16 for '16: The Most Talked-About GOP Presidential ContendersWith former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush's announcement this month that he would "actively explore" a run for the White House in 2016, the race for the Republican nomination has begun.
Bush is among many possible contenders. They span the full conservative spectrum, from tea party-based legislators like Texas Sen. Ted Cruz to former three-time New York Gov. George Pataki and other moderates and liberals including New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
The winner may possibly square off against former Democrat Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. She is expected to announce her decision early next year.
"It is going to be a big field," Kyle Kondik, a political analyst for the Center for Politics at the University of Virginia, recently told Newsmax. "There's going to be a lot of capable people in the field."
Here's a snapshot of 16 possible contenders (listed alphabetically) for the 2016 Republican nomination:
Personal: Age: 66; U.S. ambassador to the United Nations under former President George W. Bush; married, one child.
Pros: Strong foreign policy credentials; considered honest, straightforward and direct.
Cons: Seen as lacking in charisma; considered a neoconservative and a war hawk.
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Personal: Age: 61; former two-term governor of Florida; son of former President George H.W. Bush and brother of former President George W. Bush; married, three children.
Pros: Regarded as a successful and popular governor in a key battleground state; member of the Bush political dynasty; has high Latino support; speaks Spanish.
Cons: Has the electorate had enough of the Bush family? If he runs against Hillary Clinton, one could ask the same question about that surname. Backs Common Core and immigration reform, two unpopular issues with Republicans.
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Dr. Ben Carson
Personal: Age: 63; retired director of pediatric neurosurgery, Johns Hopkins University Hospital; married, three children.
Pros: Rational, plain speaking; brilliant medical background; gained national attention with biting speech against Obamacare at the 2013 National Prayer Breakfast, as President Barack Obama sat on the dais.
Cons: Has never held political office and lacks political experience on any level; likely considered a one-trick-pony opposing Obamacare.
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