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With Bayh Out, Which Democrats Benefit Most?

Sen. Evan Bayh's (Ind.) surprising decision not to run for president in 2008 will echo through the Democratic field over the coming weeks and months as other candidates court his support and try to recruit his senior staff.

Sen. Evan Bayh of Indiana
Sen. Evan Bayh speaks duirng an All America PAC reception in Manchester, N.H., on Dec. 9. He's not likely to be making many more trips to Iowa and New Hampshire. (AP Photo)

Here's a first look at who benefits most and least from Bayh's decision:

WINNERS

* Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack: Vilsack and Bayh occupied the same space in the primary -- moderate-minded, chief executives from America's heartland. Vilsack is already in the race and running -- something no other candidate in the Democratic field can claim. Make no mistake: The race is still extremely tough for Vilsack, as he must find a way to win big in Iowa. But his prospects did improve slightly with Bayh's decision.

* Sen. Harry Reid (Nev.): On his best day, Reid, the incoming Senate majority leader, had 50 other colleagues to depend on when it came to close votes. But with the illness and uncertain prognosis for Sen. Tim Johnson (D-S.D.), Reid's party has tenuous control of the Senate. That means he needs every senator he can muster. With Bayh out of the race, the Indiana lawmaker will be spending a lot more time in Washington, D.C., and a lot less time out on the campaign trail. That's good news for Reid, who is already dealing with the fact that five Democratic senators are still mulling national bids.

* Sen. Barack Obama (Ill.): In order to run a credible challenge against Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.), Obama needs to prove he can raise $50 million or more before the end of 2007. To do that, he must maximize his fundraising base in Chicago, a base that up until Saturday he shared -- at least in part -- with Bayh. Without Bayh in the race, Obama should have the vast majority of money men and women in Chicago on his side. And Bayh's departure mean one less candidate hoping to be the alternative to Clinton, a development that should bolster Obama's effort to be the preferred anti-Hillary candidate.

* Sen. Evan Bayh: Hear us out. By dropping from the race before it ever really began, Bayh likely bolsters his chances at the vice presidential nomination down the line. If he had run for president and not been able to show strong in any of the four early states, he would have been forced out of the race with a whimper, not a bang. As it now stands, Bayh and former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner have to be considered the frontrunners for the '08 vice presidential nomination. Both are red-state governors who might be able to deliver a GOP-leaning state to Democrats in the general election (a single red state pick-up for Democrats in 2000 or 2004 would have swung the election the other way). And Bayh has the entire 110th Congress to prove his policy mettle to prospective presidents.

LOSERS

* Single-Digit Democrats: Bayh's acknowledgement that the current composition of the field made it nearly impossible for him to gain real traction spells trouble for the other candidates who are not well known in early voting states. Unlike in 2004 when the Democratic field featured a number of nearly unknown candidates, this time there are three candidates -- Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton (N.Y.) and Barack Obama (Ill.) and former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards -- who are well known in places like Iowa, New Hampshire and beyond. With Clinton, Obama and Edwards all taking double digits in polls in these states, it leaves a much smaller portion of undecided voters to be courted by the lesser-known candidates.

* Resume Candidates: Bayh's strength as a candidate was his resume -- elected to statewide office five times in a Republican-leaning state, including twice as governor and twice to the U.S. Senate. But that deep resume couldn't make up for his lack of name recognition in early states and his lack of starpower, especially in a field that includes Clinton and Obama. For the other resume candidates in the field -- most notably New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson -- Bayh's decision to step aside could be an ill omen.

* Moderates: With Bayh and Warner out of the race, the moderate/centrist wing of the Democratic Party has no top-tier candidate in the race. Clinton has worked to position herself as a centrist on a number of high-profile issues, including the war in Iraq, and could well benefit from the absence of an obvious moderate alternative. For the last several election cycles, the power and energy in the party appears to have shifted to the liberal left -- a trend that appears likely to continue in 2008.

The comments section is open below for your thoughts.

One other note: As Christmas draws near, The Fix will go on something of a hiatus. From now until the end of the year, I'll be posting irregularly. If political events warrant, however, you will still be able to find them on The Fix. Happy Holidays!

