Q&A Friday #21: Who’s The Best Candidate For The GOP In 2008?

Question: “Since you put a lot of effort into dumping all over Condi, who is the conservative candidate that fits all eight of your qualifiers that you’d like to see get the nom in 2008?

That’s the main question, but I’ll take the opportunity to rip on some of the others from Ruffini’s poll:

Guiliani: shelf life, personal skeletons, wobbly social positions
Newt: longer shelf life, divorces, left Congress in disgrace in 99
McCain: duh
Pataki: are you kidding?
Tancredo: irresponsible lightweight, killed himself with his nuke Mecca comment, isolationist and highly anti-immigrant (even legal)
Frist: he can’t even lead the Senate
Romney: huge wobbly question mark from one of the bluest states in the Union
Hagel: undistinguished Senator, was busted by the Ethics Committee for lying about his ownership of a voting machine company, has compared Iraq to Vietnam
Huckabee: might have some promise, but is virtually Bill Clinton II, probably the most appealing of the lot
Brownback: ultraconservative Senator without much of a record or name recognition

So yeah, not exactly a power-packed list here.” — Mike_M

Answer: Out of the current batch of candidates, my current favorite is George Allen. If it came right down to it, I think he’d be a solid candidate.

But — and this is a huge “but” — what you have to remember is that the best batch of candidates — the governors — haven’t even gotten into the game yet (*** The big name governors from liberal states — like Pataki and Romney –don’t have much of a chance. ***) Governors have experience running a state, they’re not “tainted” by being in Washington, they’ve never had to compromise like Senators, and yet they’ve got a nice track record for the voters and conservatives to take a look at.

Some people are looking past some of the governors who may be top candidates because they’re not well known nationally yet. But, remember a guy by the name of Howard Dean? He was a complete nobody from Vermont before he caught fire and became the early front runner for the Democratic nomination last year.

There is a large group of Republican governors who might make excellent candidates: Mike Huckabee (AR), Mark Sanford (SC), Bill Owens (CO), Haley Barbour (MS), Tim Pawlenty (MN), Ernie Fletcher (KY), & Jeb Bush (FL), just to name a few.

However, at this point, there’s just no way to know which of these guys is going to run, whether they can build an organization and raise money, and how well they’ll do trying to build name recognition.

So, until these guys get in the race, it may be fun to speculate on who’d make the best candidate, but it’s too early to make a call.

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