Last week both Jeb Bush and Hillary Clinton more formally launched their campaigns for president. The pundits tell us that Jeb is the likely GOP nominee while Hillary is definitely the Democrat's candidate. Over one year before votes are cast, the election is over before it has even begun.
If either Mrs. Clinton or Mr. Bush win in 2016, then at their retirement 36 of last 44 years will have had a member of their family in the Executive Branch -- an entire generation. After two terms in the White House, Americans will be ready for the 2024 campaign featuring George P. Bush versus Chelsea Clinton.
But what if the pundits are wrong? What if the people choose something else? It could happen.
First, on the Democrat's side the early Clinton campaign has demonstrated so far is that they don't trust the candidate. Keeping her in controlled settings with no ability to make a gaffe tells us they know something we don't. There is a lot of potential for trouble in the Clinton Foundation and email stories that have yet to be discovered. What if Hillary Democrats demand a choice?
We'd first see dissatisfaction with candidate Clinton by a spike in support for Sen. Bernie Sanders (D-VT). If this leads to panic, the Democrat Party establishment would draft Vice President Biden as the establishment alternative. The fact that he didn't seek the office will enhance his image with the public. His goofy factor will be perceived as refreshing authenticity in contrast to the overly crafted Clinton campaign. Biden can make the powerful case they he really does have the ability to work across the aisle.
On the GOP side, the donor class is heavily invested in Bush. But if they begin to see his inevitability fade, they will look elsewhere. Rubio won't do as he reminds Republicans too much of Obama--young and untested with no life experience. Walker's lack of experience at the international level will lead the donor establishment to look elsewhere. The search for an affable candidate with the best chance to win Ohio will lead them to Governor John Kasich (R-OH). Additionally his experience having been a TV commentator and ability to work across the aisle will emerge as his major assets.
Kasich v. Biden is a far-fetched scenario. However, unprecedented dissatisfaction among voters in 2016 means anything can happen. The great thing about American democracy is that the future is impossible to predict. We do have a chance to reject the pundit's predictions. In 2016, we might just win our democracy back.