By Chris Cillizza  |  December 18, 2006; 8:00 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: The Friday Senate Line: Early Look at '08
Next: Clinton Lands Another Top Democratic Operative

Comments

great site

Posted by: [3!]realit | January 16, 2007 1:38 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: [3!]realit | January 16, 2007 1:38 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: [3!]realit | January 16, 2007 1:38 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: [3!]realit | January 16, 2007 1:38 PM | Report abuse

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Posted by: [3!]realit | January 16, 2007 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Newspaper editors around the county could have had all kinds of fun (and I'm sure many did) with Bayh's announcement. See below:

http://commenterry.blogs.com/commenterry/2006/12/some_fun_with_b.html

Posted by: Terry Mitchell | December 19, 2006 12:11 PM | Report abuse

ALL:

Specifically, I hope the Repubs put up Newt, he'd get absolutely hammered, and maybe we could stop hearing whatever lame garbage trickles from his mouth.

WILLIAM: Some of your analysis of the races on both sides is interesting. If you're looking for exciting, however, you'll never get it with the 24 hr news cycle. Edwards is once again the best candidate the Dems could put up, though Gore if he came back to real life relative to his extreme environmentalism could make things very interesting.

On the Repub side, Romney can't win, the scrutiny of the LDS church that would come about by his winning the nomination would doom his chances in the general. Forget the lib/con argument, his religion will doom him in a general election much as Obama's race would, and Hilary's Clintoness.

But I can understand a Repubs frustration with the candidates out there on his side. McCain seems to be conservative when it suits his purposes, also, despite his decade and a half exculpatory mission to remove his role in the Keating 5 scandal, his role in that matter will come back up in the general. Rudy is a RINO. We've discussed Romney, Brownback and Hunter haven't a prayer. Where is the Reagan Republican?

Posted by: Steve | December 19, 2006 11:29 AM | Report abuse

I'm interested in hearing more about these "liberals" who support the creation of a world wide government. Quotes would be appreciated if possible.

Getting back to the topic of this post, I would second the proposition that Obama benefits as much as anyone from Bayh taking himself out of the race. That really will open up a lot of Chicago-area money for Obama. Also, although Obama and Bayh are obviously different ideologically, Bayh was similar in stressing solutions and unity over ideology and division. I think Obama benefits because he's now the only serious player who is articulating that message.

Posted by: Colin | December 19, 2006 11:01 AM | Report abuse

William is Ann Coulter.

If you can't beat em' call em' traitors.

Beware the cornered beast.

How many bitter Republicans are wallowing around in this kind of self-pity?

WIlliam comes to us from the depths of Coulterzookland, like some cave troll Old Turdblossom conjured up to keep us all living in indignant outrage.

I think he's really James Carville and Paul Begala taking turns pranking all of us.

"I can't even think of anyone in the GOP field I would even want to endorse. There is no real conservative in the race."

Like I said once before, this sounds like a Meternicht groupie who doesn't even know who Metternicht was.

Either that or Will's just a construct of someone's imagination.

If he's for real, his high-swchool civics teachers are the ones who ought to be shot, for letting him get such a headful of cacca.

Dittoheads remind me of a CD with a pinhole, they just keep skipping back like a broken record, repeating the same stupid slogans their own handlers abandoned long ago.

Remember our old favorite "stay the course!"

Just a memory now, for anyone but Will. They haven't goven him anything else to rep[lace it with., Rush is on redneck strike and Hannity can't stop being a crybaby, so where's a stupid troll to go for his daily trash these days.

Even Turdblossom has stopped the daily talking points. SO our constant trolls are stuckat that point.

Posted by: JEP | December 19, 2006 10:12 AM | Report abuse

Ozview;

Most Christian religions base their doctrine on The Bible's teachings about Jesus, while the Mormons study their own books, a mysterious document called "The Book of Mormon," which is purportedly written about Christ's appearance in the western hemisphere long before the coming of the first Spanish ships.

There is a very big difference between the two books, and most Biblical Christian churches consider Mormonism a cult, but then, most of the modern Christian churches themselves represent a cult-like group, so you have a lot of hypocrisy within and between them.

Also, the Mormon church itself has, like every religion before it, gone through its own schisms and "sectarianisms," and still has numerous factions, and each considers itself "the chosen one."

They have one group primarily in the mid-west that comes from the original Joseph Smith branch, that considers Liberty, Missouri to be "Zion", while their Utah branch considers Salt Lake City to be that holy place.

