It’s barely 2015 but 2016 is busting out all over. No fewer than 24 Republicans threaten White House runs. In January a dozen or so went to Iowa to pay homage to popular xenophobe Steve King at an event King humbly dubbed the Freedom Summit. At a tonier soiree that same weekend in Rancho Mirage, California, the Koch brothers pledged to raise precisely $889 million to buy the election outright.
Democrats can’t hold summits because only one of them, ex-Virginia Senator Jim Webb, has so much as filed an exploratory committee. But their game is on too. Obama’s populist-tinged State of the Union speech was widely seen as an attempt to frame the next debate. Hillary Clinton hasn’t filed yet but an ‘independent’ Super PAC aims to raise $300 million in her name. (Someone should tell her.)
Many progressives want a different standard bearer. MoveOn.org is spending a million dollars to draft Elizabeth Warren. A few other possible entrants linger on the sidelines. Ex-Maryland governor Martin O’Malley says he might run as Warren. Bernie Sanders might run as himself.