Countdown to 2016: The Democratic Candidates

At a first glance it might seem like it’s a long way until the next US election in 2016, with Obama only having started his second term a mere 8 months ago. However, the clock is ticking down and the officials thinking about running in 2016 will certainly be feeling the heat. Both parties will have to hold primary elections this time, which is a time-consuming process. The candidates will have to declare that they will run and then try to garner support to win the party ticket. With this in mind, many of the major candidates that could become the next President will already be making moves to try to help their cause. Coming off a strong win in 2012 – especially in the swing states and among minority groups – the list of potential nominees for the Democratic Party is starting to become clear.

Hillary Clinton

Recently stepped down from her position as Secretary of State, she has been in the public eye for a long time. During her time in the cabinet it certainly looked like she was preparing to run, setting a record for the amount of countries visited and fully dedicating herself to it. It’s natural that people would consider a prime candidate, but stepping down has almost certainly made it likely that she will run. She can use the next year to recuperate and rest before fully launching herself into the race as it gets closer. If it wasn’t for Obama she would have likely won in 2008, but having taken the time to show that she has the strength and resolve that is required to be President, she’s already the clear front-runner for 2016. As long as she doesn’t do anything wrong before the next election, she should be the first woman to become President.

Joe Biden

In his position as current Vice President of the United States, Joe Biden is always going to be considered a contender. Not only does he have a thirst for politics at the highest level, but the VP position gives him the experienced needed for the biggest job in the world. However, as he will be almost 73 at the time of the next election, many will worry about his age. It was John McCain’s age in 2008, and the high possibility that Sarah Palin could actually become President that turned many away. At the same time, he’s made a string of gaffes throughout his political career, including many notable ones in the past few years. He’s earned the right to try, but it’s likely that even if he does throw his hat in the ring he won’t make it onto the ticket.

Andrew Cuomo

Another highly likely candidate for 2016 is Andrew Cuomo, the Governor of New York. During his time in the seat he’s been fairly ambitious, with many policies successfully bought into law. He’s restructured the tax code and managed to pass same-sex marriage legislation into law. Recently, he’s also led the country in enacting gun legislation, with his laws considered the toughest in the country. However, with the economy still not back to full health and many still fully aware of the effects of the financial crisis, it’s likely that his opponents will be able to exploit the fact that a few of his policies – created when he served in the Clinton administration – contributed to the crash.

In many years, as in 2008 with Obama, the eventual nominee is a surprise. Yet, in 2016, I don’t think that will happen. Normally, at this stage in the presidency there would be a long list of people waiting behind Obama, ready to fight an election to become the 45th President of the United States. However, this time, the list is shorter, with one very strong candidate that stands out from the rest. A lot can change in 3 years, but it doesn’t take a genius to see that Hillary Clinton, with the powerful “Clinton” brand behind her, is going to take a lot to beat.