The Quick And Dirty, Super-Early, Guide To The 2008 Race For The Republican Nomination!

There has been an enormous amount of interest in who will be running for the Republican nomination for President in 2008 and what their chances are. So here’s a quick and dirty guide to who may be running in 2008…

Tier 1 Candidates
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Rudy Giuliani: Rudy is probably the early front-runner because of his charisma, help to Bush during the last election, and clutch performance after 9/11, but he is far to the left of the base on abortion, gay marriage, and gun control. Rudy may simply not be conservative enough to get the nomination and he would undoubtedly turn-off a lot of social conservatives even if he did.

John McCain: Gets great press, has big name recognition, and definitely has a fan club in the Republican Party. He will also be 72 in 2008 (3 years older than Reagan was in 1980) and has a large block of people in the party who can’t stand him because they believe he torpedoes the Party on a regular basis for no other reason than to get favorable coverage from the press.

Bill Frist: Frist doesn’t have the stature of Giuliani or McCain, but as Senate Majority leader, he’s guaranteed to be able to acquire the money and talent he’ll need to make a serious run. And if Giuliani & McCain falter, which is entirely possible, Frist might be there to pick up the pieces.

Jeb Bush: If Jeb Bush were to run, he’d immediately become the front-runner. He can guarantee Florida, he’s a fiscal conservative, he does well with Hispanics, and he would be able to raise money and put together the kind of organization needed to win the nomination. On the other hand, he has said he isn’t running and his last name is Bush. Since by 2008 we’ll have had a Bush in the White House for 20 out of the last 28 years, people will be ready for someone other than a Bush in 2008

Tier 2 Candidates
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Bill Owens (Colorado), Tim Pawlenty (Minnesota), and Ernie Fletcher (Kentucky): All three of these governors have a good buzz around them and any of them might have a chance to get the nomination if they were to run. Governors tend to make better candidates than Senators because they’ve had experience of being “solely in charge”, they don’t necessarily have to make any of the squishy compromises that Senators inevitably end up making, and best of all, they’re outsiders not infected with the “taint of Washington”. The question is whether any of these guys will run and then whether they can gather up the money and organizations needed to catapult themselves into the top tier.

Tier 3 Candidates
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Chuck Hagel, George Allen, Rick Santorum, Sam Brownback: These are Senators that are unlikely to be able to raise the money, get the name recognition, or generally make a big enough splash to be big factors. I’m not saying count them out, but I don’t see any of these guys as top 5 candidates unless they get very lucky early on.

George Pataki (New York), Mitt Romney (Massachusetts), Bob Ehrlich (Maryland): All three candidates are governors who are probably a little bit to the left of the base. I doubt if they’ll be able to raise the money, get the name recognition, or generally make a big enough splash to be big factors. I’m not saying count them out, but I don’t see any of these guys as top 5 candidates unless they get very lucky early on.

Longshots
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Arnold Schwarzenegger: Would need a Constitutional Amendment to run and he isn’t going to get it. Even if he did, Schwarzenegger would be too liberal for most of the base.

Condi Rice: Condi’s name keeps circulating in the blogosphere as a presidential or veep pick, but her domestic views are largely unknown and she has never run for public office before.

Colin Powell Powell has never run for office, says he has no interest, is to the left of most of the party and would be 71 years old in 2008. On the other hand, Powell is very popular and would immediately become a tier 1 candidate were he to run.

Tom Ridge: Ridge is a former PA Gov and the current lame-duck Homeland Security Secretary and his name has been tossed around as a possible candidate. However, Ridge didn’t exactly cover himself in glory as the Homeland Security Secretary and how is he going to keep himself fresh until 2008? I’m not sure Ridge has what it takes to make it to the top of the GOP heap in 2008…

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