Next in line are two new conservative senators, Rand Paul and Marco Rubio. Each brings an advantage. Paul’s father, former long-time congressman from Texas, has run for president as a Republican and Libertarian. Paul led a libertarian-oriented senate filibuster that gathered national attention and put the administration on the defense over its drone policy.
Marco Rubio, the Cuban senator from Florida, a critical swing state, appears made for a slot on the national ticket. He’s currently demonstrating his talent trying to cajole the Republican Party into resolving its differences over immigration reform.
The name “Bush” still commands an audience, and Jeb Bush has always been considered the most talented of the family. The successful Florida governor may be too moderate for the likely Tea Party dominated 2016 round. But his grandmother, Barbara, may have summed up the overall feeling best at her son George’s presidential library dedication: “We’ve had enough Bushes.”
The strongest national candidate today is Governor Chris Christie, the hero of Hurricane Sandy. He has the highest national name identification of the list and highest overall favorability. But, in the Republican Party, he only captures fifth place.