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VIDEO: Handicapping Campaign 2008

The Fix and Washington Post senior political reporter Dan Balz sat down earlier this week to chat about the state of the presidential race.

You can check it out below. Offer your own thoughts in the comments section.



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By Chris Cillizza  |  August 2, 2007; 3:30 PM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
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Next: The Friday Line: Top 2008 Recruits

Comments

'I think that there are some state and local officials that seem to have that public interest in their hearts, maybe that's why so many Presidents since the later half of the 20th century have been former Governors.'
posted by JasonL

Jason,

I agree. Most of the candidates so far have shown an ambition that doesn't seem entirely pure.

Even as a fairly conservative person, I still like two names that don't seem to be catching on and it bothers me:

Gov Bill Richardson & Congressman Ron Paul.

Granted, Paul may be just an "issue candidate", but he does that well, and Richardson is not the typical WASP that America elects.

Otherwise I think these two men fit your mold fairly well. What do you think?

Posted by: Jamie R | August 3, 2007 1:20 PM | Report abuse

--Just saw this and thought you'd appreciate, Mark...

Chuck Hagel (R-NE) and a group of other senators including Barbara Boxer (D-CA) and Arlen Spector (R-PA) held a book release party for their colleague Joe Biden, whose book Promises to Keep just hit the shelves. Hagel, who was Biden's pick when he responded to a question at the last debate about which Republican could be his running mate, addressed the largely Democratic crowd and perhaps fell victim to osmosis. "Hell, I don't know what party I belong to any more," Hagel joked.

Posted by: Cassandra | August 3, 2007 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Gingrich: War On Terror Is "Phony"
Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich chastised recent Republican stewardship of the country, saying that the Bush Administration is waging a "phony war" on terrorism while the most effective strategy would be reducing dependence on foreign oil. "None of you should believe we are winning this war," Gingrich said to a gathering of conservative college students. "We were in charge for six years," he said, referring to the recent period when the GOP controlled the White House and both houses of Congress. "I don't think you can look and say that was a great success."

Posted by: whoa | August 3, 2007 11:34 AM | Report abuse

'(10) America is not ready for a "open marriage" in the White House - everyone knows that the Clintons are married in name only.'

the rightwing loons continue their ability to read minds and practice tinfoilhattery...

Posted by: Anonymous | August 3, 2007 11:31 AM | Report abuse

'I agree with you about McCain. I think Dick Lugar and Chuck Hagel are honorable conservatives. I think John Warner and Lindsey Graham are honorable conservatives. I think Voinovich and Grassley are honorable conservatives. '

Thank you for your thoughtful answer. Agree with you on these, except possibly Graham.

I do hope that the I's who are considering Guiliani learn more about him. I've read a lot lately about him lately, and I just don't think that any man who has cheated on as many women as he has [he has cheated on mistressess with other mistresses while he was married-- and this publicly] can be trusted. And the millions or billions he has made on war profiteering are pretty troubling.

I remember a time when cheerleading a war our young people were dying in while at the same time profiting from it was considered morally repugnant-- and even illegal. Too bad that's changed.

Someone posted this here recently... you might find it interesting, or at least amusing.

http://www.vanityfair.com/politics/features/2007/09/giuliani200709?currentPage=1

Posted by: Cassandra | August 3, 2007 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Can you name one honorable conservative in the party? One who serves the public interest in good faith?
-Posted by: Cassandra | August 3, 2007 09:41 AM
I'm a Democrat, but I'm not sure I can say that there is one politician anywhere in the Federal Government that serves the public interest in good faith. They all have ambition (in Obama's case I think his ambition may have overwhelmed his common sense) and a desire for the power to enact their view of how the country should be.

I think that there are some state and local officials that seem to have that public interest in their hearts, maybe that's why so many Presidents since the later half of the 20th century have been former Governors.

Posted by: JasonL | August 3, 2007 11:15 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra -

I apologize for even appearing hostile - I thought at first your question was rhetorical and then thought that if it were not, you wanted a gauge on my acceptance of the shadow paramilitary. I misread you.

