1. RICK SANTORUM
Offices Held: U.S. Representative from Pennsylvania’s 18th district (1991-1995), U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania (1995-2007), CEO of Echolight Productions
Senator Santorum has the ability to relate to working americans, “Reagan Democrats” better than any other candidate since Ronald Reagan. Even though you may not feel as fired up after a Santorum speech as, say, a Ted Cruz speech, you feel much more convicted and convinced because of the substance in his speeches. His cultural conservatism relates to many of the hundreds of millions who stayed home on election day 2012, and his populist economic conservatism appeals to independents as well as moderate working democrats, as evidenced by his being elected in the heavily blue Pennsylvania numerous times. The millions who no longer vote because of their disenchantment with the two party may find a reason to vote in Rick Santorum.
(Because Senator Santorum is famous for his Sweater Vest, I was disappointed that he was not wearing one when I met him last April)
2. Bobby Jindal
Offices Held: U.S. House of Representatives, Louisiana’s 1st District (2005-2008) Governor of Louisiana (2008-Present)
Governor Jindal is one of the most popular republicans ever in the only southern state that could truly b considered a swing state, Louisiana. His political life is active proof that true conservatism is appealing to the average American voters; he received 10% more votes (66%) compared to Senator David Vitter (56%) His immigrant story would likely appeal to the millions of immigrants in this country. His indian-american background would help bring diversity to the GOP. His experience in both executive and legislative positions is a huge bonus on his political resume
(Despite being from Louisiana, Governor Jindal does not have a cajun accent. Disappointing, isn’t it?)
3. Marco Rubio
Offices held: West Miami City Commissioner (1998-2000), Member of Florida House of Representatives from 111th District (2000-2009), Speaker of Florida House of Representatives (2007-2009), U.S. Senator from Pennsylvania, (2011-Present)
For those of you who have followed this blog since the beginning, you will know that for a long time, Marco Rubio was my number one candidate. Unfortunately, it seems less likely now that he will run, and his stances on immigration have hurt him among the far-right wing of the party. But while the far-right and the libertarians are stuck on novelty candidates like Rand Paul and Ted Cruz, Senator Rubio has led the fight for conservatism in the senate. Because of his immigrant background, he has the ability to relate to many latin-americans who would otherwise might not support the republican candidate.
(Let’s just make sure he’s hydrated before his campaign speeches https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dWkjVvoXIS0)
4. Rick Perry
Offices Held: Member of Texas House of Representatives (1985-1991), Texas Agricultural Commissioner (1991-1999), Lt. Governor of Texas (1999-2000) Governor of Texas (2000-Present)
Governor Perry is the definition of Washington Outsider. His support for states rights would appeal to many southern and western primary states, but could lead to alienation of northern and west coast states in the general election. He is a strong constitutional conservative with powerful executive experience, more than anyone else on this list, including Governors Jindal and Haley.
(As long as he remembers all of his plan, he can be a viable candidate. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YdS7HGO_Ik)
5. Nikki Haley