It’s totally ridiculous (except to the ridiculous degree that it isn’t) but as they transition into a vacation to recover from campaign 2014, the political team of my beloved PBS NewsHour put out a list of the 2016(!) presidential field.
On the Dem side, it’s all Hillary Clinton. The PBSers believe Elizabeth Warren when she says she is not running, so all they add (they’re not mentioning names, they’re just telling us the names that others will be mentioning):
Some in the media want to create drama in a Democratic primary, because why not? So there will be lots of coverage of Martin O’Malley, Bernie Sanders, Jim Webb and the mysterious candidate who could ultimately derail Clinton’s nomination.
The Repub field is more fun for the mentioners. The PBSers broke it into three groups, thus:
For the conservative bracket (the people who have to win Iowa): Texas Sen. Ted Cruz; Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker — he could be a hybrid, but being from a state that borders Iowa, he needs to do well there; former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum, the 2012 Iowa winner; Indiana Gov. Mike Pence; Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal; Dr. Ben Carson, who is on the lips of every tea party/grassroots conservative — and, yes, we predict there will be a poll that shows him leading the GOP field; South Dakota Sen. John Thune. (We’re not buying runs by Mike Huckabee or John Bolton.)
For the establishment slot (the people who have to win New Hampshire): New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie; former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush; Ohio Sen. Rob Portman. (We’ll save you the digital ink — Mitt Romney is NOT running.)
Hybrids, who might try to play in both: Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan — if he runs and we’re not convinced he will; Florida Sen. Marco Rubio — it’s not clear he will run if Jeb Bush does since they have many of the same donors; Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul — he could play a third route here and for a while in the primary. Unlike his father, who always had a following but won no delegates, we predict this Dr. Paul will pick up at least a few and maybe more than that.