hilary clinton*Sure, it’s still four years away – but trust us, the 2016 presidential elections are going to be here before you know it.

Of course, we all might be enslaved by giant space slugs from a planet beyond Venus by that time … but for the sake of this post, let’s ignore that terrifying scenario and focus on the favorites to run for the highest office in the land in 20116.

THE DEMOCRATS:
Hilary Clinton – Probably the clear frontrunner at this point. If she runs, she’d be one of the most qualified candidates ever to challenge for the office – having served as a senator and Secretary of State. She’s proven to be an excellent debater and strong fundraiser; her desire for the job is the only question.

Andrew Cuomo – The New York governor has grand political bloodlines and is an excellent public speaker. He could make the successful run his father, Mario, never had in him.

Mark Warner – Warner is an especially telegenic senator (and former governor) from a purplish state (Virginia). He might serve as a better choice for Vice President, however.

Joe Biden – He may come off as slightly cartoonish as the veep, but underestimate Biden at your own risk. He’s a shrewd campaigner, and would be a viable challenger for the presidency.

Amy Klobuchar – Klobuchar, a Minnesota senator, is roundly popular in her home state and would prove popular in the Midwest. However, she might be tapped by Obama for the Supreme Court well before she could make a presidential run.

THE REPUBLICANS:
Chris Christie – You think he’s not running? Christie’s profile shot through the roof in 2012, giving a widely-covered keynote address at the Republican National Convention and garnering praise (and scorn, from the right) for his very public cooperation with Barack Obama after Hurricane Sandy’s destruction. He’s perfectly positioned as a centrist alternative to the extreme-right candidates that plagued the Republican party during the last election cycle.

Paul Ryan – This right-wing tea party darling, as it turned out, didn’t have much of an impact on the 2012 election. Four more years of seasoning and refining his message would do wonders.

Marco Rubio – Romney was crushedin the Latino vote; selecting the Cuban-American Rubio, a senator from Florida, would cut into that Democratic advantage (and the swing state doesn’t hurt).

Bobby Jindal – The Indian-American Jindal would be a solid, conservative Republican nominee – but he needs some work on his public delivery. Yikes.