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The Friday Line: Handicapping the White House Hopefuls

It's been a month since The Fix last ranked the five Democrats and five Republicans most likely to wind up as the presidential nominees in 2008. The original post generated a slew of comments and suggestions that have been factored into this version of the presidential line.

As with the last presidential post, the candidates are ranked alphabetically, not by their chances of becoming their party's standard bearer. And again, please post in the comments section or e-mail me with your own lists.

The Republicans

* George Allen: Allen continues to cement his status as one of the nominal frontrunners for the nomination by simply not making any major mistakes. Seeking to bolster his foreign policy credentials, Virginia's junior senator spent a week last month in Asia where he met with Pakistan's president as well as the Indian prime minister. Sources allied with Allen rivals sought to spin Virginia Attorney General Jerry Kilgore's (R) gubernatorial loss last month as a blow for the senator, but that seems like pretty thin gruel. Barring an unforeseen pitfall, Allen will enter 2006 as the conventional wisdom pick for the nomination, especially among the party's conservative base.

* Bill Frist: Frist's scheduled trip to New Hampshire next week shows that despite struggling through a politically disastrous 2005, he continues to move full steam ahead toward a presidential bid. As leader of Senate Republicans, Frist is almost certain to play a prominent role in the Supreme Court nomination fight of Samuel A. Alito early next year, which could help endear him to the party's conservative wing.  Frist continues to raise money for his Volunteer PAC and can be expected to lard state parties in key early primary states with dollars. The Tennessee senator, who is leaving Congress at the end of next year, has seen his star tarnished over the past 12 months; he must use the next year to reclaim his image as a political up and comer.

* Rudy Giuliani: There is little question that Giuliani will remain at the top of polls testing Republican presidential primary candidates for the foreseeable future.  What is less clear is how voters who idolize the former New York mayor for his leadership in the aftermath of the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks will react when Hizzoner's detractors start talking about his support for gay and abortions rights. Is Giuliani such an untouchable figure that these attacks won't destroy his chances of winning the nomination? That seems extremely unlikely, but we are willing to be persuaded. And while Bayh might be able to pick off some Red States for the Democrats, Giuliani's star status and moderate politics would almost certainly put plenty of Blue States in play.

* John McCain: If you needed any more convincing that McCain is planning a second run for the White House, take a look at his schedule over the past few weeks.  McCain traveled to Alabama to campaign and fundraise for George Wallace Jr. (R), who is running for lieutenant governor; he appeared with President Bush and Arizona Sen. Jon Kyl (R) at a fundraiser on Monday to benefit Kyl's reelection race; and today McCain will be in Pennsylvania to raise cash for Sen. Rick Santorum (R).  All three events seem to be the leading edge of an effort to make McCain more palatable to conservative Republican primary voters who have grown increasingly disenchanted with the Arizona senator's willingness to buck the party leadership. The success of that courtship is key to McCain's chances.

* Mitt Romney: Romney will make a final decision on whether to seek a second term as Massachusetts's governor later this month.  Until then, his presidential candidacy will be in a holding pattern.  Judging by Romney's travel outside of the state, it seems a long shot that he will sign up for a second term, choosing instead to leave office in 2006 and devote is full attention to a presidential run. Insert here the obligatory question about whether his Mormonism would hinder a national campaign.

* Wildcard -- Newt Gingrich: The rehabilitation of Gingrich's image is worth a column in and of itself.  Seven years ago when he resigned from the House, he was a figure of significant scorn among the very Republicans who had ridden his "Contract with America" to the House majority just four years earlier.  In the intervening years, Gingrich has emerged as one of the leading ideas men among Republicans. Plus, national polling shows him with a small-but-solid following among likely GOP primary voters. Gingrich is a long shot to win the nomination, but he has proven his doubters wrong before.

