Campaign News
May 07, 2014

Sweet home, Washington, D.C.: Cast your vote for the Alabamian you’d like to see in the White House

Leada Gore   ·   ·  Link to Article
Sweet home, Washington, D.C.: Cast your vote for the Alabamian you’d like to see in the White House

Sweet home Washington, D.C. Has a nice ring to it, doesn't it?

There's been only one Alabamian to ever hold one of the country's highest elected positions (bonus points if you knew William Rufus DeVane King was U.S. Vice president fort four short weeks in 1853) but who is to say the time isn't ripe for another?

Sen. Jeff Sessions made headlines recently when he laughed off talk of him running for president in 2016, an idea first floated by a nationally syndicated radio talk show host.

"I'm flabbergasted that that ever came up," Sessions said.

But is the idea that far-fetched? And, if not Sessions, what Alabamian would you like to see in the White House?

First, let's look at some possible candidates from those already in the political arena.

Usual candidates

Sen. Jeff Sessions – It's hard to get more conservative than the junior Senator from Alabama. The Selma native is 67 and he's held some high-profile budget positions. It's hard to get over that Sessions himself said he's not running but he's the name that keeps coming up when people do mention the words Alabama and White House in the same breath.

Sen. Richard Shelby – He's Alabama's senior Senator and a major player in Washington, D.C. Shelby has been in the Senate since 1986 and has a large war chest at his disposal. He's also the ranking member of the Senate Committee on Appropriations. Shelby's credentials are ideal but his age may be a factor. Shelby celebrated his 80th birthday yesterday – 11 years older than Ronald Reagan was when he took office.

Around the House

Rep. Martha Roby – She was first sent to Washington after defeating former Montgomery Mayor Bobby Bright in 2010, thanks in part to endorsements from GOP heavyweights such as Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin. In December, she landed a position on the House Committee on Appropriations, a high-profile group that oversees a range of government spending. At 37, she just makes the age cut to be able to run. She's personable and social-media savvy, both pluses in the modern political landscape.

Rep. Terri Sewell – Sewell and Roby were the first women elected to Congress from Alabama during regular elections. Sewell is the state's only Democratic member of the House delegation but she's shown she's also willing to cross the aisle in support of some bills. Her credentials are impeccable, having graduated from Princeton University, Harvard Law School and Oxford University. She also has a big namesupporting her reelection bid – President Barack Obama recently announced his support. Her biggest challenge would be winning her home state – 61 percent of Alabamians supported GOP candidate Mitt Romney in the 2012 presidential election.

Other names to consider

Bob Riley – The former Congressman and Alabama Governor is no stranger to presidential political speculation. In 2009, the Washington Times published a piece touting Riley's conservative credentials and suggesting he was considering a run for the presidency. He didn't run at the time and is now working as a lobbyist.Riley, a Republican, is 69 and the window for making a run for the presidency could be closing.

State Sen. Arthur Orr – He's represented Morgan and parts of Limestone and Madison counties in the State Senate since 2007 and built up a reputation as a mover and a shaker in Montgomery. He's 49, a former Peace Corps volunteer and general counsel for Cook's Pest Control. Think President is too much of a stretch? Maybe so, but keep in mind a couple of other options - see Richard Shelby entry above – may be on the horizon.

State Sen. Cam Ward – Another young Republican (he's 43), Ward opted not to run for Alabama's 6th Congressional seat being vacated by his old boss Rep. Spencer Bachus. That doesn't mean larger things aren't in store for Ward, who has tons of allies in political potent Shelby County. He's been in the Alabama Senate for 12 years and is considered to be a voice of reason in an often dysfunctional group. Don't rule him out down the road, either in Alabama or Washington, D.C.

Those are just a couple of options. We'd love to hear yours? What Alabamians do you think should make a run for the White House?



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