As President Obama moves closer to being a lame duck president, folks are already discussing who will run in 2016. While many Democrats seem to be waiting for Hillary Clinton to throw her hat into the ring, Republicans are scrambling to find a front-runner who can lead their party to a national election victory once again.
Although America continues to become “browner,” racial animus doesn’t seem to be waning. President Obama made history when he became the first non-white President of the United States, but his presidency has been fraught with fervent partisanship fueled, in part, by race. While president Obama’s election broke a 232-year-old glass ceiling and signaled to some that America was moving toward being “post-racial,” many wonder if we will have to wait two centuries for another Black, Latino, or Asian person to be president.
After he lit up the stage at the 2012 Democratic convention, Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick had many wondering if he was gearing up for a 2016 presidential run. Although Gov. Patrick has repeatedly said he would not seek America’s highest office, he recently opened the door to the possibility, telling Politico, “That’s a decision I have to make along with my wife of 30 years and she’s a tough one to convince.”
Gov. Patrick’s got one supporter, President Obama. “It’s wise for him not to foreclose it because he’s an enormous talent and I know he’s still got a lot of energy and vision left in him,” the president said in March. “Deval’s done a great job and I think signals that he could be very successful at the federal [level] as well.”
On the Republican side, Gov. Bobby Jindal, Ted Cruz, Dr. Ben Carson and General Colin Powell are all viable candidates, although General Powell’s split from the GOP on issues of voting rights and gay marriage (not to mention his endorsement of President Obama) would make it difficult for him to get through the nominating process.
While President Obama’s election was a truly momentous occasion for the U.S., the true test will come when the next president of color takes office.