RPT-FACTBOX-Thought presidential campaign was over? Now it's time for 2016

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WASHINGTON, Nov 10 (Reuters) - The dust has barely settled

from the 2012 presidential campaign, and already there is talk

about who might run for president in four years, when both

Democrats and Republicans will be searching for a nominee.

From Secretary of State Hillary Clinton - a Democrat who ran

a tough primary battle against eventual president Barack Obama

in 2008 - to Wisconsin Congressman Paul Ryan, the Republican

vice presidential nominee this year, both parties appear to have

a deep bench from which to draw candidates to compete for the

chance to succeed Obama in 2016.

Here is a look at some of those who could be in the running

during the next presidential election cycle.

REPUBLICANS

Jeb Bush

Bush, 59, is a popular former governor of the politically

divided state of Florida who opted not to run in 2012. He will

again face pressure from party activists to seek the White House

in 2016. Many in the party believe he could have given Obama a

better contest than Mitt Romney did this year.

But Bush might be reluctant to chase the presidency, in part

because of his surname. He is the brother of former president

George W. Bush and the son of former president George H.W. Bush.

Jeb Bush would have to decide whether a third Bush could get

elected - his brother left office amid historically low

popularity ratings - or whether he would face voter fatigue with

the Bush name.

Jeb Bush, whose wife was born in Mexico, would have an

easier time reaching out to increasingly potent Hispanic voters

than the failed 2012 nominee, Mitt Romney. He has warned

Republicans they must reach out to engage minority voters.

"Our demographics are changing and we have to change not

necessarily our core beliefs, but ... the tone of our message

and the message and the intensity of it, for sure," Bush told

NBC's "Meet The Press" in August.

An education expert, Bush chairs an education organization

called the Foundation for Florida's Future. He showed his

loyalty to the party by actively campaigning for Romney in

Florida.

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Marco Rubio

Another Floridian, Senator Marco Rubio, got tongues wagging

by scheduling a speaking engagement in the early voting state of

Iowa on Nov. 17, just 11 days after the election. The

41-year-old Cuban-American is a fresh face in the Republican

Party and has built a solid reputation among conservatives by

emphasizing America's founding principles and embracing the Tea

Party movement. He was a keynote speaker at the Republican

National Convention in Tampa and might have gotten more

attention had he not spoken just before actor Clint Eastwood's

unusual appearance, when he lectured an imaginary Obama as if

the president were sitting in an empty chair.

In his speech, Rubio emphasized his modest upbringing. "My

dad was a bartender. My mom was a cashier, a maid and a stock

clerk at K-Mart. They never made it big. They were never rich.

And yet they were successful, because just a few decades removed

from hopelessness, they made possible for us all the things that

had been impossible for them," he said.

Rubio would have the ability to engage Hispanic voters. The

question that he will face in 2016, just as in 2012, is whether

he is experienced enough to serve as president.

He currently sits on two important Senate committees,

intelligence and foreign relations. A minor controversy broke

out over his biography last year when The Washington Post

reported his parents did not flee Fidel Castro's Cuba in 1959 as

he had stated but left in 1956, before Castro seized power.

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Paul Ryan

Rep. Ryan, 42, was Romney's vice presidential running mate

and as such would have an inside track in seeking the Republican

presidential nomination should he choose to do so. As chairman

of the powerful House Budget Committee, he is beloved by many

conservatives for pushing a budget plan that would lead to deep

cuts in government spending.

A Wisconsin native, he would have the potential of winning

that traditionally Democratic state, although his presence on

Romney's ticket did not help deliver Wisconsin for Romney.

Some obstacles for Ryan: It is not easy for a member of the

House of Representatives to win the presidency and he has little

experience outside Washington. He would also face criticism over

his budget plan and how it would overhaul the Medicare health

insurance plan for seniors, an easy target for Democrats in

2012. He used part of his convention speech in Tampa to defend

himself. "We have responsibilities, one to another - we do not

each face the world alone. And the greatest of all

responsibilities is that of the strong to protect the weak. The

truest measure of any society is how it treats those who cannot

defend or care for themselves," he said. He held his own in a

debate against Vice President Joe Biden, despite lacking the

Democrat's foreign policy expertise.

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Chris Christie

Christie, 50, is the Republican governor of a Democratic

state, New Jersey. Opting not to seek the Republican

presidential nomination in 2012, he was on Romney's vice

presidential short list but was passed over in favor of Ryan.

He is one of the most skilled Republican speakers in the

national picture and was a popular surrogate for Romney on the

campaign trail. To try to get a handle on New Jersey's budget

woes, he has led an effort for deep cuts in state spending,

making him a popular figure in the party. But he is overweight

to the point where he would face health questions should he

decide to run.

Late in the 2012 campaign, Christie raised Republican

eyebrows with his warm words of praise for Obama for his

handling of Hurricane Sandy. Then, Christie refused overtures

from the Romney campaign to join the candidate in nearby

Pennsylvania, choosing instead to remain in New Jersey and lead

efforts to recover from the killer storm. Some Romney loyalists

complained about this, but Republican strategist Alice Stewart

said it should not damage him.

"When you're in a crisis situation like that, and you're the

leader of the state, and doing everything you can to restore

power and water and put food in the hands of your citizens that

Gov. Christie cares so much about, politics goes out the

window," she said. Still, Christie could face negative attack

ads over his bear hug of Obama from other Republicans in the

party's presidential primary contest should he run. And he may

face a tough fight for re-election in New Jersey next year.

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Bobby Jindal

Louisiana Governor Jindal, 41, is an Indian-American who

could help the Republican Party extend its appeal beyond whites.

