Change is the law of life. And those who look only to the past or present are certain to miss the future. -- John F. Kennedy
"These people look so.. manufactured at times."
I thought these words over and over to myself as I sat on the couch on that cold January day in 2015. It was closing in on that time of year yet again and it wasn't exactly a time of year that any of us were very excited about. Those of us who were there in 2008 when Senator Obama gave that famous speech that so many Americans now remember by heart were nonplussed by the fact that his 8 year tenure in office was winding down and coming to a close. And at 26 years old, I was hoping that the inspiration the Democratic Party had brought me hadn't fizzled out early in my life.
Thinking now, it's hard to believe that it has been so long. I'll never forget meeting up with Jason in Chicago for that night and being a part of the thousands and thousands of people that showed up to support Senator Obama after casting their vote that early November day. Win or lose, we were there to support the man who had inspired us to do better in our lives. We were there because we needed to give something back to the man who, for 21 straight months and then 8 straight years, was the single most important figure in our every day lives besides our family.
But there I was, sitting there, watching as the talking heads bantered on and on about how many days were left until the first caucus and first primary. But I couldn't help but feel rather upset. As the potential candidates were shown one by one on the screen, I just couldn't find myself being excited or intrigued by any of these people. A simple Google search on most of them returned results that were, quite frankly, disturbing. The most recognizable names had gotten far too old to take over office or simply didn't have the drive they once did.
Hillary ended up being appointed a Justice of the Supreme Court by President Obama, much to the extreme happiness of her most loyal supporters, especially President Clinton, who remained one of President Obama's key go-to-guys through his presidency. John McCain was 76 in 2012 and admitted himself that another run was simply out of the question then and was certainly out of the question in 2016.
Of the other names that had gained momentum and notoriety such as Brian Schweitzer, Mark Warner, Secretary of State Bill Richardson, Evan Bayh, Tim Kaine and even dark horse Bob Casey Jr., a select few had announced their interest or formed exploratory groups:
Brian Schweitzer, after his fantastic speech at the 2008 and 2012 convention's for the Democrats, gained massive amounts of popularity and became the most popular governor in the United States. The response that he received when he announced his candidacy didn't quite rival the excitement that President Obama elicited 8 years ago, but there was quite a bit of buzz and was seen as being the front runner for the Democratic nomination.
Unfortunately, he still wasn't seen as an incredibly strong choice when pictured going up against new Republican Golden Boy Bobby Jindal, who's popularity soared after Hurricane Harvey pummeled Louisiana in late 2011, rivaling the devastation brought by Katrina. Jindal's response was seen as noble and heroic, as he managed to get evacuation efforts underway ahead of time and just flat out carried his state on his shoulders through the storm.
As for Bill Richardson, he served all through President Obama's tenure as president. Something that hadn't been seen since the JFK/LBJ administration. Secretary Richardson announced his candidacy and was extremely popular throughout the Obama presidency. But many still wonder if that popularity would translate to the campaign trail. Richardson played a vital role in Obama's presidency, but there were clear questions as to if he could stand on his own as a candidate.
Names like Warner, Bayh and Kaine were speculated and all three had expressed deep interest. Eventually, they all formed exploratory groups and would all be in the fray and discussion come Primary time, which was still a little ways away. It was starting early again, this election process, despite the fact that nobody was particularly excited about losing such a great president after 8 years of prosperity.
But there was one other name that I had in my mind that year. In 2016, there was going to be a monumental change. And despite the fact that change became a buzz word in 2008 and remained a buzz word all the way through, this kind of change was a little different. In terms of change, one candidate would definitely bring that. But in a way that would shake the political world to it's downright core:
To be continued.
(( Author Note: So. This could work out to be one of the better ideas I've had or it could work out to be something I probably don't have an extended enough knowledge of to do. Either way, I'm going to give it a shot. I understand that this will bend reality to a very large extent, so please, take everything with a grain of salt and try to be open to the idea that this is truly an exercise in fiction. There will most likely be some contradictions and maybe some factual errors, but this is what I want: PLEASE give feedback. That's the most important thing.
This isn't going to be easy and it took a little bit of searching and such to get some historical facts down and the way some things work down. I'm doing this just to kind of flex my writing muscle and see where I can go with this. It could go a million different ways and I'm going to have a ton of fun bending and pushing the envelope here. Note that there won't be only historical and current political figures, as 2016 is 8 years away and it's impossible to predict what new faces will be on the scene by then.
Please reply in the comments and try to keep this a bipartisan thing. Just consider it good clean fun. ))