It’s a fun game, try it at home! Obviously this isn’t so much about ideology as it is about the fundamentals. Not all are going to have equivalents (it’s very difficult to imagine Democrats nominating a Trump equivalent in any conceivable way), but some slot nicely. Here’s how I think some of them are going to turn out:

  • Mark Zuckerberg as Jeb Bush. He’ll have endless cash to burn and a total lack of what’s needed to succeed. The Trump comparisons are inevitable but Trump serviced an underserved segment of the marketplace: open bigots. Dog whistles from the rest of the field couldn’t compete with that. Zuckerberg’s inevitable platform of slightly left of center technocratic centrism is hardly going to set him apart. And from what I’ve seen in interviews, I can’t see him killing it in debates and such. Geeky wonkery doesn’t tend to come across well in such contexts.
  • Andrew Cuomo as Chris Christie. Cuomo is a bit smarter than Christie and has avoided some of the latter’s stupid mistakes, while still being essentially corrupt and nontransparent. Eastern media sources will treat him like a major contender, but Democratic regulars will be horrified by the transactional and often not very liberal record he’s compiled. Like Christie, Cuomo is not as clever as he thinks he is, and in spite of having had a moment of base adulation (over marriage equality), as Christie did when he yelled at teachers, that was a long time ago. Honestly, thinking he can actually compete having propped up New York Republicans and all the rest is about as unclever as it gets. Cuomo could run his corrupt state government forever but he refuses to know his place. I actually don’t think Trump can win another term–the reason he won the first one was by virtue of having a hopelessly lackluster opponent, and he’s unlikely to face another sub-John Kerry-level talent again–but Cuomo is perhaps someone who could actually lose to him.
  • Erskine Bowles/Evan Bayh as John Kasich. I doubt both of them will run, but I bet one will. There’s definitely going to be a “we need to move to the center and re-engage with bipartisanship” candidate, and just going by profile, it’s probably going to be one of them. Kasich wasn’t exactly that, but he was clearly positioning himself as the moderate-ish/”electable” candidate. A lot of bad assumptions in there, which is why he lost. Still, get ready to hear Evan Bayh start sentences in debates with, “Back when I was governor of Indiana…” Ancient history which nobody will give an earthly shit about. Bayh I would imagine dropping out after getting 12% or so in Iowa, based solely on his Midwestern friendliness. Bowles would fare a lot worse than that. He’d be lionized by centrist establishment types (as would Bayh, but with Bowles it’ll be deafening), and he’d be in a few debates championing a Simpson-Bowles for the 2020s (perhaps he’d even pledge to make Alan Simpson his VP), get a lot of funding from No Labels and the like, and then drop out after 2% in New Hampshire. Actually, I kind of hope he does run. I think that message needs that kind of repudiation.
  • Sherrod Brown as Mike Pence. As in, someone who could have won and will probably be preferable in terms of ideology and political ability to the base than the actual candidate will be, but who isn’t going to run. VP slot possible if Ohio elects a Democratic governor in 2018, though, which would be alright.
  • Joaquin Castro as Marco Rubio. Acceptably charismatic and telegenic Latino candidate who isn’t ready and squanders his potential. Unfortunately for Castro, he doesn’t have a statewide contest to parachute into when it doesn’t work out.
  • Bernie Sanders as Mitt Romney. The New England frontrunner who doesn’t run.
  • John Delaney as Jim Gilmore. You don’t remember him and neither do we.
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  1. Metavirus says:

    ugh to the lack of quality viables

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