Back to Back on Dream Presidential Candidates

As the 2016 Presidential Election grows ever closer and grows more controversial, we thought it would be important to discuss what we are looking for in a presidential candidates and our thoughts on what is happening in both of our parties. As in the vast majority of political discussions, we don’t see eye to eye….

Alexandra’s Take

The 2016 Presidential Race is unlike any that has been seen before. Avidly following the election since it began last year, I have many regrets regarding the direction this election has taken. Believing that the root of all politics is in providing good for all, I am struggling to understand how the most time honored tradition of our American Political System and basis of our entire government has turned into a mud-slinging and in some ways childish display of superiority. 

Although, I believe that the foundation of the American Dream is in the possibility to take on whatever career and job a person desires despite background, I see this trend of political outsiders attempting to run for President of the United States as alarming and a dangerous proposition. Having a President with no previous political experience is like having an individual participant in the Olympics despite having no background in athletics. Please consider that a person must be more qualified to participate in the Olympics than to serve as the President of the United States. Additionally, I am appalled that the election process has since turned into from discussing a candidate’s platform to individual based attacks. How did we get here? Someone please let me know…

Given everything that has happened since the election has begun, I am struggling to find a candidate that I believe can lead our great nation to a period of prosperity and security that we so desperately need. Initially, I had wished for Marco Rubio/Scott Walker ticket but have been profoundly disappointed by each of their campaigns. Having both of my potential candidates suspend their campaigns, I truly have no idea who I intend to vote for when November comes around. However, if I was given my choice at selecting the next President and Vice President of the United States I would look to established public officials from Wisconsin and South Carolina respectfully. 

When considering this scenario, I sought out candidates with established political experience who can simultaneously attract the votes of millennial Republicans. Additionally I thought about the issues most important to myself and the Republican party as a whole including immigration reform, taxation, gun rights, abortion and an additional realm of social issues. I thought about the current state of our nation and what would need to to be done in order to usher in a period of prosperity. I considered who would be able to make the tough choices, work well with our allies and intimidate our foes. I’ll be honest, my choices are limited as made clear by the current race for the 

My ideal (I say ideal despite the impossible nature of this) Presidential Candidate for the Republican Nominee is current Speaker of the House, Paul Ryan. Having a clear track record of fiscal conservatism and upholding the sanctity of life, Speaker Ryan is my dream Republican Presidential Candidate (and ideally following a successful campaign, President). Speaker Ryan effortlessly balances old school Republican values and maintains their relevance in the contemporary sense. Being thrown into his current role as Speaker of the House, Ryan handles his position with the level of grace and coolness that one would expect of a seasoned House Speaker. I believe he would bring these beneficial qualities and so many more to the White House. Having said: “We believe, as our founders did, that 'the pursuit of happiness' depends upon individual liberty; and individual liberty requires limited government,” Paul Ryan is everything I want in a candidate for President of the United States. 

Working closely with Paul Ryan in this dream scenario is Governor Nikki Haley. Being the first woman and first Indian American to serve as governor of South Carolina, Haley is no stranger to making history. Earning a degree in accounting from Clemson University, Haley and Ryan would usher in a period of renewed economic balance and thus solve our current deficit crisis. Haley’s belief in strict immigration laws and requiring photo identification when voting are important issues to myself and the Republican Party as a whole. Having a history of excellence, I believe she would be a wonderful candidate for the Vice Presidency, where she would make history once again.

Although this duo is unlikely to appear as running mates in the upcoming 2016 Presidential Election, I am crossing my fingers for a Paul Ryan/Nikki Haley ticket in 2020 not just for me, but for America.

Anna’s Take:

There is the future of the Democratic Party and I do not believe it lies with either of the candidates running for president. I have been torn in this presidential race from the start. Which of these candidates should I put my trust in? Going into the first Democratic debate, I still had no idea who I was supporting. I was hoping and wishing that Joe Biden would join the race but it was becoming clearer to me that odds were he was not going to run.

So, I watched the debate and one person stood out to me and it was not either of the frontrunners. It was a man who stood next to them throughout the debate and then made his impact in his closing statement. Here is an excerpt: “And what you heard tonight ... was a very very different debate from the sort of debate that you heard from the two presidential republican debates. On this stage you didn't hear anyone denigrate women, you didn't hear anyone make racist comments about new American immigrants. You didn't hear anyone speak ill of another American because of their religious beliefs.”

To me, that statement spoke volumes and I had picked my candidate. There was just one problem: his poll numbers were low. I guess I could say that I was not surprised when Martin O’Malley suspended his campaign after the Iowa caucus. That being said, I was still very upset. I had no idea who I was going to support in the primary. Bernie Sanders’ policies, while ideal in theory, are just a little to radical for me and I was still skeptical of Hillary.

So, I guess it is no surprise that in my dream election Joe Biden and Martin O’Malley would be running together under the same ticket. These two together have a set of ideals that I believe everyone in the Democratic Party could stand behind. Joe Biden has the experience that we need in a leader. He served as a U.S. senator for 36 years and has been serving as vice president since 2009. He has excelled at both the legislative and executive branches of government. Martin O’Malley, on the other hand, has excelled at the state level serving as mayor of Baltimore and later as Governor of Maryland.

As a senator, Joe Biden was a member of and chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee. Vice President Biden has an ability to negotiate with Republicans, which allowed him to help pass the Tax Relief, Unemployment Insurance Reauthorization, and Job Creation Act of 2010. We need a president who is able to communicate with Republicans, and I think we would have this in Joe Biden. There is currently a Republican Congress and I do not believe that the current Democratic frontrunners would be able to communicate with them. Biden, on the other hand, would.

As governor of Maryland, Martin O’Malley signed a law that would make illegal immigrants who were brought to the United States as children eligible for in state tuition. As a Democrat, I strongly support this law and think that it is laws like these that the American people should be focusing on. This country was founded on the ideal that immigrants were and always would be welcome. The solution to the illegal immigrant problem will not be solved by building a wall. Martin O’Malley also passed a law making gay marriage legal in Maryland in 2012, nearly three years before it was passed nationwide. 

So, I guess it is safe to say that I am not all too thrilled about the current state of the Democratic Party. Bernie has started to go after Hillary and now Hillary does not want to debate with him. It is a mess. If it were up to me, neither of these candidates would be at the forefront. If it were up to me, Biden and O’Malley would be taking office come next January.