The Democrats

* Evan Bayh: The Indiana senator has (quietly) done more fundraising in 2005 than any other Democrat with the exception of Hillary Rodham Clinton.  He is hosting a birthday party fundraiser for himself tonight in Indiana that will bring in $600,000, and he is spending much of the latest congressional recess traveling the country to meet with donors.  He will surprise people with the depth and breadth of his fundraising operation when the campaign fully engages after the 2006 midterms. Bayh has proven Red State appeal, which could mean a lot in a close election.

* Hillary Rodham Clinton: The last month has not been the best for Sen. Clinton's presidential -- oops! -- I mean Senate campaign.  Liberal activists are expressing their discontent with her unwillingness to renounce her vote in support of the Iraq war or to advocate a specific timetable for withdrawing troops from the country. On the other hand, her New York reelection race is growing less and less competitive by the day, allowing her to stockpile tens of millions of dollars that could be transferred directly to a presidential account.  Clinton is still the clear frontrunner for the nomination, although she looks (slightly) more beatable than in recent months.

* John Edwards: Edwards won kudos among the party's liberal wing for his piece last month in The Washington Post in which he said he regretted voting for the 2002 use of force resolution against Iraq. He continues to travel the country delivering speeches on poverty and in the process generating glowing press clips from local newspapers. (Take a look at this story from the Nov. 30 San Antonio Express-News as an example.)  Much of Edwards's appeal in 2004 was that he was a fresh face in a party searching for a new savior.  Will that appeal still hold four years later?

* John Kerry: The 2004 Democratic nominee has effectively positioned himself as one of the leading Democratic critics of Bush administration's handling of the war in Iraq, a role unwittingly reinforced by the president when he mentioned Kerry by name during a speech on the conflict last month.  While Kerry seems to have found his footing on Iraq, it may be too little too late in the eyes of primary voters.  But with an e-mail list numbering 3 million and the experience garnered from running a national campaign, Kerry merits a spot in the top 5.

* Mark Warner: The next 11 months are crucial for Warner's national hopes.  Once he formally leaves the Virginia governor's mansion next month, Warner will be free to focus all his time on courting activists in key states and raising dollars -- luxuries that most of his Democratic competitors will not enjoy until November 2006. Warner formally kicks off that national effort next Tuesday with a fundraiser to benefit his Forward Together PAC in northern Virginia.  His decision this week to grant clemency to a death row inmate (and the subsequent chatter about its 2008 implications) is just the start of a heightened level of media attention and scrutiny on Warner that we'll see over the next year. How he holds up to that maelstrom could make or break his candidacy.

* Wildcard -- Wesley Clark: Clark replaces Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold as the wildcard in the field, thanks to the fervor and energy for him among some in the party's liberal base, particularly Internet activists. While unscientific, the online presidential poll conducted by DailyKos (a must-read blog for the party's ideological left) regularly shows the retired Army general far out in front of every other possible Democratic nominee, including Clinton. While Clark stumbled out of the gate in 2004 (especially when it came to his opposition to the Iraq war), the ardor for him among some in the party has not lessened.  On paper, Clark's resume is unmatched if defense and foreign policy issues are still dominating the national landscape in three years time. 

By Chris Cillizza  |  December 2, 2005; 8:33 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008 , The Line  
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Next: A Primary Challenge to Lieberman?

Comments

In reference to General Clark, glad to see him listed, finally!

I am so tired of politicians and their corruption, their mealy mouths and the fingers to the win until I can only hope that we put someone in the lead that is an actual leader and who cares for this country before their party and the political career.

In reference to Wes Clark's stance on the Iraq War, I find that the media pack did their duty during the primary and very much made sure that Clark "stumbled" out of the gate. He still did remarkably well considering his late start!

Some have wanted to say that Clark was "for" the war....or at least that he said he would have voted for the resolution.

But this is the story here on that....

Wes Clark supported the Levin amendment, not the Lieberman "blank Check" amendment that John Edwards Co-Sponsored. The Levin and the Biden/Lugar and the Lieberman amendments were all still being debated on October 9, 2002....when Clark said he would have voted for "a" Resolution...