Those two fueding factions, along other strange, cloistered, smaller and secret sects that still support and promote bigamy, give many mainstream Americans (particularly "Biblical-Christian" wives) a suspicious attitude towards "Mormons" as a whole, in spite of the fact the word Mormon covers a lot of territory and more than one group.


So, if you want to understand what "America" feels about Mormonism, ask any American, they each have a different opinion, and it might be hard to quantify that opinion.

But, unfortuantely for someone like Mitt Romney, when that opinion becomes a majority, it will influence the elections.

Posted by: JEP | December 19, 2006 9:59 AM | Report abuse

John Edwards, the frontrunner the media doesn't want?

Hey, CC, not mentioning Edwards as the ultimate beneficiary here was a pretty blatant omission, just leaving his name off your front pages won't make him go away.

The tiny reference you added was, at best, a scrap tossed to keep the rabid realist wolves at Bayh. You can't trivialize Edwards' lead in the places where it counts.

So here's another change the blogs will bring to this game.

The MSM can't "disappear" a candidate these days through mutual omission, the way they have done on the past, because the blogs can keep a name on the net, circulating independently in spite of all those greedy mainstream media moguls.

You can't drop Bayh from this race wothout Edwards gaining from it, probably more than anyone else, and your silent omission of Edwards is as loud as any words you may have used.

Also, jockeying Hiolary's poll numbers up ther where you have them now will encourage her to run and spend, particularly the latter, which is all the East Coast newspapers and TV and radio station owners really want. They could care less about who wins or loses, or the undertow effect their election season money-grubbing has on the American public. They want the K-Street no-bid book-cooking earmarkers to play away, supporting this pay-for-play messs we call our government.

And as long as it remains a billion-dollar game that only "they" can play, they will continue to promote this sleazy system and the "Call Me Harold" advertisers it subsiudizes.

Again, silent omission sometimes speaks louder than words. Thanks for leaving Edwards out of this one, it only proves he's "the front runner the media doesn't want."

Posted by: JEP | December 19, 2006 9:40 AM | Report abuse

Interested in comments about Romney having difficulties because of his religion (as Nissl said). Being Australian we don't have many mormons here at all - what is it about them which is unpalatable for American voters, as opposed to evangelicals, jews or even Catholics? Is it harder being a jew going for the presidency or a mormon? Is it similar maybe to Kennedy going for the presidency as a catholic in 1960? It seems that being a catholic is a non issue these days though...

Posted by: ozview | December 19, 2006 8:18 AM | Report abuse

chief says "The nominee is going to be selected in a number of primary elections"

I hope so, but I don't think thats as true as it used to be. Bayh saying he won't run cos he has no chance is not saying the people won't vote for him. Rather he's saying that if you can't get media attention, you don't get money. And no money means no candidacy.

This race is going to squeeze more out of it very soon I'm sure. Bayh had a $10m headstart. If he can't succeed with that lead, who can? Clark & Richardson have to enter and start raising money pronto, else this will immediately become a Clinton Vs Obama Vs Edwards race. Kerry, Biden, Dodd (LOL) & Vilsack won't get anywhere near the big three.

Three Senators, with a total of 6+6+2 = 14 years experience between them. Surely a heavyweight will emerge? Please?

Posted by: JayPe | December 19, 2006 1:34 AM | Report abuse

William, you do make some good points then turn around and post something that is so stupid I cannot figure out if you are playing games or have no idea of what you are doing. A quote of mine you may find helpful goes "Accuse your opponent of doing what you are doing and in that way you will know what you are doing". Hope this helps.

Posted by: lylepink | December 19, 2006 12:54 AM | Report abuse

Romney is pro-life, at least this week.

Next week he might be pro-abortion.

And then he could be pro-life again in January - if he is in Utah.

But if he has to travel back to Massachusetts for any reason, well, then give him a break. He has to be pro-abortion there because the people demand it. It's not his fault.

Posted by: Miss Cleo | December 19, 2006 12:10 AM | Report abuse

I agree with MC - neither Hillary nor Obama in the top spot. But remember, we no longer choose candidates by logic of balancing the ticket. The nominee is going to be selected in a number of primary elections - not the smartest thing this country ever did. I don't dislike Obama, but I think he is the most over hyped politician since Wendell Wilkie.

Posted by: chief | December 18, 2006 11:26 PM | Report abuse

William, it is Burma. Fortunately this is a post where I don't have to use my real name...