I agree with you about McCain. I think Dick Lugar and Chuck Hagel are honorable conservatives. I think John Warner and Lindsey Graham are honorable conservatives. I think Voinovich and Grassley are honorable conservatives. Ray LaHood is an honorable conservative in my book, but a moderate to most Rs. Here in Texas I know many honorable conservatives.

You know what I think about Romney. I have
not dismissed Giuliani from consideration and do not think he will "say anything", but all of the bad news about him personally and through his associations, much of which has been brought to my attention by drindl and others here, has caused me to be skeptical.

When Colin asked me if I would, at this time, seriously consider voting for any R beside McCain I had to say "no". But many Is will consider Giuliani until and unless a lot of drindls in their lives keep pointing out character issues. And I cannot dismiss him as I do Romney, Hunter, Tancredo, Kucinich, and Gravel.

Cassandra, in 2000 I gave substantially to McCain and Bradley, hoping my choice would be between an honorable conservative and an honorable liberal, both of whom had experience crossing the aisle. I voted for Gore, not reluctantly, but without enthusiasm.

In 2004, I first supported Gebhardt and then Wes Clark. I HATED voting for Kerry, whom I think has never been first rate legislator, and whose generally condescending demeanor made him seem the exact opposite of the listener we saw in Bill Clinton and may see in Obama, and who I have seen in McCain, on many occasions.

As JimD has said, some of us see the problems liberals see, but cannot buy liberal solutions. So we tend to look for people who will try to govern from the center and understand the problems but be cautious about the "fixes". And we like the executive in one party and the legislature in the other, if we can luck into it.
Eisenhower for President, LBJ for Majority Leader, Rayburn for Speaker, and we are good to go.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 3, 2007 10:44 AM | Report abuse

'I suppose this is actually not of any real interest to you and that you only wanted to see if I supported the false economies of the Rumsfield DOD.'

I don't understand your hostility, Mark. Of course it is of interest. This is my country--I care what happens to it. And as it happens, I agree with you on all the points you made.

However, what I was saying is that the modern Republican party is not really conservative in any way, fiscally or otherwise.
It's run by neocons who lean toward Chenian totalitarianism more than anything else. Except for McCain, a real conservative--and you know how they feel about him. Just because he tried to clean up campaign finance.

Mitt and Rudy both go whichever way the wind goes. Thompson is a dyed in the wool neocon going back to Nixon. The rest are single issue loonies.

Can you name one honorable conservative in the party? One who serves the public interest in good faith?

Posted by: Cassandra | August 3, 2007 9:41 AM | Report abuse

What about today's Washington Post-ABC News poll that shows Obama leading in Iowa 27% with Clinton and Edwards tied with 26% each. So now Obama is leading in Iowa, New Hampshire and South Carolina! I'm sure that everyone is well aware that no presidential candidate has ever won the first three primary and not won their respective party's nomination right? Obama is now gathering some serious momentum.

The Clinton camp is well aware that Obama is a very serious threat; thus the reason why she's out attacking Obama at every opportunity. Her campaign is in trouble and she knows it. No one is buying the "the most experienced and ready to lead" nonsense. Hillary has no experience. Hillary was arrogant from the start. She thought that she was the heir apparent and the hands down choice to become our next president. She was mistaken and will certainly not become the democrat nominee.

Hillary has half the black and women vote and yet she still continues to lose ground to Obama in every state. It's unbelievable! I think Hillary has underestimated the following issues in her campaign.

(1) She does not have any experience (foreign or domestic) and her continued insistent that she does has put off the voting public;
(2) As a Senator she has a poor record with essentially no sponsored bills of note;
(3) She is cold, mean, vindictive and divisive - partisan politics will bring Washington to a screeching halt;
(4) She's has no detailed comprehensive health plan - in fact, she's in the pocket of the health care industry and America knows it;
(5) America is not ready for a women president and a lot of men will not vote for her no matter what;
(6) Jennifer Flowers, Paula Jones and Monica Lewinsky;
(7) White water
(8) Travelgate
(9) Vince Foster
(10) America is not ready for a "open marriage" in the White House - everyone knows that the Clintons are married in name only.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 3, 2007 8:30 AM | Report abuse

WASHINGTON (AP) -- The Senate passed legislation Thursday to add 3 million lower-income children to a popular health insurance program in bipartisan defiance of President Bush's threatened veto.