What Clark was saying 2 days before the IWR VOTE:
USA Today editorial from September 9, 2002, in which Clark wrote:
Despite all of the talk of "loose nukes," Saddam doesn't have any, or, apparently, the highly enriched uranium or plutonium to enable him to construct them.

Unless there is new evidence, we appear to have months, if not years, to work out this problem.
http://www.p-fritz.net/p/irc.html

What Clark was saying 1 day before the IWR VOTE:
Clark's op ed on September 10, 2002....One day before the IWR Vote:
In his Op-Ed dated October 10, 2002, "Let's Wait to Attack." Clark states:
In the near term, time is on our side. Saddam has no nuclear weapons today, as far as we know, and probably won't gain them in the next few months.
....there is still time for dialogue before we act.
http://archives.cnn.com/2002/ALLPOLITICS/10/10/timep.iraq.viewpoints.tm/

What Clark actually said in reference to "a" Resolution on 10/09/02:
http://premium1.fosters.com/2002/election%5F2002/oct/09/us%5F2cong%5F1009a.asp
"Retired U.S. Army Gen. Wesley Clark said Wednesday he supports A congressional resolution that would give President Bush authority to use military force against Iraq, although he has reservations about the country's move toward war. Clark, who led the allied NATO forces in the Kosovo conflict, endorsed Democrat Katrina Swett in the 2nd District race.?

He said if she were in Congress this week, he would advise her to vote for a resolution, but only after vigorous debate... The general said he had doubt Iraq posed a threat, and questioned whether it was immediate and said the debate about a response has been conducted backward.

Note that it is the Associated Press who claims Clark supports a resolution that would give Bush authority to use military force, whereas Clark's own words indicate he would only support "A" (key word!) resolution "after vigorous debate." Surely that can be interpreted to mean vigorous debate that would result in changes (otherwise, why debate?) --meaning he did not support the resolution "as was." Considering he had previously testified to the Armed Services Committee that the resolution need not authorize force, we can guess what he might have felt one of those changes should be.
--------

Posted by: catherine | December 2, 2005 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Kate

My reaction to Edwards is the same I had to Kerry:

If he were to come out with a really strong policy agenda and someone like Obama to help him sell it, then ... maybe.
Kerry does have greater visibility in the Senate especially with his position as a leading spokesman on Iraq. What do you think Edwards could do to regain the limelight that would make him a viable presidential candidate? Would be interested to know, I'm sure Edwards would be also.

Posted by: Jeff | December 2, 2005 11:26 AM | Report abuse

Please note: If you agree with the following email and feel strongly that Woodward's actions warrant an immediate termination from the washington post as well as agree with the general state of the media, please sign your name at the bottom of the email under the signed section, and forward to as many people as possible and include in the CC field the following emails at the washington post:

advertising@washpost.com, letters@washpost.com, oped@washpost.com, ombudsman@washpost.com, press@washinpost.com, FireWoodward@hotmail.com

Let your voice be heard, this is an action that you can take to voice your dissatisfaction and frustration.

From Deep Throat to Cohort:
The Devolution of the American media

The last straw has just descended. The continued debasing of "journalism" has hit a nadir; a profession which is an integral part of our constitution, our way of life, the very fabric of the American ideal has finally disintegrated. We are left with a press toothless, courage less, and faithless in the pursuit of truth. Bob Woodward, the iconic reporter, has devolved into a willing accomplice of the ruling elite. This truly is a sad day for journalism; a sadder day yet for America.

