Ramesh Ponnuru attempts to sort things out about the potential field of viable Republicans for the 2016 Presidential race. But, as was the case at the start of the 2012 handicapping, the most important criterion is left out: is the person an Ivy Leaguer?
Let me remind my readers that we have not elected a President who was not a graduate (either first, terminal or in between degree) of an Ivy League institution since Ronald Reagan. This doesn’t mean that you need this to get the nomination: the Republicans nominated ring knocker John McCain in 2008. But we have not actually elected such a person since 1984. (And the Democrats have not nominated such a person since that time).
If you apply this to Ponnuru’s list, you’re left with only two prospects: Bobby Jindal and Ted Cruz. That’s it. Barring a major shift in the attitude of the electorate (which is unlikely) there’s no sense in nominating anyone else. That includes the Fat Man From New Jersey (what’s his excuse, it wasn’t that far) and his opponent, the Libertarian From Kentucky.
If you’re interested why I think this is so, take a look at this and this. And my take on the impact of this hasn’t changed either: “Electing Ivy Leaguers is like eating “comfort food:” it tastes good and fills us up, but our health goes downhill all the same.”