's expected to turn her attention to the Senate. Democratic Sen. Barbara Boxer is looking more and more likely to retire at the end of her current term, meaning California is probably going to need a new senator in 2016. There's also going to be a governor's race in 2018. Harris will be a major player in one if not both of those races, and she'll need to lay the groundwork in 2015.

Oh, and she's open to to broader efforts to legalize marijuana. 

What they're saying: "She very well could become the 'female Barack Obama' of liberal dreams," according to Politico.

3. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley (D)

Source: AP
Not ready for Clinton: Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley doesn't have the following of Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) or the progressive cred of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), but he is considered the most realistic threat to Hillary Clinton's claim to the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination. The former Baltimore mayor showed his hand recently, calling on the Justice Department to appoint a special prosecutor to further investigate the individuals behind the CIA torture program. He knows it won't ever happen, but the words alone will gain him some traction with more liberal Democrats.

Pundits say that Maryland Lieutenant Governor Anthony Brown's loss in a November race to succeed O'Malley, despite the governor's support, was a sign of weakness. But O'Malley remains a popular figure in the state and a crafty politician. (Fans of the HBO seriesThe Wire should know that councilman-turned-mayor Tommy Carcetti was conceived with O'Malley in mind.)

What they're saying: "I think right now O'Malley is running to become the other guy, with the hope that the field will quickly narrow to two candidates. ... Of all the people out there [who could run against Clinton in the primary], he's the one I would be most worried about," longtime Democratic strategist Joe Trippi told the Washington Post in September.

4. New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez (R)

Source: AP
Future VP? The Washington press corps doesn't normally spend too much time on New Mexico politics. But that is going to change in 2015. While the usual suspects duke it out for the GOP presidential nomination, twice-elected Gov. Susana Martinez will be waiting just offstage, one of the heavy favorites to join the eventual nominee on the general election ballot.

Assuming the party goes with a white male candidate, Martinez will be zeroed in on as the answer to Democrats' strong standing with women and Latinos. (She criticized President Obama's executive actions to stop deportation of people living in the U.S. without permission, but has also advocated for some kind of comprehensive reform.)

Martinez and her husband Chuck are Republican converts — they used to be Democrats. She switched parties in 1996 before running for district attorney.

What they're saying: "She looks great on paper, and that's what the national operatives see," influential New Mexico journalist Joe Monahan told Real Clear Politics. "I think really the Achilles' heel here that she has to overcome is that perception of being the Sarah Palin-type figure. The national political community is not going to risk that again."

5. Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-Texas)

Source: AP
Mission impossible: The world's second most famous pair of Castro brothers are taking the capital by storm. Joaquin Castro is a Democratic congressman from Texas' 20th district, while his identical twin brother Julian left his post as mayor of San Antonio to become join President Obama's cabinet as Secretary of Housing and Urban Development.

But it is the one-minute-younger Joaquin who figures to have a very interesting 2015. Politico reports that he is one of two potential candidates to lead the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee. Never heard of it? Just know this: If he gets the job, his charge will be to return Democrats to a House majority following three elections in which they have lost an incredible 69 seats.

Though he could wait until 2018 to challenge Texas Gov.-elect Greg Abbott, there is a growing belief that Castro is eyeing a 2016 showdown with tea party leader and likely presidential candidate Sen. Ted Cruz (R).

What they're saying: "He is, separate from his brother, an astute, emergent leader in his hometown, within his district, across the state of Texas, and you only need to look at the Sunday news programs to understand that he's got a voice that's listened to nationally," Henry R. Munoz Jr., family friend and national finance chair of the Democratic National Committee, told the Washington Post in August.

6. Sen.-elect Joni Ernst (R-Iowa)

<a href="" target="_blank"></a>
Source: YouTube
Ready to make D.C. squeal: "I'm Joni Ernst. I grew up castrating hogs on an Iowa farm."

And with that, the soon-to-be senator from the Hawkeye State made a memorable entry on to the national stage. The Iraq War veteran will be the first female senator from Iowa and likely its most conservative in decades. Expect to see her alongside Sens. Cruz and Mike Lee (R-Utah), ruthlessly fighting against gun control legislation and anything the United Nations might agree on.

