Last Sunday on Meet the Press with Chuck Todd, recently re-elected Gov. Scott Walker made an appearance to field questions comparing and contrasting himself to President Barack Obama. The big question looming since Nov. 4 is whether Walker will choose to run for president in 2016.
Walker stated in the first debate against Democratic gubernatorial candidate Mary Burke that he would commit to serving all four years as governor of Wisconsin, but on air last Sunday, he said governors would make much better presidents than anyone in Congress. This line made it clear that Walker has certainly considered running for president, a downright scary thought. Not only is it scary because Walker would not adequately represent the people of America, but that also means he would not be able to serve his full term as governor or adequately serve the people of Wisconsin.
If Walker chooses to run, he will spend most of his term as governor campaigning around the United States — actually, traveling around the U.S. is something that Walker has spent a lot of time doing since he was elected in his first term. Since he was elected in 2010, he has visited Iowa, New Hampshire, South Carolina, Nevada, Florida, Colorado, Missouri and Michigan; those nine states are part of the 12 states that have their Republican presidential primaries/caucuses before Super Tuesday. Why would Walker be spending so much time in those key states? To me, it’s pretty obvious: He has bigger and better plans than serving as governor of Wisconsin.
The Republicans don’t really have a clear-cut 2016 presidential candidate, unlike the Democrats, who have had their eyes on Hillary Clinton for quite some time now. The “Ready for Hillary” super PAC was formed back in January 2013 to urge Clinton to run for president in 2016. It’s clear that Clinton would certainly be qualified. Most notably, she was First Lady, a senator from New York and Secretary of State. Additionally, she has spent a majority of her life in Washington politics.
However, the Democratic candidate may not be as clear-cut as it seems. Another potential contender is U.S. Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Massachusetts. She has the progressive voice that this nation needs, but she is fairly new to Congress, as she has only been in the Senate since November 2012.
Like many other women, I too am hopeful that 2016 will be the year of the women, where we take women across the U.S. and elect them into the White House. It is 2014 and we have yet to have a woman take over the Oval Office, a perplexing reality. Fortunately, the U.S. Congress now has more than 100 women in it (while the definite number has yet to be determined).
Although the general election of 2016 is a little less than two years away, politics are going to start getting interesting with people throwing their hats in the ring for president, as well as opponents to U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Oshkosh, who is up for reelection in 2016. Now is the time to start paying attention to politics. Although some people said 2014 was the most important election of our lifetime, 2016 is truly the one.
Autumn Linsmeier ([email protected]) is a junior majoring in political science.