EDITORIAL: About this next presidential election…

I know, I know- there’s a midterm before then. There’s races that determine the future of Panem and its districts. We don’t know how the political climate will change. I understand.

This won’t stop anyone from speculating. And with the moves being made so quickly in advance, there’s ample reason to be interested.

Sure, last election was pretty exciting. After all, how many times have we seen an election be truly contested, not have an incumbent, not have a winner from the Liberty Party, and most of all, be decided by the House? For the candidates, however, that pales in comparison to what is to come. Let’s take a little look at who might run.

From the Liberty Party:

  • Secretary and former VP Celine Oswald – At this point in time, I can say it’s pretty likely that Oswald is at least considering it, if not preparing. It isn’t as if she doesn’t have the ambition or experience to occupy the presidential mansion. It’s just that even during last election, Oswald failed to decisively declare herself frontrunner- in both the primary or general election. In all reality, there is no reason that Governor Amy Oaksmith should have given her such a run for her money, and there’s no reason that the Liberty Party should not have kept a hold on the presidency. Should she run, she should expect quite the primary (see below) and yet another contentious general election. She should also expect to be attacked on the fact she may not be electable and for her record as Secretary of State, governor of District 13, and VP.
  • Vice President Dale Wilson – It would be beyond belief if the VP didn’t make it onto this list. After all, he is Liberty’s standard-bearer. And while he seems to get along with President Canth, it’s rumored that he has reached quite a few governing disagreements with the president and may give Canth a run for his money. However, should Wilson run, he also should expect a competitive primary full of big names. He should also be ready to face attacks on his tenure as governor of District 4 and as Vice President.
  • Senator and former First Gentleman Peeta Mellark – Yet another that is quite expected to throw his hat into the ring. Senator Mellark is quite the interesting fellow with his meteoric rise in the Senate after being the longest running first spouse in Panem history. However, if Mellark runs, he should not bank simply on name recognition, considering the entire field will most likely be well-known. This field will also be out for blood, so he should expect to be attacked for his short tenure as senator and his alleged inexperience.
  • Governor Amy Oaksmith – It’s well known that Oaksmith felt cheated out of the nomination last time but sat quietly supporting the Liberty ticket in hopes for securing the nomination a second time. Out of all these candidates, expect Oaksmith to be the first declared, and the first big force to be declared. She should expect to be grilled on her governorship and on her previous run for president.
  • Governor Rosalie Descoteaux – Another well-known figure in Panem politics, the D14 governor has made it known she wants to be a national figure. While it is virtually certain that Descoteaux will run for national office, it’s uncertain if that will be president (a position she occupied on an interim basis for a time), or vice president (a position she also occupied on an interim basis and one that she ran for last election.) If she runs in either field, she should expect attacks on her record.
  • The Wildcards – And of course, there are wildcard candidates. These include: Governor Gale Hawthorne, Secretary Beetee Latier, Secretary Jonathan Madison, Secretary and former VP Tyler Thompson, Governor Trenton Escavel, Governor Bella Taylor, Governor Owen Talton, and Governor Rebecca Tarson.

From the Conservative Party:

  • President Richard Canth – Considering that he is a young incumbent, it’s ludicrous to think that he wouldn’t run again. He also has the support of his fellow party members- there has yet to be one prominent member, from mayor to senator to secretary, that wishes to challenge him for the presidential nomination. At this point, Canth seems to have avoided a competitive or even contested presidential primary. The VP primary, though, will most likely be fierce.

From the Civic Party:

  • Secretary and former president Cecelia Paylor – She’s going to run again. If she doesn’t, she’s probably dead or somewhat ill. Can she win? That depends on just how nasty the election season is and how bad the other campaigns are run. If Liberty and Conservatives take down each other, it very well could turn Paylor’s way. At this point, even if there is a contested primary, Paylor is the indisputable frontrunner.
  • The Wildcards – See Secretary Samuel Trenton and Governor Bertram Spellings. Both are more likely to run for VP, and it’s more likely Trenton will run than Spellings.

From the Labor Party:

  • Governor Thomas Stemp – He seems interested, but not ready to commit. He’s had his chances though and blown them. But hey, third time supposedly is the charm.
  • Former Governor Felicia Ren – If she runs for president again, she will win the nomination with ease. At the moment, there is no figure more prominent, more respected, and more popular in the Labor Party than that of Governor Ren. Even after last election’s dismal results, it seems that voters may be willing to take the country in a leftward direction. However, she very well may opt out of this round- she has signaled to D8 donors that she’s running to reclaim her spot as governor after a horrid election forced her out. It all depends on if she feels up to another campaign literally two years into her potential second gubernatorial term.
  • Former Senator Ophelie Murray – As much as she is a tired candidate, she will most likely run yet again. Not one that many want to see.
  • Secretary Walter Delta – Surprisingly, a formidable contender should he run. He’s well-respected now and is well-known. Keep an eye out. He’s probably going to run, but it’s unknown what for.
  • Secretary Joan Kindred – She’s going to run, and she’ll be out for blood this time after losing that nomination. She’s probably the only one able to even get remotely close to Ren if she runs.
  • The Wildcards – House Labor Leader Teraton Wendle and Senate Labor Leader Iris Canstrom are the only two other remaining prominent figures in the party, and neither of them seem interested in leaving their leadership positions

The Independents:

  • Governor Elizabeth Steinbeck- We wish it weren’t true, and yet it seems that Panem’s bountiful support for Steinbeck has convinced her to run again. Because, you know, she carried a total of zero electoral votes last time. Soooooo successful. Regardless, she’s going to run. In fact, she’s “exploring” again- do all of you remember that worthless “I’m not running, I’m just thinking” comment from last election? Let her run- Steinbeck will just learn for a second time that the only chance an independent has at winning a presidential election is when their name is Katniss Everdeen.
  • Former VP Plutarch Heavensbee – Probably won’t happen, but we’ll entertain the prospect. Heavensbee, in our opinion, would still do better than Steinbeck. Yes, even with his scandals. That’s how you know how bad Steinbeck is.
  • Former Rep. and two-time VP nominee Sextimus Dalton – Please let him run. He’ll pull votes from Steinbeck.

So, looking at the fields listed, it’s pretty clear of some things. Each party has a frontrunner so far (minus Liberty, but we’ll get to that). Labor has Ren, should she run, and if not, then Kindred will take that spot. Conservatives might as well announce that the President is their nominee again. Civic, as per the usual, will likely nominate Paylor yet again.

And then there’s Liberty. Dear old Liberty very much wants to win back the presidency they held for eight years, and it seems like the presidential primary will be even more bloody than the last one. I mean, you have Vice President Wilson vs. Vice President Oswald vs. Senator Mellark vs. Governor Oaksmith. They all have name recognition, popularity, and electability of some sort. The question is, however, who will end up on top, and which wildcard candidates will siphon off votes from which candidate.

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