1) Has Barack Obama’s terms scared away other minorities from running for the Presidency?
2) Will another woman become a VP/Presidential candidate, especially if Hilary Clinton isn’t successful in her not formally announced yet campaign?

I remember back in 1988 being surprised that the Rev. Jesse Jackson was running for president. I don’t remember the numbers but I do remember that he ultimately finished 2nd in the Democratic Conventions, and how optimistic my parents were that there might be a black guy leading this country some day. Fast forward 20 years, and their optimism became a reality (my Mom, unfortunately, wasn’t here to see it). However, the presidency of Barack Obama has been anything but easy, especially when “First Black President” is attached to your terms. Wrapping up wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, constant clashes with a Republican-led Congress – including a government shutdown – plus “accidental” racial comments/articles/editorial cartoons throughout the last 7 years have contributed to a visibly aged President Obama. The thing that I am wondering is if another minority, whether Democrat or Republican, will be willing to put up with the same stuff for 4 years (or 8). Is the desire to lead the country enough to overcome not only the opposing party’s tactics and undermining, but the “accidental racism” that seemed to run throughout President Obama’s term?

In the same vein, what if Hilary Clinton wins the Democratic Nomination and the General Election next year? How bad will the sexism and sexist comments be from the mostly white-male-dominated Congress and media? Instead of editorial drawings of President Obama and him brushing his teeth with watermelon-flavored toothpaste, will we see some veiled mention of Hilary and a kitchen? Or Monica Lewinsky? Or her physical features? How many women would want to deal with that garbage after that, assuming Hilary wins at least one term?

Things to think about, as candidates for 2016 start officially launching their campaigns. It’s still early but I need to start wading through a lot of the garbage online and see what I can find on each candidate’s platforms and policies, regardless of political affiliation. I know that Joe Biden and Hilary Clinton are the very early frontrunners on the Democratic side. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz are the first of the Republicans to announce their candidacies; there are a bunch of other big names still to decide on that side. Will there be a 3rd party or Independent candidate that will challenge the status quo? As an Independent in Kentucky, I can’t vote in the Primaries… but I can sit back and observe without too much party-influence. Let’s all sit back and see how 2015 plays out with candidacy declarations.