Top 10 Intriguing Female Presidential Candidates in 2016

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We are not here to endorse a political candidate. However, 2016 is going to be a free for all in the Presidential arena. This election will not feature an incumbent for the office with a built in advantage. This is the same situation that occurred in 1980 (Reagan versus Carter), 1988 (George H.W. Bush versus Dukakis), 2000 (Bush versus Gore), and 2008 (McCain versus Obama). In short, the field is wide open. Hillary Clinton nearly took the Democratic nomination in 2008 (and was the presumptive candidate) before Obama’s run. That means that 2016 may be the year that a female candidate breaks through on the top of a major party ticket. This list focuses on the most intriguing possibilities for a female candidate to come through.

10. Roseanne Barr

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With the California based Peace and Freedom Party, Barr actually finished sixth in the Presidential race this year with 48,000 votes nationally. Barr would have to run as a traditional Democrat to get traction. However, her platform of ending the Federal Reserve, legalization of marijuana, and marriage equality focuses on hot button issues that voters are starting to get behind. Barr could conceivably frame herself much like Ross Perot did in 1992. Properly packaged, Roseanne’s portrayal of a former housewife with straight talking common sense answers may be the refreshing tonic to greater political vistas in 2016.

 9. Christine O’Donnell

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In 2010, Christine O’Donnell took what some would call the extreme views of the American Tea Party as a Republican candidate and won forty percent of the vote in Delaware. What else did she do? She made her run into a national campaign. Granted, O’Donnell was parodied on Saturday Night Live for the famous ‘witch ad.’ However, can you say anything about the races in states such as New Hampshire or Vermont in 2010? Unless you live there, you probably can’t. O’Donnell combines sorority house good looks with a philosophy whose impact on the American landscape seems to have been greatly under-reported. The House of Representatives changed on the Tea Party message. The Republicans held on to it in 2012. If you take that package outside the traditionally liberal Mid Atlantic region, you would have a national candidate with more appeal that most in the media are willing to admit.

8. Linda McMahon

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Linda McMahon is another example of a candidate who would do much better nationally than she did in her home state. Linda McMahon is a Republican who married into (and helped expand into a national phenomenon) World Wrestling Entertainment. She is a successful businesswoman. She also made inroads in a traditional blue state towards getting into national office… twice. If you give states such as Florida, Georgia, and Arkansas a chance to vote for Linda McMahon on Super Tuesday, then you have a real possibility of securing a Republican national ticket where a local one failed. After all, the same strategy worked well after a loss for Abraham Lincoln. If you put Linda McMahon in front of them, the solid south and west will listen to her.

7. Susan Rice

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In politics, there is no such thing really as bad publicity. Rice, as the United States ambassador to the United Nations, is currently under fire for disclosure of information in relation to the attack on the Libyan Embassy. Rice is also a candidate to replace Hillary Clinton as Secretary of State. Given the nature of American politics and culture, Rice’s role will not be nearly as important in four years as how she held up against Republican attacks. If Rice manages to look strong and defiant in the face of adversity, that is an image that voters will pay attention to in 2016.

6. Michelle Bachmann

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In 2012, Michelle Bachmann did two things. First, she lost to get the Presidential bid for the Republican Party. Second, the Representative for the House from the state of Minnesota also got her message across effectively on a national stage. Successful Republican nominees tend to have multiple runs. Romney set-up 2012 in 2008. John McCain set-up 2008 in 2000. Ronald Reagan threw his hat into the ring three times. Bachmann did nothing to hurt herself in 2012. By 2016, the Midwestern wife, mother, and politician might just be the progressive choice the Republican party is willing to put on the top of their ticket. If anything, the campaign that just passed had Bachmann peaking too early.

5. Sarah Palin

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After being branded ‘Caribou Barbie’ and lampooned by Tina Fey on Saturday Night Live, many would think that Palin is essentially done on a national stage. However, Palin rather wisely did not run in 2012. Palin did not want a re-hashing of the losing effort in 2008. However, there is precedence for Palin’s eventual success that comes from an unlikely source. Bill Clinton lost an election in Arkansas. Clinton also had a nominating speech which many thought would doom him on a national stage. Clinton also suffered an embarrassing family scandal many thought would end his 1992 candidacy. Saturday Night Live parodies successful candidates. Palin has managed to keep herself relevant in the public eye. Palin also has not been tarnished by a loss on the top of the ticket. By 2016, eight years in the national eye could once again position Palin as a potent force in Republican politics.

4. Elizabeth Dole

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When Bob Dole failed to give his official support to his own wife’s Presidential campaign, Dole might have honestly wondered what he was doing with boxes of Viagra sitting around. He certainly would not be using them for anything useful in the near future. Since 2000, Dole served successfully as a United States Senator and has been politically active for decades. If she had won re-election in 2008, she would have served through 2014. Age might be a factor in a Dole run in 2016. Dole will be 80 at the time. However like Reagan, Dole would be sensitive to the concerns of the voter on age. She would not make an issue of any potential opponent’s “youth and inexperience.”