The 68-31 vote, one day after the House passed a more ambitious and expensive version over bitter Republican opposition, handed Democrats a solid achievement to trumpet as they leave Washington for a summer break.

It also gave Democrats, who secured a veto-proof margin, a chance to draw a stark distinction between their priorities and Bush's on an issue that resonates with voters.

"For the life of me, I can't understand why the president would want to veto this legislation," said Sen. Max Baucus, D-Mont., the Finance Committee chairman. "It's moderate, it's bipartisan, it helps low-income kids. ... It's just the right thing to do for the country."

Posted by: Anonymous | August 3, 2007 2:57 AM | Report abuse

I don't like that there's so much focus on polling and fundraising at this point. Someone can breakthrough at any point, and I'm hoping it's Biden.

Posted by: Soco Amaretto Lime | August 3, 2007 2:15 AM | Report abuse

Cassandra - No, I do not mean more mercenaries.

I mean higher pay and better working conditions and health care for our volunteer military, and better veteran's care. I mean the elimination of mercenaries and the redirection of those resources to the uniformed service structure, where there would be accountability under the UCMJ. I want a larger Army and Marine Corps and I want a candidate who is willing to raise taxes to do it right. I want to see the reinstatement of the Powell Doctrine. I suppose this is actually not of any real interest to you and that you only wanted to see if I supported the false economies of the Rumsfield DOD.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 2, 2007 11:35 PM | Report abuse

For some reason I can't see it. Using Safari with up-to-date Flash player on a Mac. Can you put it on YouTube or something?

Posted by: Expat Teacher | August 2, 2007 11:35 PM | Report abuse

Biden is a first tier candidate when compared to Mike Gravel maybe. Biden stands no chance what-so-ever and will be back in the senate come next November.

Posted by: Rob Millette | August 2, 2007 10:28 PM | Report abuse

'All the Rs need to do is run a Main Street cautious fiscal conservative who backs a stronger military to get the independent vote against a D seen as unclear on foreign policy and offering some domestic tax-paid prize for every faction in the D Party.'

They don't have one, Mark--everyone one of them is in thrall to corporations--and what do you mean by 'a stronger military -- more mercenaries, more no-bid contracts?

Posted by: Cassandra | August 2, 2007 9:49 PM | Report abuse

spartan - I am glad you cleared up that important point - my lil sis has two degrees from Mich St. Horns play those Spartans in bb most years - but we almost have to go the Rose Bowl to see your alma mater.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 2, 2007 9:04 PM | Report abuse

mark in austin-my mistake. just got off of work and not really thinking straight. but your right, maybe instead of trying to find another reagan, maybe they should go further back. possibly eisenhower? strong on the millitary and socally liberal other matters. whats swartskoft doing lately?

romeny/edwards general election? bleh, that might drive me to vote indy too. for some reason a obama/romney match up might be better. it might negate the whole inexperience charge,considering neither of them has the milltary or forigen policy experiance to fall back on.(edge on obama if he's on forigen relations comittee in the senate,but not by much)

you may be right on rudy and mcain, but it remains to be seen if they implode or not in the future.

for you I's i dont blame you im more concerned about football right now than politics. but i have to envy you because of the fact that indy's can tip elections.
(just so ya know, spartan is a tip to my old high school, u of m all the way bub.)

Posted by: spartan | August 2, 2007 7:29 PM | Report abuse

Biden is also a first-tier candidate.

Posted by: The Arbusto Bandido Breathalyzer | August 2, 2007 7:14 PM | Report abuse

spartan - Ahnold was born in Austria and cannot run for Prez or Veep.
----------------------------------
WARNING! PURE SPECULATION FOLLOWS
----------------------------------
All the Rs need to do is run a Main Street cautious fiscal conservative who backs a stronger military to get the independent vote against a D seen as unclear on foreign policy and offering some domestic tax-paid prize for every faction in the D Party.

I agree with you that the Social conservatives - the ayatollahs of America;
and the neocons with their imperial strategies; and the big business international group that sees China as benign because it is a "big market"-
scare independents at least as much as
something-for-everyone Ds.

A D with a clear message on foreign policy,
and a record of having worked well with others,[e.g., Biden]looks good to independents.