But contrary to what some critics might suggest, Ernst is no Sarah Palin. She is a smart politician whose "mother, soldier, leader" mantra during the campaign gives you an idea of how she'll allocate her power. Expect her to be, for better or worse, a strong voice on national security policy for years to come.

What they're saying: "I'd like to like her," an Iowa Democrat told Politico during the campaign. "She's personable; farmer's [daughter], in the National Guard. I think that carries a lot of weight. A lot of people admire the combination she's got."

7. Ohio Gov. John Kasich (R)

Source: AP
Wall Street's man in Ohio: Recently reelected Ohio Gov. John Kasich has quietly gone about the business of rebuilding the state economy, which was in shambles when he arrived on the job in 2010. Kasich is steeped in corporate America, having worked as a managing director at the criminally mismanaged financial house Lehman Brothers from 2001 to 2008, but he's no ideologue. He accepted the Medicaid expansion provision (which meant more federal money to insure the poor and elderly) from Obamacare when most Republican governors would not, though he still pays lip service to the idea of repealing other parts of the law.

Kasich will have a hard time not getting caught between bigger-money establishment candidates and tea party firebrands if he decides to enter the 2016 fray, but you can bet he'll be a big part of the discussion.

What they're saying: "I know he wants to have a legacy that shows he provides for citizens who have difficult circumstances, and more importantly for young people who need the opportunity to work," Ohio House Speaker Bill Batchelder (R) told Politico in October.

8. Dr. Ben Carson

Source: AP
The chosen one: Dr. Ben Carson is not going to be elected president in 2016. But he will certainly have a big influence in the Republican nomination contest, scheduled to formally begin in late summer 2015. Like him or not, the strict conservative pediatric neurosurgeon-turned-politician is a really compelling character. In October 2013, he called Obamacare "the worst thing that has happened to this country since slavery." In June, he had to clarify with a reporter that he did not think it was "worse than 9/11."

Consider this Nov. 20 exchange with an interviewer from the Christian Broadcasting Network:

David Brody: How is that conversation going with God about this potential presidential run? Has He grabbed you by the collar yet? I read an article about that.

Ben Carson: I feel fingers. But it's mostly me. I have to be sure and it's part of my personality that says always look before you leap, but don't leap before you have to.

Brody: I do cover the presidential campaign trail. May I potentially see you there soon?

Carson: I think there is a good chance you might.

The man feels the "fingers" of God pushing him toward the campaign trail. "Draft Ben Carson," indeed!

What they're saying: "If Herman Cain could poll 40% of the back vote, running against a black candidate, just imagine what percent of the black vote Dr. Carson would receive running against Hillary Clinton of any other far-left white Democrat!" said John Philip Sousa, the great musician's namesake, on Carson's website.

9. House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.)

Source: AP
Got her groove back: Laugh if you want, but the 27-year congressional veteran and former speaker of the House is looking primed for a serious revival in 2015. After spending the first six years of the Obama presidency working doggedly and at great political cost (see what happened to her majority after it passed Obamacare), Pelosi publicly broke with the White House over a Wall Street giveaway when it came time to hammer out a $1.1 trillion bill to fund the government.

The minority leader and her liberal allies, including Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), ultimately lost that battle, but they made a significant point: Republicans and a White House apparently willing to compromise on economic issues are going to have a smart, seasoned politician tearing at their pant legs for the next two years.

What they're saying: "What Pelosi's revolt [on the spending bill] made clear is that while there will be more Republicans in the House and Senate come January, nothing can get done (or at least nothing can get done easily) without some portion of liberal Democrats on board," the Washington Post's Chris Cillizza wrote on Dec. 11.  "This was a warning to the White House and Senate Democrats not to cut Pelosi out or take her (or her liberal Democratic allies) for granted going forward."

Up next: Going forward, we will keep our eyes, ears and computer browsers open; in a year like this, with both major political parties looking for a new standard bearer, you never know who's going to pop up and change the game. What's not in doubt: It's going to be a lot of fun to watch.
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