3. Condoleezza Rice

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If anything, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice’s profile has risen since her time in the G. W. Bush White House. Rice has consistently demurred whenever asked about a run for the nation’s highest office. Rice’s potential run would probably be analogous to the run of Barry Goldwater in 1964. Goldwater had been fairly consistent in not wanting to run for the Presidency. However, the cry came out essentially to “draft the son of a b—-.” Goldwater finally acquiesced and was ultimately unsuccessful. Rice represents the Republican parties’ best bet to cross cultural, philosophical, as well as gender barriers. In order for the Republican Party to effectively move forward, Rice would be an ideal candidate to present a fresh young as well as diverse image.

2. Hillary Clinton

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Hillary Clinton once described her negative appeal as having to do with people associating her with “their mother-in-law.” Despite this, Clinton was the leading as well as favorite candidate to win in 2008 before Barack Obama made his rock star run to the Presidency. Since then, the former United States Senator and First Lady has only padded her resume by adding Secretary of State. Clinton has stated that she will not be continuing in that post. Clinton also went through a lengthy period of introspection before running for the Senate as well as ultimately the Presidency. Without another compelling once in a lifetime run, Clinton would again emerge as the odds on favorite for the nomination. In the past 16 years at that point, Clinton would have well moved past First Lady to establish a legitimate resume on her own. Never say never in politics or in the search for a college football head coach.

1. Michelle Obama

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Before you dismiss this one completely, you might want to look up the name Lurleen Wallace. Lurleen was the wife of polarizing Governor George Wallace in the deep segregated southern state of Alabama in 1960s. Regardless of people’s understanding the Lurleen was Governor-by-proxy, she still beat two former Governors in the Democratic primary for the state. Alabamians are now proud to have elected a female governor in the 1960s. If Obama was to run, we have a feeling that she would not simply allow her husband to do the job regardless of what supporters might think when they vote for her. Obama would be an attractive candidate not only based on her own achievements but also if the voter electorate wants to maintain a relative continuity on the Obama administration policies. Can you imagine an Obama/Clinton round two in the 2016 Democratic national primaries?


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19 Comments

    • Not agreeing with her politics does not make her any less of a viable candidate. She is a for mayor, governor, and vice presidential candidate in addition to the vice presidential campaign. It is a longer executive record than Obama had at his run. She was also a pundit for fox News. I see no reason why she would be a joke candidate.

  1. 6 People are either unlikely to run of not legitimate candidates for 2016.

    10. 50,000 votes nationally is nothing and she failed to win her own parties nomination (see originally ran in the Green Party) losing out to Jill Stein. Roseanne has shown no ability to even effectively run a third party campaign let alone a successful run against seasoned politicians. If you were going to put a third part choice that could run in a major party primaries Jill Stein makes far more sense as she has similar views on issues and totaled 456,169 votes in 2012 election, though both would be long shots at best to even sniff the nomination.

    9. O’Donnell is another hail mary type of candidate, while true that the general public know her they do for all the wrong reasons. Her one shot at a general election had her getting completely destroyed by Chris Coons, some might argue that since it was filling Biden’s seat it was a sure thing for democrats but that ignores the polls that showed Mike Castle (the other republican choice) was winning in a hypothetical match-up with Coons. Her stances are also to the extreme right which may appeal to tea party voters but if someone like Michelle Bachmann were to run few would support O’Donnell over a more proven candidate.

    7. I like Susan Rice but once again she has made the news for the wrong reasons (even if they weren’t her fault), she has also failed to hold elected office something which is very hard to overcome when attempting to get votes on a national level. Out of the people that I don’t think have real chances she might have the best shot but is still a long shot on her best day.

    5. Sarah Palin is simply not taken seriously enough to have a legitimate shot at the republican nomination, any independent polling of her in the last two years have shown even members of her own party don’t want her to run. She will always have a vocal group of supporters but it will never grow to the point where she can pose a serious threat to other major republican choices.

    4. Age is clearly the biggest concern with Dole maybe if she was the only woman running the primary she could have a chance but with other younger choices potentially running I don’t see her having any chance of winning.

    1. Michelle is a great first lady but she has given no indication that she even has the slightest interest in being in politics herself. I do agree she could be a good candidate but if anything she has shown she can’t wait for this all to be over.

    I think there are 4 women who you left off the list that look far better on paper and are building/ could build momentum to a presidential nomination.

    Kelly Ayotte – Comes from a swing state in New Hampshire and was reportedly on the short list for Vice President this past election. She also appears to have the republican hierarchy on her side giving her big time Committee assignments in the Budget, Armed Services, Commerce, Science, and Transportation, Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs. New Hampshire also being an early primary state could help her quickly build momentum to a nomination.

    Susana Martinez – A popular republican governor in a democratic state (New Mexico) who hits both of the minority groups that the party needs to make inroads with in women and hispanics. She is also another person said to be on the short list of Mitt Romney for VP.