What was revealed should send shockwaves throughout the world. We have witnessed the unmasking of the conglomerate behind the so-called free press, whose only desire is chasing profits instead of leads. Bob Woodward, evidently selling his soul to gain "access" to the White House, is an active participant in the continuing lie perpetrated on the American people. A man whose very job is to expose lies, has instead been lying to the very public he is supposed to serve. While most reporters and journalists refuse to name sources to better serve the public, Woodward instead tells us that he did not want to tell the truth about who the original source of this leak is in order to protect himself from having to testify in front of a grand jury--courage indeed. Has it come to this, a reporter lying about a source, not to protect the public's right to know, but, rather, to deny it. What a disgrace! My hero exposed for what he is: a lying sycophant more interested in self preservation and the preservation of his access to power. After two years of lying, he finally owns up to his deception and reveals that someone in the White House did in fact speak to him two years ago about the Valerie Plame. He acknowledges this after going on talk shows dismissing the gravity of the case; erstwhile being a willing co-conspirator. How convenient that this "confession" aids an accused criminal, one Louis Libby--does the word aiding and abetting sink in yet?

The truth is that Woodward's actions are symptomatic of the general state of the press. Reporters have morphed into a tool of power instead of speaking truth to it. In the obsession to "make news", reporters jumped in the bed of the very people they are supposed to be keeping honest. Moreover, companies such as the new york times and the washington post have embedded in their employees the notion that breadth of reporting is more important than depth of reporting. In the mad dash to capture market share, the modern day news media has settled on a vision of capturing the most amount of readers while making sure to coddle the ruling elite. Sure they will report of some senator who cheated on his wife, but will ignore the actions of the very institution that senator works in that cheats their constituents. News has turned into a snapshot of events which can capture the most attention, instead of a continuous effort to educate and cultivate an informed public. Obsessed with gaining access to news makers, the news media has transformed into whores of the powerful, turning tricks to get two minutes of pleasure with the very people they are supposed to keep in check. Sound bites that tell us nothing, rhetoric reported as news, truth forsaken for an intangible balance. On a scale of news, truth has no balance and counterbalance; truth stands on its own. Yet the state of today's news media is that of a meek poodle, yelping at its master for a crumb from the table. And they wonder why subscriptions have fallen off, it's because those you serve are seeing more and more that you are Judas to the public. Unable to bear the cross of truth, you instead sell out for the nearest shekel. Reporters who no longer see the profession as a crusade against tyranny, instead you seek it as a way to get your spot on the stage. Journalists who are more eager to stand in front of the microphone instead of behind it, the silent tool of truth transformed into publicity hounds while you try to land on the new york journal best seller list. Think about that next time you are talking to your agent on a new book deal. For those who might have true passion for journalism, ask yourself if you are really doing today what you came into the business to accomplish when you were in college. For those that have always seen journalism as a means of acclaim, I truly hope that the day will come where you are torn down by your own lack of scruples.

All this leads back to Bob Woodward. From this day on, I urge all readers and subscribers of the washington post to cancel their subscription TODAY. It pains me that a great paper like the washington post has been reduced to enabling an admitted liar and in the end justifying his stance. Until Woodward has been summarily dismissed from the washington post payroll, a full accounting given of what he testified about to the grand jury, and a full page apology given to the readers, I will NEVER pick up another washington post newspaper again. I have already cancelled my subscription and urge all other readers to do the same until the washington post have resolved this situation as described above. I urge all readers to cease and desist visiting the washingtopost.com, and I urge all businesses that stand for honor and intergrity to stop selling the paper forthwith until a full accounting is given. There is one weapon that the consumer, vote with your wallet and starve the washington post of its revenue; it seems that is the only way to get a whore's attention.

Posted by: firewoodward@hotmail.com | December 2, 2005 11:23 AM | Report abuse

I can't believe nobody has mentioned Chuck Hagel. I see it breaking down like this...

Insurgent Dems will run against the War in Iraq. Insurgent Republicans will run against, well...the war in Iraq. They may have once supported the invasion, but they sure as hell don't support a prolonged nation-building project. I know alot of midwestern conservatives (free-trade hating, foreign-aid loathing, isolation-loving, former Perot-supporters) who would be more than appreciative to see one of their own launch a populist revolt against the neocons. Hagel seems up to the task and if you ever listen to him talk, I think he knows it.