He is well-liked by conservatives for education reforms he put

in place in Louisiana, and he received high marks for his

handling of the 2010 BP oil spill that shattered fishing

communities on the Gulf coast. He was on Romney's vice

presidential running mate list. But when given a big opportunity

on the national stage, he was thought to have flubbed the chance

when he delivered the Republican response to Obama's 2009 speech

to a joint session of Congress.

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Condoleezza Rice

Rice, who will be 58 on Nov. 14, is a former secretary of

state and national security adviser for Republican President

George W. Bush. Her name pops up on potential candidates' lists

despite regular denials of political intentions. She received a

prominent speaking role at the Tampa convention and gave one of

the more memorable speeches. An African-American, Rice was

raised during the segregation era in Alabama.

When she left Washington, Rice returned to a teaching

position at Stanford University, and was one of the first two

women to be granted membership to formerly male-only Augusta

National Golf Club, which holds the annual Masters tournament.

As a close confidante of Bush, she has held the levers of power.

She would face questions about her tenure in the Bush

administration when the United States invaded Iraq over false

charges that it possessed weapons of mass destruction.

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Other Republicans who might want to make a move in 2016

include New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez, Virginia Gov. Bob

McDonnell, Texas Gov. Rick Perry and Indiana Governor Mitch

Daniels.

DEMOCRATS

Hillary Clinton

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, 65, heads a lengthy list

of potential Democratic candidates to succeed Obama in four

years. The wife of former President Bill Clinton has frequently

ruled out a run, but many Democrats think the allure of becoming

the first female president might entice her into the race. She

ran in 2008 but was out-maneuvered by Obama and lost after a

bitter primary battle.

She has been a loyal cabinet official for Obama and her

husband gave perhaps the single most significant speech at the

Democratic National Convention, when he staunchly defended

Obama's handling of the U.S. economy. This puts Obama in the

Clintons' debt. Hillary Clinton has been a steady hand at

foreign policy with her indefatigable overseas travel schedule.

If she runs, she could face questions about how the State

Department handled the deadly Sept. 11 attack by Libyan

militants on the U.S. mission in Benghazi. There have been

accusations that a request for greater security for the U.S.

mission were ignored.

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Joe Biden

The big question of 2016 will be whether Vice President Joe

Biden, who will be 70 soon, tries to succeed his boss. He has

not ruled out a run. When he voted in the presidential election

on Tuesday, a reporter asked him if this was the last time he

would cast a ballot for himself. "No, I don't think so," Biden

replied. As a former chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations

Committee, he is a foreign policy expert.

But Biden was a bull in a china shop during the 2012

campaign. In one speech in the former slave state of Virginia,

Biden told a crowd Romney and his Republicans want to "put ya'll

back in chains." His debate with Paul Ryan was distinguished by

frequent derisive smiles and sarcastic laughter by Biden. When

Obama's healthcare overhaul was signed into law, Biden could be

heard over an open mic muttering to the president that this was

a "big (expletive) deal."

Obama has stuck by his No. 2 loyally through the gaffes, and

Biden has returned the favor. "Folks, I've watched him," Biden

said of Obama at the Democratic convention. "He never wavers. He

steps up. He asks the same thing over and over again: How is

this going to work for ordinary families? Will it help them? And

because of the decisions he's made, and the strength the

American people have demonstrated every day, America has turned

the corner." The potential of an intra-party battle between

Clinton and Biden appeals to political reporters. But a more

likely scenario would see Biden giving way to Clinton and

perhaps serving as her secretary of state should she win.

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Martin O'Malley

O'Malley, 49, the liberal governor of Maryland, is getting

national attention from his perch as the current chairman of the

Democratic Governors Association. He is believed to have held

national ambitions for some time. He was given a prime-time

speaking slot at the Democratic convention in Charlotte in which

he espoused liberal ideals. "As we search for common ground and

the way forward together, let's ask one another - let's ask the

leaders in the Republican Party - without any anger, meanness or

fear: How much less, do you really think, would be good for our

country? How much less education would be good for our children?

How many hungry American kids can we no longer afford to feed?"

He has been a top advocate for legalizing same-sex marriage,

which Maryland voters approved in the Nov. 6 election. And he

has referred to illegal immigrants as "new Americans." Should

Clinton or Biden fall to the wayside, O'Malley might get the

attention of the Democratic left during the party's primary

battle.

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Mark Warner

Warner, 57, a senator from Virginia, harbored presidential

ambitions in 2008 but ultimately opted not to run. A

multimillionaire from the telecom industry, Warner served a term

as governor of Virginia and helped boost the state's economy.

Known as a moderate Democrat, Warner is in his first term in

the Senate and there has been some talk he might want to run

again for the governor's seat in his home state. He got

attention as a possible 2016 presidential candidate when he

addressed delegates from the early voting state of Iowa at the

Democratic National Convention in Charlotte

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Andrew Cuomo

Cuomo, 54, the governor of New York, has been keeping a

relatively low profile. He spent little time at the Democratic

convention and has batted away questions about any presidential

ambitions. Whether he ran or not would probably depend on

whether fellow New Yorker Hillary Clinton decided to seek the

nomination since both would tap into the same fund-raising

sources. With an approval rating in New York that crested above

70 percent this spring, Cuomo is among the most popular leaders

in the Democratic Party. His championing of same-sex marriage in

New York makes him a favorite of progressives.

He built a reputation of fiscal responsibility while working

with a Republican legislature, making him an attractive voice

for voters yearning for across-the-aisle success stories. As a

Catholic and Italian-American, Cuomo, like Biden, he could be a

strong surrogate for the president among conservative Democrats

in the Rust Belt.

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Other Democrats who might consider a run include

Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, Minnesota Senator Amy

Klobuchar, New York Senator Kirsten Gillibrand and Montana

Governor Brian Schweitzer.

(Reporting by Steve Holland; editing by Todd Eastham)

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