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11/15/2004

On to 2008

With the news today that the only member of the Bush cabinet that could even see sanity from where he was standing, Colin Powell, has resigned (to be replaced by some born again evangelical extremist no doubt), it is just way too depressing to look at the current situation we find ourselves in. So, I've decided to look ahead to 2008 and a brief look at who might be in the Democrat field of Presidential contenders. I might make this a regular feature here...unless I don't.

1. Hillary Clinton - Senator New York - She has to lead the list at this point although I'm not sure she will be the choice in four years. Even though she spent time in Arkansas, nobody is going to buy that she is a southerner. She has a very polarizing effect on people, and it's been a long time since someone went directly from the Senate to the White House. Despite Sean Hannity's prediction that if she wants the nomination she will get it, I think it may not be the right time for her in 2008. That said, right now she has more name recognition and momentum than anyone else, so she is number one on the list.

2. John Edwards - former Senator North Carolina former VP Candidate - Edwards is a close second in name recognition to Hillary at this point. I think he made a favorable impression in his own Presidential bid and as Kerry's VP choice. The fact is that he did serve only one term in the senate and currently is un-employed. He does hail from a southern state which seems to be a plus for a Democratic nominee, but it is doubtful he would have been re-elected in North Carolina had he run, and clearly was no help in getting southern states to vote for Kerry. An unpopular southerner is no better than an unpopular northerner. He is in the running because everyone knows him, but I'm not sure what he will do with himself for the next four years aside from hanging out in Iowa and New Hampshire and maybe that will be enough considering how front-loaded the primary process is.

3. Barack Obama - Senator Illinois - Obama is three with a bullet. He could rocket to the top of the list in a heartbeat. The Democrat's have invested a tremendous amount in Obama as the future of the party, the question is when exactly is that future. He obviously has a exceptional broadbased support. He comes from a Midwestern state which is a plus, and if you wanna talk about mandates look at how much of the vote he received in Illinois. Of course people outside of Illinois don't really know him yet, so a lot will depend on how visible and how effective he is in the next two years as to whether the future is 2008 or 2016 for Obama.

4. Evan Bayh - Senator Indiana - Bayh is a "moderate" from a traditionally Republican state. He seems to have a certain amount of appeal to both Democrats and Republicans and is well liked in the Senate. Of course this moderation that everyone says they want, might make it difficult for Bayh to actually be elected. He is on record as being Pro-Death penalty and yet Pro-Choice which pretty much means nobody on either side will vote for him. He does, however, favor privitization of Social Security and is also in favor of background checks before purchasing firearms at guns shows. He is undecided on school prayer. In short, Bayh thinks for himself and doesn't follow the party line. Even though everyone says they want these attributes in a leader, I think the truth is that they don't. The right wants someone who sees every issue the way they do and so does the left. If Bayh can win over enough "northern liberals" in the next two years, he may gain momentum. If, however, he crosses party lines too often especially when it comes to Supreme Court confirmations, he may doom his candidacy before it ever really gets started.

5. Bill Richardson - Gov. New Mexico. Now we get to the real action. The first of three governors on my initial list. I think these are they guys that will really make a move in the next two years or before. Governors tend to make good Presidents, at least that's what voters seem to think. (Reagan, Clinton, W). Richardson is from a key part of the country for Democrats especially if McCain is the GOP nominee. How many Presidential candidates have been nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize? Richardson has been four times. He would have great appeal to both sides of the aisle. In New Mexico he has cut taxes while bringing higher paying jobs to the state and being tough on crime. He looks and talks like a normal guy and if W has taught us anything it's that that is very important. If he decides to run I think he will tough to beat.

6. John Kerry - Senator Mass. - The only reason Kerry makes my list at all is that he seems to want to run again, and if he does he will get a least some support. I really can't envision a scenario in which he would be the nominee again, but then last year I couldn't either, so I guess we shouldn't count him out just yet. He is still in the Senate and has said he will take more of a leadership role, so maybe he has one last comeback in him, but I think he is a longshot at this point.

7. Michael Easley - Governor North Carolina - Again, nobody really knows this guy on a national level yet, but if he makes a bid, he will be a formidable opponent. Again, he is a Governor from an important part of the country, and unlike Edwards, the people love him. Like Edwards he is a lawyer, but instead of a trial lawyer he was a District Attorney who worked to put bad guys away. As DA, Attorney General and Governor he has a long record of being tough on crime. He helped to bring new businesses to North Carolina and has championed school reform that actually works. Let's see, Attorney General, Governor, southern state...remind you of anyone else who was a two-term President? Just like with Richardson, if Easley runs he will start to shoot up to the top of this list in a hurry.

8. Mark Warner - Governor Virginia - Warner also suffers from no name recognition at this point, but would make an excellent candidate in 2008. He is also a Governor from an important part of the country, and has proven he can get elected in a Republican dominated state. He has created many jobs himself as a private citizen. Warner helped to create telecommunications and IT companies as co-founder of Columbia Capital Corporation. When he took office in 2002 Virginia had a $6 billion shortfall that he has eliminated with the help of both Democrats and Republicans. Warner has also brought about meaningful education reform in his state. In possibly his crowning achievement thus far, Warner worked with both sides in 2004 to pass an ambitious and innovative tax reform bill that has allowed Virginia to make huge investments in Public Education, healthcare and law enforcement while preserving fiscal integrity. His plan lowered income taxes on every Virginia resident, cut sales tax on groceries and closed all those fun corporate loopholes. By making sure everyone, including big business, pays their share, everyone got a break on personal taxes and revenues went up. Warner may be the star of the group when it is all said and done, but for now he is number eight until he starts to make more of a name for himself nationally.

There you have it. I'm sure I left someone out or my analysis is way off in one way or another, so let me have your comments.


1 Comments:

At 11/22/2004 10:22:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As a Chappaqua resident and Clinton lover, I hate to say this, but the United States does not elect Senators--the only reason that Kerry had a chance was because of the anti-bush sentiment, and when it came down to it, his Senate record did him in on issues of defense and taxes. We need two of the following three on the ticket in 2008: Warner, Richardson, Easley. Is there a way you could post each of your candidates' positions on social issues such as abortion and gay rights?? Thanks a lot--great site!!

Jeremy

 

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