You should see the potential of both McCain and Giuliani here - not with Ds, but with Is. Now, Rudy's "warts" may prove to be numerous and unsightly, if the posters here who know him best are reporting him more clearly than the press.

Given Romney v. Edwards, and you may have Is ready to vote for Bloomberg-Hagel or Powell-Bloomberg.

And we Is have no idea what you Rs and Ds are really going to do, here in August, 2007.

Posted by: Mark in Austin | August 2, 2007 7:07 PM | Report abuse

sorry didnt see it. how about putting on youtube?

anyways,romney's stratgey to win in iowa is credible, but whats going to happen in the southern states? rudy g is leading in south carolina and florida. western states? utah doesnt count because of the fact its 99%mormon, so thats a easy win for him. for him to get the snowball effect he has to win both iowa and nh outright. anything less than 40% and its anybodys game.

same thing for the dems. hillary has to rely on her juggernaught aura to do the job in iowa,leading to NH and beyond. now if she comes in second or 3rd shes in trouble.
(i would like to note, and im sure others will that no one likes having a canidate shoved down their throats. ask anyone left or right.)
right now here are the facts
-there is no clear front runner, polls 6 months out mean jack squat. come back in november/december then we can talk

-democrats:the gop is not finished! my observations lead me to belive that they dont know the the canidate and the successor to duyba, so lets stop being cocky. build the warchests,recruit the canidates and choose wisely. obama,richardson,edwards and biden yes, hillary hell no. for once go for change not for the safe canidate.

-repubicans:do yourselves a huge favor, run away from the neoconservative/theocratic wing of the party. nominate a hard right canidate and get plastered.if you want to win nominate a moderate,or a fiscal conservative. the old tricks of 02 and 04 dont work anymore so dont try it. my advice beg chuck hagel to run, or convince bloomberg to come back to the gop. or pray that nader pulls 10% of the vote. either way nominating a acceptable canidate like hagel or moderate like swartenagger over a empty suit like mitt or fred, or old retreads like mccain might be the difference between barely winning or getting slaugtered electorally.

thats my 2 cents

Posted by: spartan | August 2, 2007 6:42 PM | Report abuse

I still fail to see anything that people find appealing in Mitt Romney. He's an animal-abusing loser.

Posted by: Anonymous | August 2, 2007 6:39 PM | Report abuse

First off, Chris, that is an awful tie. I suggest you burn it.

More on point, you mentioned the tradition strategy being utilized by Romney, win in Iowa to gain "momentum" that carries through other primaries. Do we still think that it's a viable strategy? The way that the primary field has changed makes it seem like there isn't enough time for "momentum" to have a real effect. If Romney has poorer than expected showings after Iowa how might that effect future Presidential races?

Posted by: JasonL | August 2, 2007 4:56 PM | Report abuse

rufuses -we can help you, brother(s)!

http://www.va.gov/rcs/

Posted by: Elias | August 2, 2007 4:17 PM | Report abuse

still think bush and his buddies aren't in line with the terrorists and other groups he "claims" to be agaisnt? Remember this:

"The Pentagon sold more than a thousand aircraft parts that could be used on F-14 fighter jets - a plane flown only by Iran - after announcing it had halted sales of such surplus, government investigators say.

In a report Wednesday, the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, said the Defense Department had improved security in its surplus program to prevent improper sales of sensitive items.

But investigators found that roughly 1,400 parts that could be used on F-14 "Tomcat" fighter jets were sold to the public in February. That came after the Pentagon announced it had suspended sales of all parts that could be used on the Tomcat while it reviewed security concerns.

Iran, trying to keep its F-14s able to fly, is aggressively seeking components from the retired U.S. Tomcat fleet.

The Pentagon's surplus sales division - the Defense Reutilization and Marketing Service - told investigators the parts were sold because it failed to update an automated control list and remove the aircraft parts before they were listed on its Internet sales site.

The GAO's investigation focused on F-14 parts.

"One country with operational F-14s, Iran, is known to be seeking these parts," Greg Kutz, the GAO's managing director of special investigations, wrote in the report. "If such parts were publicly available, it could jeopardize national security."

Posted by: rufus | August 2, 2007 4:14 PM | Report abuse

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