Disclaimer: I’m a political Independent. The following is a thought exercise.
Marco Rubio polls well head-to-head against Clinton and the Bern, but he’s susceptible to the same criticisms leveled at Obama in ’08–too inexperienced and too irresponsible. (Obama abstained from votes; Rubio misses them.) Obama covered his perceived weaknesses by choosing the battle-tested
silver tongued Joe Biden for his veep. Rubio would almost certainly do the same.
Some have suggested John Kasich, with a Rubio/Kasich ticket.
The only GOP candidate left who has experience in the U.S. congress and as an executive is John Kasich, currently the governor of Ohio.
The Republican Party leadership has any sense of strategy they’ll push for Kasich and Rubio to team up, but with Kasich at the top of the ticket. He’s pro-life, pro-2nd Amendment, and pro-business.
If possible, the GOP should include Cruz in the mix by offering him a cabinet position, Supreme Court seat, or something else.
1. Kasich helps the GOP carry Ohio, Rubio helps carry Florida, Cruz helps carry Texas. That’s a total of 81 electoral votes, nearly 40% of the 270 needed to win.
No Republican has won the presidency without carrying Ohio since the dawn of time. Or the Republic, take your pick.
2. The Clinton camp is more concerned about Kasich than the others, as this Kasich campaign video shows:
Kasich may be criticized for banking industry ties, but if Clinton gets the Dem nod that point is canceled out. If it’s Sanders, count any Wall Street connection a major talking point.
3. Kasich, not Rubio, should be at the top of the ticket. This removes the inexperience criticism from Rubio, while putting him in training for a run in 2024.
Yes, I just mentioned 2024.
Kasich has policy issues appealing to Centrists and moderate Dems: treatment instead of jail for the mentally ill and addicts. His talk of the military focuses defense and our allies rather than carpet bombing.
4. We are $19 trillion in debt. That’s enough to carpet bomb the Milky Way with dollar bills. Yet, it isn’t a major talking point on the GOP side.
Kasich led the last congressional team to present a balanced budget. Making him top of ticket would allow the GOP to make the issue front and center. Hillary has not made it a priority, and not enough voters believe Bernie can provide all the social benefits he’s suggesting while balancing the budget and lowering the deficit.
This position alone could propel the GOP.
Of course, Kasich/Rubio would have to avoid new wars, protect the mainland from terrorist attacks, and oversee a strong economy. No easy feats. But, if they were to pull it off, Rubio would likely be elected president in 2024 with a chance to keep the White House through 2032.
It might be possible for Trump, Cruz or Rubio to win in November. But for the long game, Kasich/Rubio should be the strategy.