The high-and-mighty rhetoric of freedom and democratization doesn't sell so well to folks in places like Iowa and Nebraska. The neoconservative-backlash is coming. Mark my words. The audience is there. All that's missing is a voice.

Posted by: indygmac | December 2, 2005 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I am among those who think it is too early to make any predictions about 2008's possible presidential candidates but, being from the northeast, New York specifically, I was surprised by two of the names on your list. Mitt Romney is one. Does this man have a constituency anywhere? He is not particularly popular in Massachuseetes and would probably not win another run as governor. Many of my Massachusettes friends outright hate him. His sanctimonious pushing of his Conservative values in this most Liberal of states is distateful. Guiliani is another interesting case. I agree with one of the posters - where has the leadership come after 9/11? It may come as a surprise to the rest of the country but Mr. Guiliani is not very popular here in his home state. Few will ever forgive him the speech in the 2004 Republican convention in which he thanked God for the presidency of George Bush, a man who is almost universally dispised in New York. If it were not 9/11 I doubt that anyone would even remember his name anymore. So let the Republicans run with Romney or Guiliani. It probably would be a gift to the Democrats.

Posted by: Mark Esposito | December 2, 2005 11:08 AM | Report abuse

It's refreshing to see Kerry finally taking the kinds of stands that would have helped him in 2004. Personally I don't see how he could possibly get the nomination again. He did not run a strong campaign, plain and simple. Maybe he learned from it and could do a better job in 08, but I doubt primary voters will be willing to put their trust in him, fearing a campaign similar to 04.

I'm saying right now, Edwards or Warner. And whoever gets the nomination will be clamoring to get Obama on the ticket.

Posted by: Kate | December 2, 2005 11:06 AM | Report abuse

I must say that I am a little troubled by the continued talk of Hillary as THE front runner. I know she has raised a ton of cash but she is tainted. She will completely energize the Republican base allowing a moderate such as McCain or Romney (by the way don't count him out if he can win as a mormon conservative in Mass he can win anywhere) to wipe the floor with the Democrats.
I think if Senator Clinton were smart (which she is) she would angle for the VP nod. She could stay out of the primary fray then rush in with millions on hand to crush the Republican nominee alongside a Warner or Clark.

Posted by: Andy | December 2, 2005 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Specifically about why Warner being a Gov helps, he doesn't have the same baggage as senators who voted for the war. Plus he didn't run last time so he's a fresh face.

Has Warner taken any position on the war? I suppose he doesn't have to. Or it's safest to downplay the subject and focus on domestic things and what he did in VA. Of course he'll have to have a position eventually.

Posted by: Tim | December 2, 2005 10:48 AM | Report abuse

Add me to the list of commenters who think Kerry is dead as a candidate, but doesn't know it yet. I'm one of the 3 million people on his mailing list, but I delete the messages. He was, indeed, an ABB candidate. Given the closeness of that election, it doesn't seem too harsh to say that he could have won if he'd been a better candidate. I don't think there is much support for him among party activists. To wit, lots of folks at dailykos were disappointed that was one of the people to respond to GWB's speech earlier this week, and they were disappointed by his performance in that role. There was discussion of him having forced his way into the role of responder to Bush after Harry Reid had chosen the other Sen. Reed (from RI) by planning his own press conference. If neither party activists nor party leaders want to see him out front, it's doubtful that most voters will.

As another poster points out, Biden does, indeed, have an appealing twinkle in his eye, but, unfortunately, to be a candidate, he will have to talk. When he does, his blowhard ways will put him out of the running. It's hard to imagine him attracting anyone who is not already a supporter, and that won't be enough.

Feingold, it seems to me, is too liberal, and many voters will find his personal story unappealing. One divorce and a subsequent successful marriage would be fine, but two divorces will be problematic I think.

