With the Democrats still licking their wounds from last week’s election losses, the Republican National Committee has pivoted to the 2016 presidential election and is offering up a list of 32 potential candidates, including Sarah Palin, Sen. Ted Cruz, Ron Paul, his son Sen. Rand Paul and Condoleezza Rice.
“In 2016, we will have the opportunity again to elect principled conservative leaders, including one Republican qualified to take on the Democrat running for president,” said an email from the party, in an apparent reference to Hillary Clinton.
“Voters proved our country is in need of qualified and strong Republican leaders who share our beliefs — especially in the White House. Let us know which Republican you would like to see as the presidential nominee in 2016,” it added.
The email linked to a presidential straw poll that included all of the most-buzzed about potential candidates, and several more including South Dakota Sen. John Thune, former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels, and five African-Americans: Rice, businessman Herman Cain, Dr. Ben Carson, former Rep. Allen West and South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott. It asked those who received it for their three top choices.
New Hampshire Sen. Kelly Ayotte
Former Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour
Former U.N. Ambassador John Bolton
Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush
Businessman Herman Cain
Dr. Ben Carson
New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie
Texas Sen. Ted Cruz
Former Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich
South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley
Former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee
Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal
Ohio Gov. John Kasich
New York Rep. Peter King
New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez
Former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin
Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul
Former Rep. Ron Paul
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty
Indiana Gov. Mike Pence
Texas Gov. Rick Perry
Ohio Sen. Rob Portman
Former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio
Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan
Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval
Former Pennsylvania Sen. Rick Santorum
South Carolina Sen. Tim Scott
South Dakota Sen. John Thune
Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker
Former Florida Rep. Allen West
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at email@example.com.