Your 2016 Advance Tip Sheet

[See birther update below.] I generally think that the first time when sane people should start talking about prospects for the 2016 presidential election is two-plus years from now -- that is, well into springtime of the pre-election year of 2015. Yes, I know that campaign pros have been seriously at work for several months now, but the rest of us can avert our gaze and attention for a while.

Cruz.pngBecause it sheds interesting light on the Congressional-vs.-Administration politics of 2013, very much including the ongoing Hagel wars, here's a note from a reader in Montana:
Senators Rubio, Paul and Cruz are all maneuvering for the Republican presidential nomination in 2016. By that time, they will probably represent the liberal, moderate, and conservative wings of the Republican party. Think about that.

So let's see: Rubio won't be nominated because the anti-immigrant crazies of the GOP can't stand him. The neo-cons will torpedo Paul. That leaves Cruz [right]. Hillary v. Cruz would be something to see--a pundits' paradise. Let the pundit screeching begin.

You heard it here first. If you were wondering, in 2016 Cruz would be roughly the same age Barack Obama was in 2008, and would have exactly the same amount of experience in national office: four years in the U.S. Senate.

Update: and those worried about a version of the "birther" controversy being applied to Cruz should check here. In short, he was born in Canada to a U.S.-citizen mother (herself born in America) and a Cuban-immigrant father -- and while Donald Trump might disagree, there are good reasons to think that his mother's citizenship and decades of residence in the U.S. get him past the constitutional requirement. One more reason to make this a pundits' paradise.