Re the Republicans, I, too, feel that Romney should be dropped in favor of Huckabee, but I'm not wild about either of them. My favorite is Hagel because, as Robert Kaiser of the Post has said, he is smart, an independent thinker, and has been willing to speak his mind. He's not, though, someone who seems to care much about the "family values" issues that drive so many Republican voters, so may not be able to attract supporters, but I hope he can pull into a leading position.

Posted by: JRG | December 2, 2005 10:41 AM | Report abuse

You were doing good until you claimed that DailyKos is "a must-read blog for the party's ideological left". The ideological left is in big trouble if it depends on sites like that, where the site owner demonstrates extreme bias to individual DEMOCRATS based on who paid him during the primaries, and who de-linked his site when he posted a screed saying "screw them" about Americans killed in Iraq.

Yeah, all the ideological left needs is to be associated with sites like that.

Posted by: disenchanted | December 2, 2005 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Chris, your perspective is "fair and balanced." Not a single thought on how the war or cloud of corruption might hurt any of the potential R candidates? And you don't have an unseemly large fundraising amount ($600,000 birtday party?) to report for any of the Rs? And no "Right wing nut-job discontent" (the R equivalent of "liberal activists")? And no discussion of any of the R canidates being sleazy- "oops"- politically motivated? No back story on the R party so in shambles that it grasps for a fresh (read "inexperienced") face? God, I envy your objectivity. Ever worked for Lincoln?

Posted by: jf | December 2, 2005 10:22 AM | Report abuse

I was surprised to see Feingold and Biden left off your list. Feingold, in particular, is a strong character with a record that he can hold up proudly. Teaming up with Warner could mitigate his twice-divorced negatives. Fundraising is, or course, a big issue that Hilary and Bayh have the lead on, but the party is going to be moving away from them as they realize over the next two years that the country is ready to make some significant changes. Hopefully, the Alito hearings will start to clarify the conservative push toward some sort of corporate-theocratic monarchy, and ask the American people if that is what they really want.
peace,
jim

Posted by: jim preston | December 2, 2005 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Warner vs. McCain is how I see it.
Warner is the only Gov in that field, he's handsome and
he's from a red state so that's pure gold.
I certainly think he would do better nationally, although it is possible that partisans would prefer another.

But the title here is misleading. Isn't handicapping giving actual numerical odds?

I kind of wish that Condi would run though, at least for veep. Condi or Powell could be a credible national candidate, but neither seems to want to go through the campaign process. I can't say I blame them, of course. I wouldn't want to.

Posted by: Tim | December 2, 2005 10:12 AM | Report abuse

It always amuses me to see Giuliani's name mentioned as a possible nominee. Commentators, including Chris, mention his "leadership" post 9/11.

Would someone please cite, specifically, what actions he took that warrant his reputation has a post-9/11 hero? From what I could see, all he did was give a few nice speeches.

The collapse of the twin towers was a horrific tragedy in every respect, but the entire city did not find itself under water a la New Orleans.

I could see Rudy as a cabinet secretary: AG, Homeland Security or Interior even. But nominee for President or VP? It will never happen.

Posted by: Influential Thinker | December 2, 2005 10:11 AM | Report abuse

Kerry may be running, but he won't win the nomination. In fact, his performance will match Lieberman's in 04. I would add Feingold to the Democratic column. He and has the support of the liberal blogosphere with his timetabel for withdrawal and his fight against the PATRIOT Act. On the Republican side, I would add Sam Brownback and forget Romney. The moderate wing of the Republican Party has Giuliani. Romney seems to be a media darling, but the right wing is less sure about him. However, the right wing likes Brownback (who reminds me of a televangelist), and he could emerge as the dark horse in the race in additon to Gingrich.

Posted by: Matt | December 2, 2005 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Thirdparty

I agree with you about Gore being a wildcard. What I like about him is he talks ideas with heft and he's become a better communicator.