    Nikki Haley – Young, attractive and a favorite of the Tea Party the governor of South Carolina could be in very good position to run in 2016. I might be repeating myself but she also was reportedly a strong candidate to be the running mate of Mitt Romney. She could also benefit from her home state being one of the early primaries. (3rd after New Hampshire and Iowa)

    Kirsten Gillibrand – Kirsten is the darkhorse choice for me, she is my home state’s senator after all. Kirsten is very popular in New York without taking any position that could be considered to the extreme left and has been on the national stage for only positive stories. Even her gun law proposal is a populist law against illegal state to state gun trafficking. She also lacks any of the negative attributes associated with traditional New York politician (the accent) and presents an image middle America could be drawn to. She might not run but if she did I think she could do something similar to Obama.

  2. McMahon can’t be successful, because under her watch some terrible things have happened. There was a necrophilia storyline, Eddie Guerrero’s death, Chris Benoit’s murder-suicide, etc. Anyone who is opposed to her, will make comments on her decision making. And if Obama, Bachmann, or Palin win, I’m leaving this country.

  3. Dis Agree has pretty much summed up what I was going to say. Those women may be candidates, but none of them are anywhere near serious, either because they complete loops (Roseanne) or they don’t want to run because they’re making too much money (Palin).

    For 2016, honestly, Hillary’s about the only candidate the Democrats have, male or female. Biden’s a joke and the only other options are only regionally exciting for the party (Andrew Cuomo, Mark Warner, Tim Kaine). I honestly don’t see Kirsten pulling an Obama – no national excitement.

    The GOP has several female candidates who could be viable. Condi’s exciting, but I don’t see her running. Nikki Haley, if she can get re-elected, could be a legit candidate – ditto with Susana Martinez. Dark horses would include Marsha Blackburn and Cathy McMorris-Rogers. The key with the GOP is finding a candidate that can satisfy the persnickety Tea Party and still appeal to the Reagan Democrats.

    • Biden may be a joke in some quarters, but he has recently score some pretty good street cred. Don’t count him out yet.
      Palin has recently quit Fox, so she might be positioning herself for something. If she would knock off the snow-bunny hillbilly routine, she might do better,. If you catch her unaware, she is quite well-spoken.
      I do think that the GOP might be interesting. Enthusiasm for the Tea Party seems to be fading, which might open things up a bit for a rational candidate, regardless of gender.

      • Biden is widely viewed as a joke by just about everyone. When he was a Senator, he was widely viewed by his colleagues as one of the… well… dumbest members to walk the halls. A lot of folks believe that Obama selected him for one reason: impeachment insurance. He knew that he was going to be making some extremely controversial moves, and if the GOP held the Congress, he would be called to account, possibly in impeachment hearings a la Clinton. By having Biden as the next man in line, it gives people who would vote to remove him a second thought.

        Bush I and Bush II did the same thing: selected veep candidates that were perceived as either too young and dumb (Quayle) or too scary (Cheney) to be allowed into the big chair.

        Even most left-wing Democrats I know fear the idea of a Biden Presidency. Most of them want Hillary Clinton because of her perceived invulnerability (forgetting that invulnerable Hillary was defeated in the 2008 primaries). I’d put Biden’s chances at getting to the Dem nomination at about 10%. Hillary, if she runs, will be around 60-70%. As for winning the big chair… that depends a lot on what Obama can accomplish (or not accomplish) over the next 3 1/2 years.

  4. Michelle Bachmann will not get the ticket for the Reps. She has alienated herself from both sides of congress and she only got reelected in her district by the thinnest of margins. Surprising considering she’s won her district handily in previous years, represents one of the most conservative parts of a traditionally liberal state of Minnesota. I live in MN, and there’s no way she’ll make it to the White House, let alone another congressional term. Her Tea Party is a sinking ship, and she seems like she’s made it clear she captains that failboat.

    • For the record, that entire exact same argument could have been made about Abraham Lincoln right before he went on to win the Presidency in 1860.

  5. To call many of these extreme nutjobs as intriguing candidates for President is absurd. The likes of Palin, O’Donnel and Bachman have had their 15 min. The more you see and learn about them more repellent they are.

  6. “…This election will not feature an incumbent for the office with a built in advantage. This is the same situation that occurred in 1980 (Reagan versus Carter)…”

    Wha? Carter WAS the incumbent.

  7. Politically, I think Condolezza Rice would be a very popular candidate. The Republican Party has a stereotype as being the closed-minded-rich-white-guy party, and Rice would help them overcome that image.

    I think Elizabeth Warren would be popular too. She went crazy against the big banks after the financial meltdown, and that would appeal to a lot of people. Although, I don’t know if she has expressed any interest in running for president.

    I wouldn’t be surprised if we see a showdown between Condi and Hillary in ’16. There are so many people these days who want to see a woman president that I think both parties will be interested in trying a female candidate.

  8. What do you think? Will the e-mails of Hillary Clinton cause her to lose the election as the first female President of the USA and if so , I believe Condoleezza Rice will be Americas favorite to be the first USA Lady President.

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