Steve Beshear and the Dangers of Making Everything About 2016

Reporting on Politics and Policy.
March 4 2014 2:58 PM

Steve Beshear and the Dangers of Making Everything About 2016

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Hillary's running mate?

Photo by Jim Watson/AFP/Getty Images

One month ago it was an easy column to write. Hey, Kentucky Gov. Steve Beshear was all over the place, talking up the Affordable Care Act. Might he ... want to be Hillary Clinton's vice president? The question was explored most fully by the Cincinnati Enquirer.

Kentucky's job growth of 2.6% from September 2011 to September 2012 ranked second only to oil-booming North Dakota's 5.6%, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.
Beshear's name has already come up as a potential running mate in the 2016 election conversations among some political watchers around the country, said University of Virginia politics professor Larry Sabato.
"I've heard his name mentioned," said Sabato. "I certainly wouldn't rule it out."
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And so on, but really, if Sabato hears it mentioned, it's damn well mentioned. What possible impediment could there be to Beshear on a national ticket?

Democratic Gov. Steve Beshear said Tuesday that he will appeal a federal judge's order requiring Kentucky to recognize same-sex marriages performed in other states.
The definition of marriage in Kentucky and other states "will be and should be ultimately decided by the U.S. Supreme Court in order to bring finality and certainty to this matter," Beshear said in a statement. "The people of this country need to know what the rules will be going forward. Kentucky should be a part of this process."

The guy is term-limited out of office in January 2016, and it's easy to see why he's doing this, but it's hard to see activists looking past the statement if/when Beshear gets vetted. Perhaps he's campaigning for Obamacare compliance because he really believes in it?

David Weigel is a Slate political reporter.