Posted by: Jeff | December 2, 2005 9:56 AM | Report abuse

James

I disagree about Kerry. I think that Chris has pegged him right on the button:

While Kerry seems to have found his footing on Iraq, it may be too little too late in the eyes of primary voters. But with an e-mail list numbering 3 million and the experience garnered from running a national campaign, Kerry merits a spot in the top 5.

I think he's doing just fine on the Iraq issue (finally), I'm just afraid he is a tough sale outside blue states. If he were to come out with a really strong policy agenda and someone like Obama to help him sell it, then ... maybe. I actually think he is a smart guy, so you've spoken to, or blogged with someone who considers Kerry a long shot.

Posted by: Jeff | December 2, 2005 9:53 AM | Report abuse

My take:

Allen and McCain are the only two serious possibilities with a chance right now. Frist's stock is on a steep decline, Romney is about to be forced out and will be another Pataki, and Giuliani still strikes me as a pipe dream. I think Rudy would back McCain if it comes down to it, and he would be in the running for VP no matter who wins (as would Rice, who definitely won't run). I forsee an Allen-McCain duel with Tancredo and possibly Gingrich as wildcards, along with a hard-religious right candidate who will win only a Bauer-esque number of delegates.

As for the Dems, Hillary is the elephant and will continue to be until Iowa and NH... if she decides to run. Edwards, Warner, Richardson, and Feingold are all bascially in campaign mode right now. Clark will likely duplicate his run in 04, if he's more seasoned as a campaigner, he'll do better. Kerry is cooked. Gore is the true wildcard here... don't count him out. The CW is that the race will boil down to Hillary vs. an anti-Hillary. I don't think this is necessarily true. Rumblings that Bill has been meeting with Warner have given some the idea HRC may actually sit 08 out, in which case the race will be as wide open as 04, if not moreso. It will be interesting to see how this all shakes out.

Posted by: thirdparty | December 2, 2005 9:51 AM | Report abuse

I'd have to agree with removing Kerry. I haven't talked to one person who takes him seriously. He was the ultimate ABB candidate.

I think there's strong argument to be made for Biden as a wildcard. Despite all his flaws, he can appeal to a wide swath of the party and he's got that twinkle in his eye.

Posted by: JamesfromJuno,Alaska | December 2, 2005 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Chris writes: "Allen continues to cement his status as one of the nominal frontrunners."

Huh? No offense, Chris, but that sentence has so many caveats, I'm not even sure what it means.

Posted by: Mike 234 | December 2, 2005 9:38 AM | Report abuse

I think it makes sense to add Gov. Huckabee of Arkansas to your Republican list, probably replacing Romney.

On the Democratic side, I really can't see any way Kerry would be nominated again. It is time for a fresh face, maybe Richardson replaces him on the list?

Posted by: Glenn Gervasio | December 2, 2005 9:22 AM | Report abuse

Warner-Obama seems to me the strongest ticket. A nice combination of competence and vision, the New South and the heralding of a New America where the politics of racial division has been made totally disreputable. A crushing defeat of the Republicans would be indispensible in getting through this message to those like Rove who still traffic in the Lee Atwater style of politics.

Also, I would like it if whoever gets the nomination, to have a little more backbone about establishing a framework for progressive politics at the beginning of a new political era. The New Deal ended in the late 1960's. The Republican period of domination ended with Katrina (although there were indications prior to 9/11, that artificially extended it). The period ahead is ripe for the taking for the party that establishes a framework for politics where ordinary citizens at the local level can flesh out the details.

Broder had it right the other day about the feeling in the country about, "A Pox on Both Parties." Its time for Americans to stop grumbling and take charge of their own politics from the bottom-up (citizen participation at the community level) and inside-out (building on the strengths of ordinary citizens-- asset-based development).

Posted by: Jeff | December 2, 2005 9:09 AM | Report abuse

Ya keep leaving off Gov Richardson. I think Richardson has a better shot than Kerry, Edwards, and Bayh.

Posted by: Political Junkie | December 2, 2005 8:58 AM | Report abuse

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