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Tom Murse

Field of 2016 Presidential Candidates Starts to Take Shape

By November 15, 2012

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Jeb Bush PhotoJust when you thought the political campaigns were about to give it a rest for four years, out come the names of a dozen or so possible 2016 presidential candidates. The most tantalizing outcome of America's favorite parlor game is the chance of a rematch between candidates named Bush and Clinton.

And no, we're not talking about George and Bill.

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Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush is among the strongest contenders for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016, a National Journal poll of political insiders found. Bush was mentioned as a possible surprise candidate in the runup to the 2012 Republican National Convention by party members who doubted former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney could unseat President Barack Obama in the presidential election.

Democratic Party insiders believe Bush has the best shot of being the GOP's next presidential nominee, while Republicans believe U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio of Florida has a slightly better chance of being the party's candidate. There is a certain hesitance that placing the name Bush on the presidential ballot will cause voters, most would agree. "If his name was Jeb Anything-Else, he would have been elected president last night," one Democratic Party insider told National Journal.

On the Democratic side, U.S. Sen.-elect Elizabeth†Warren's name has emerged after she won one of the most closely watched political contests in the 2012 election. So has that of San Antonio, Texas, Mayor†JuliŠn Castro,†a Hispanic politician who is considered a rising star in his own political Party and opposes strict crackdowns on illegal immigration such as the one in Arizona.

Which brings us to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, who many feel could be the first woman president of the United States. There have been female vice presidential nominees but no presidential nominees from a major party. Warren Buffett, the billionaire investor for whom Obama's Buffett Rule is named, told CNN after the 2012 presidential election that he believed Mrs. Clinton is the best qualified candidate in 2016.†"I like what she believes in. I think she's extraordinarily able and energetic ... in pushing those beliefs," he told the cable network.

Will 2016 bring the names Bush and Clinton together on the presidential ballot, just as 1992 did when Bill Clinton unseated Presidential George H.W. Bush? The potential for a rematch between two political dynasties has news†junkies salivating.

[Photo of former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush courtesy of Alex Wong/Getty Images News.]

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