by John Hawkins | November 4, 2004 9:22 pm
I know it’s early, but there are already a lot of people who already looking forward to 2008. Here’s a quick run down on the bigger names getting tossed around (the field will be bigger than this)
— Bill Frist: Senators don’t make particularly good candidates because they have to compromise so much to get legislation passed and tend to look wishy washy (see John Kerry). Plus, Frist has been largely unimpressive as Majority Leader.
— John McCain: McCain has rabid support from the media and a base of support in the GOP, but he is loathed by a lot of conservatives by a egomaniacal blowhard who deliberately torpedoes other Republicans for no other reason than to get his name in the press. Plus, McCain will be 72 in 2008 which lessens his appeal. Personally, I can’t stand McCain…
— Chuck Hagel: See John McCain minus the age.
— Jeb Bush: In a lot of ways, Jeb is a better candidate than W. He could guarantee a win in Florida, does well with Hispanics, and is probably more Hispanic. But, I just don’t think people will go for another Bush after having a Bush in the White House for 20 of the last 28 years. Is that fair? Not really, but I think that’s exactly why Jeb won’t be the nominee in 2008 whether he runs or not.
— Rick Santorum: I like Santorum, but he is an “in-your-face” style social conservative and he’s not terribly charismatic. Given that, he may be able to build some support in the primaries, but I’m not sure he has what it takes to win the nomination or the Presidency.
— Mitt Romney & George Pataki: With a field that’s going to be this deep, I just don’t see two RINOs like these guys getting serious traction.
— Rudolph Giuliani: Rudy is a great speaker, has tremendous charisma, and increased his standing in the party enough during this election cycle that he’ll probably be the favorite in 2008. That being said, Giuliani has some personal baggage, is pro-abortion, very moderate, & is from New York, but probably couldn’t deliver the state if Hillary (who’s the Dem fave right now) is the Dem’s candidate. You can’t help but like “America’s Mayor”, but I have a real concern that Giuliani would leave a lot of the base cold if they got to know him better.
Personally, I hoping that we’ll have a charismatic, conservative, Republican governor who’ll get in the race and catch fire “Howard Dean style” without the “Howard Dean style” flameout just when it seems like the race is in the bag.
Bonus: The “Big 3” Dems…
Hillary Clinton: Hillary is the most likely choice for the Dems, but I think she’s overrated as a candidate. She’s very liberal, doesn’t have her husband’s charisma, has high negatives, and has a lot of baggage left over from her husband’s presidency. In other words, I don’t really think Hillary Clinton is the type of candidate who’s going turn significant portions of red America blue — but who knows? 4 years is a long time.
Al Gore: All the “we’ve got get payback for 2000” momentum that Gore had built among the Democratic base seems to have largely evaporated and all that remains is a guy who isn’t particularly charismatic & has the stink of defeat all over him. My guess is that Dems won’t want to take a chance on Gore again if the field’s strong and it likely will be.
John Edwards: Edwards is good looking, likeable, and has increased his standing in the Party with this run as VP. However, Edwards added very little to the ticket during this election and are the Dems going to pull the trigger on a guy from North Carolina who probably can’t deliver any Southern states? I tend to doubt it.
*** Update #1 ***: By the way, don’t get the idea that I’m “down” on our chances in 2008 because I spent a lot of time cataloguing the weaknesses of our candidates. Whoever we field should be AT LEAST of comparable strength to anyone the Dems can come up with…
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