2013 meet 2016
May 3rd, 2013
05:00 AM ET
1 year ago

2013 meet 2016

Washington (CNN) – The calendar reads May 2013, but in some ways it sure feels a lot closer to 2016.

Friday night Vice President Joe Biden keynotes a Democratic Party dinner in Columbia, South Carolina. Less than two miles away, Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas headlines a Palmetto State Republican Party dinner.

One week later Sen. Rand Paul of Kentucky keynotes a GOP dinner in Iowa. The same night Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal headlines a fundraiser for Republican state senators in New Hampshire.

Paul heads to the Granite State a week and a half later to keynote a GOP dinner.

And three days after Paul's visit, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker headlines a Republican party dinner in Iowa.

Two easy questions: What do all these politicians have in common?

Answer: They're all contemplating bids for the White House in 2016.

And what do the locations they're visiting have in common?

They're all crucial early voting states in the presidential primary and caucus calendar.

While we're only six months removed from the last presidential election, the early moves in the next race for the White House are underway, with potential future candidates making calls and paying visits to such states as Iowa, whose caucuses lead off the presidential primary season, New Hampshire, which goes second and holds the first primary, and South Carolina, the first southern state to vote.

"The starting gun for 2016 presidential campaign was fired when President Obama was asked at a press conference if he is a lame duck with no 'juice'. The answer, according to all these prospective candidates rushing to fill the vacuum, is that he is," says GOP strategist and CNN contributor Alex Castellanos, who is spearheading a new super-PAC called the NewRepublican.org to refocus the party's messaging and policy goals.

Some potential White House hopefuls have already paid visits to the early states. Gov. Martin O'Malley of Maryland headlined a Democratic Party event in South Carolina in March and former Sen. Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania, a 2012 Republican presidential candidate who battled eventual GOP nominee Mitt Romney deep into the primary season, was supposed to keynote the spring meeting of Iowa Faith and Freedom Coalition, a leading social conservative group in the state, before he cancelled due to illness.

"Campaigns for president are no longer twelve month campaigns, they are now three or four year-long campaigns, especially for people who have to raise small donations, who can't write their own large checks. They have to start working these things early," John Brabender, a senior adviser to Santorum, recently told CNN.

But another veteran of presidential politics thinks it's too soon for all these visits to the early voting states.

"We're barely into the president's new term and they're already starting. It's like asking the widow out on a date at the wake," says Democratic strategist and CNN contributor Paul Begala, a senior political adviser in the Clinton White House who last cycle advised the pro-Obama super PAC Priorities USA.

But if you need more proof that the next presidential cycle has begun, consider this: CSPAN is branding their live coverage of Friday night's Biden speech as "Road to the White House 2016."


Filed under: 2016 • Bobby Jindal • Joe Biden • Martin O'Malley • Rand Paul • Rick Santorum • Scott Walker • Ted Cruz
soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Marie MD

    Hello out there. the cross from TX was born in Canada!!! Where's the man with the bad hair when you need him?
    VP Biden won't beat Hillary and the gop losers won't win anything for a long, long time.

    May 3, 2013 06:42 am at 6:42 am |
  2. king

    a repub in office in a global market is ridiculous. they would allow money hungry so called job creator corporations do what they please, "and you know what happened last time" this will not benefit the American people, who only have 1/5 the spenders that China has. these wealthy folks think different than us local folks do, and all they will do is compete with their class on who can make the most money in the global market by cutting American middle class job cost. so repubs will take our country back to the aristocrat and peasant days, where only the rich and the poor exist without a middle class. this will effectively make us a third world country.

    May 3, 2013 06:49 am at 6:49 am |
  3. Minnie Mouse

    I hope Vice President Joe Biden will really be a candidate running for 2016, as well as Hilary Clinton. Either of these two would do a fine job.

    May 3, 2013 06:52 am at 6:52 am |
  4. Name Jim Wood

    I feel that gun control, needs to do more to keep gun's out of the hands of criminals. And in the hands of Law abiding people. We need to make sure criminals do not have guns. As a former Armed Security Officer, I feel that the law's need to be made tougher the what they are now for those criminals who do not have the right to carry a side arm!

    May 3, 2013 06:55 am at 6:55 am |
  5. NATHAN WIMBERLY

    Why bother? The GOBP will ram Jeb Bush down the tea potty's throats Mitt the twit style.

    May 3, 2013 07:27 am at 7:27 am |
  6. Sean

    These people are presidential material? According to whom?

    Bobby Jindal has a 38% approval rating in Louisiana. He's so despised in his home state that he wouldn't even be able to win it in a general election. Forget about him. And Ted Cruz? Even members of his own party think he's a huge jerk and he would get virtually no endorsements during the primaries. Sorry, Republicans, but he can't win on just the support and votes of tea party nuts alone. If people like this are really the GOP's future then they have none.

    May 3, 2013 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  7. Peoples State of Illinois

    I think a Condi Rice/John Huntsman ticket would be a good one. Not hugely crazy about any of the pictured.

    May 3, 2013 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  8. Rick McDaniel

    Only the media is interested, because the media wants Obama to have an excuse to continue to waste his time campaigning for the Dem socialist party, to try and take over America.

    May 3, 2013 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  9. TomInRochNY

    And, when Hillary enters the race all the democrats will drop out in despair and all the republicans will gnash their teeth in frustration at wasting their time and money.

    May 3, 2013 08:17 am at 8:17 am |
  10. Gurgyl

    None of these thugs worth for a DIME.

    May 3, 2013 08:31 am at 8:31 am |
  11. stick it

    Eventually no matter who is in office the pendelem swings the other way the libs know this !

    May 3, 2013 08:47 am at 8:47 am |
  12. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Rafael Cruz has no chance in hell of EVER becoming POTUS. These republicans need to give it up. Their only hope is Christie.

    May 3, 2013 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  13. Dallas

    Fired up and ready to go for Hillary. The time has come for a woman president and there is none more qualified than Hillary Clinton – Ted Cruz, Bobby Jindall, Jeb Bush, Rand Paul ??? – you've got to be kidding me. I'm from Texas and I doubt even red conservative Texas would vote for Ted Cruz at this point!

    May 3, 2013 08:50 am at 8:50 am |
  14. Randy, San Francisco

    Thanks to conservative judges on the US Supreme Court, the office of President is up for sale to the highest bidder. Fund raising has to begin much earlier for any candidate to make a serious run.

    May 3, 2013 09:00 am at 9:00 am |
  15. Fair is Fair

    Know what's going to happen on the dem side? Hill Dog will be a late entrant – only after it becomes apparent that Biden, without her in the race, is the front runner. The dem establishment will do everything in their power to prevent the buffoon from getting the nomination... the pressure they'll apply to her will be too much.

    It's going to be Hill Dog versus Christie.

    May 3, 2013 09:07 am at 9:07 am |
  16. Malory Archer

    Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House -aka- No Redemption Votes

    Rafael Cruz has no chance in hell of EVER becoming POTUS. These republicans need to give it up. Their only hope is Christie.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Christie is damaged goods in the eyes of the repugs because he refuses to kowtow to the haters. Frankly, I'd like to see a Clinton/Christie ticket. Sure would make things interesting!

    May 3, 2013 09:16 am at 9:16 am |