Saturday, July 7, 2007

562 days and counting.....

2008 is one of those rare years where there is no incumbent and no VP running. That has not left us wanting for good viable candidates. There are an unusual number of good candidates on both sides and some potentially strong Independant candidates. Below is my handicap on each of the candidates:

Front runners
Senator Hillary Clinton- Although her war vote has not endeared her to the far left, she is THE frontrunner. this could change as we get closer to voting as her high negatives get more play by the other candidates. Her chances in the general election are enhanced by possible 3rd party candidates which could help offset some of her high negatives by lowering the the bar for her to be elected from a majority to a plurality. Her husband was helped similarly by Ross Perot.

Senator Barak Obama- While Senator Obama is piling up money, he needs to shake the label of not having enough experience. When Senator Obama speaks, people are often inspired by his words, his staff has done a great job in translating that into donations, but can they transform that into votes.

Former Senator John Edwards- Former Senator Edwards has in various polls showed leads in both Iowa and New Hampshire. Although most pundits have focused on Obama and Clinton, if Edwards wins Iowa and NH, he would immediately be the frontrunner nationwide as the press would fall in love with him all over again and would give Obama and Clinton the McCain treatment where they write off their candidacy which could send one or both into a death spiral.

Posturing for a VP role:
Gov Bill Richardson- Gotta love last year when he was running for Governor. I was getting campain literature claiming that he was targeted by Republicans as vulnerable and asking for donations. So much for targeting, he won by an overwhelming majority, but helped his stature by raising money which could be used for a Presidential run. Most believe he is in this to get a VP job only.

Senator Chris Dodd- IF you actually listen to the guy, he is very bright, articulate, reasonable, exudes strong leadership, etc. The most important word in all that was IF. Senator Dodd may be a top tier candidate in different field, here he is having trouble attracting money and attention.

Senator Joe Biden- I could take the easy way out here and say "see Senator Dodd above" because the same description fits Senator Biden. See Senator Dodd above.

Running for the far left:
Representative David Kucinich- In 2004 he drew interest from lefty bloggers, in 2008 he will get the Ralph Nader treatment.

Mike Gavel- Why?

Waiting in the Wins:

Vice President Al Gore- VP Gore would immediately be able to pull in enough cash to be competitive at the top of the ticket. More on Gore in a subsequent post.



Mayor Rudy Guiliani- The Mayor would actually stand a better chance in the Democratic primaries. Of the entire field of Repulicans, Guiliani probably stands the best chance in the general election. A general election match up with Senator Clinton would give us the chance to see what could have been in the 2000 Senate race before Rudy dropped out. Throw in Mayor Bloomberg as a Independant and it gets even more interesting.

Govenor Mitt Romney- How can a guy be a front runner if he can't even win his home state? Romney would lose both Michigan and Mass if he ever made it to a General election. He has a similar strategy to Senator Edwards, throw everything into Iowa and New Hampshire and hope the momentum carry you from there. Don't laugh, it could work.

Senator John McCain- Ok, I admit it, I like John McCain. He may be 180 degrees polar opposite of my views on most issues, but I have a ton of respect for the man. In fact today Netflix delivered his movie "Faith of my Fathers" which I will be watching shortly. He is hanging on in the front runner category for dear life. His immigration stance may have sealed his fate as an also ran. I still think he may rise from the ruins before the votes are cast.

Actor Fred Thompson- Please explain this one to me. He leaves the Senate to do a TV show and now he is a front runner for President? Sorry please spare me the Reagan comparisons. Once Reagan became Governor, did he quit public life to be an actor?

Posturing for a VP role:

Governor Mike Huckabee- Another Presidential candidate from Hope, Arkansas. A good and decent man that embodies Conservative principles. Another Conservative that I actually respect and admire. Governor Huckabee lost over 100 lbs and has run 2 marathons. The first feat I can personally attest to having done it, the second feat I aspire to. He could actually be a VP candidate, but probably only on a McCain ticket. Guiliani, Romney, and Thompson would probably all need a Washington insider to help balance the ticket.

Senator Sam Brownack- Like Governor Huckabee, Senator Brownback is another candidate that embodies Conservative principles. Difference is that Huckabe isn't a sanctimonious blow hard. Could be the Washington insider to balance a Guiliani, Romney or Thompson ticket, but who needs a VP with hgih negatives (of the few people that actually know who he is).

Also rans:
Congressman Tom Tancredo- Running on the deport all illegals ticket. One issue campain not seen since Howard Stern ran for Governor of New York.

Governor Tommy Thompson - Going for the confused Thompson voter. 4 term governor gives him more experience than Romney, he is just not as well financed.

Rep Ron Paul- Ran for President in 1988 as a libertarian. He finished third to Mike Dukakis. Enough said.

Blogger note- As my brother points out, I was too dismissive of Ron Paul without further comment. Ron Paul is actually resonating with aspects of the party and amazinly has more cash on hand than Senator McCain. I compare his campain to the Jerry Browne candidacy in 1984 for the Democratic nomination. He captured the imagination of a lot of people, but was not mainstream enough to be a serious factor.
Rep Duncan Hunter- Got into the race when no other "true" conservatives were in the race hoping to fill a void and make a name for himself. He didn't and he hasn't. Good bye.

Waiting in the wings:
Newt Gingrich- The emergence of Fred Thompson's candidacy makes it less likely Newt will run. He could raise enough money quickly to get in late and make a big splash. He would be the only candidate with higher negatives than Senator Clinton.

Mayor Michael Bloomberg- Anyone that dismisses someone that could drop $1 billion of his own cash to self finance his run is not realistic. Look at how much attention Ross Perot received and he was a buffoon. Mayor Bloomberg is truely an Indpendant. Up until 8 years ago when he ran for Mayor, he was a Democrat. He recently switched his voter registration from Republican to Independant fueling speculation that he will run for Presidency.

Senator Chuck Hagel- Republican Sentator Chuck Hagel has been an early and frequent critic of the administration. He is very conservative on most issues, but recently has been at odds with his party on many issues. Some speculate that Senator Hagel will be the VP candidate on a Bloomberg ticket.

Consumer advocate Ralph Nader- A once proud consumer advocate has turned himself into a joke. Most of his former supporters left him after he cost Al Gore the election and left our fate to the worst President in our life time (when ever I can squeeze in a little Bush criticism, I will). Ralph, listen to your friends, go away!


Mike said...

I think Ron Paul has some grass roots "legs" right now. Keep in mind, he was elected by Texas. I was actually going to do a story on him in my blog.

EzBlogger said...

Agree, I thought at the time I wrote it I was being to dismissive of him and didn't go back to ammend it. I have updated a note in the blog about him.