Speaking of which, I wonder if Richardson would get any support from the Burmese community for his role in negotiating for the release of political prisoners there.

Posted by: FreeDom | December 18, 2006 10:46 PM | Report abuse

JayPe - Thanks :)

FreeDom: Agreeing to disagree is cool :)

Is the military dictatorship you mentioned Burma?

Posted by: William | December 18, 2006 10:38 PM | Report abuse

I should add that I am active in a movement to get more UN intervention in a poor military dictatorship. It's seeing UN impotence in the face of thugs like these that makes me realize that it's absolutely ridiculous to worry about UN power over the US. If the UN can't even get this country to release its political prisoners and allow aid to reach poor people, it's definitely not threatening the US anytime soon.

Posted by: FreeDom | December 18, 2006 10:27 PM | Report abuse

William, if I thought the ICJ, ICC, UN, et al actually threatened US interests in the way you mentioned (forcing us to spend on things we don't want to), I would share your concern. The fact is, they are essentially weak institutions that can't conceivably threaten us. I think the UN would work in our interests better as a strong institution, although we would always be safe because of our veto power.

As for India and Brazil, you are right that they aren't always aligned with US interests. But the hope is that by the US aligning with these countries and trying to draw them in as responsible stakeholders, they will feel less obliged to support outposts of tyranny countries. The truth is, international relations is rarely about liking the countries you deal with, but rather finding mutual interests. India is a democracy that is becomming more dependent on our economy, and in the future as a potential ally to balance China. In this case, I respect your opinion that these countries on the security council might make it more difficult to work on some issues. However, I think overall it would be a net plus.

Point is, we can disagree, but (for everyone on these posts) let's isolate the points of disagreement, understand the nuances, and go from there in non-vitriolic postings.

Posted by: FreeDom | December 18, 2006 10:24 PM | Report abuse

William, good on you for that last post.
Full Credit!

Posted by: JayPe | December 18, 2006 10:23 PM | Report abuse

Blarg, yeah, that was me getting kind of carried away, sorry.

Posted by: William | December 18, 2006 10:17 PM | Report abuse

FreeDom, thanks for your response.

I gather that you are not completely averse to participation in the ICC or ICJ, or voting rights based upon population.

I disagree. We should not legitimize the ICC or ICJ by agreeing to even qualified or limited participation. That would put us on a slippery slope to losing our sovereignty.

I believe in the sovereignty of nations. For better or worse, AMERICANS must decide everything that involves our country. Even if my fellow Americans made a decision I don't agree with (like abolishing the death penalty), I would prefer that to a decision that I agreed with coming from the UN or another external source. As Americans, we know what we want for our country, and no other nation has the right to decide for us.

What if the UN or ICJ ordered the US or other rich nations to set aside 5% of our GDP for 3rd world aid assistance or something? That would be a violation of our sovereignty, would it not?

I and most conservatives are opposed to participation in ANY international body that would assume authority over ANY aspect of our sovereignty. That is not unreasonable, is it?

Why should other countries be able to force us to do what they want us to?

We are a free nation, and we should not be obliged to obey any other entity, including the UN.

Regarding the Milosevic trial, the judges utterly destroyed any credibility the court had by dragging the trial out for years and years, and eventually Milosevic died before a verdict was handed down. The whole trial was misconducted.

With regard to India and Brazil getting seats on the Un Security Council, I STRONGLY disagree.

If you consider China and Russia to be unconstructive members of the council, just wait until India or Brazil gets a seat. India is, in my opinion, only befriending the USA for short term benefit, and they will eventually form an alliance with China. Indeed, they have signed some sort of military cooperation alliance.

I don't trust India. Most Indians are hostile towards the USA, but they admire the USA because we are strong militarily, economically, and diplomatically.

In other words, they want India to BE the US, they don't LIKE America or Americans.

And my father worked in India for years, and is familiar with a lot of Indians, and the political climate there, so I have firsthand knowledge of this.

India is a socialist country that sided with the USSR during the Cold War, and is still highly unreliable as an ally. They recently sold 18 sophisticated Su-30Mk fighter jets to Belarus, and are cozy with Iran, the Burmese junta, Vladimir Putin, Venezuela, Sudan, etc.

The only enemy of America India is not cozy with is North Korea.

There is A LOT of anti-American sentiment in India, and they would be more than glad to help bring down the US.

Recently, the former chief of staff of the Indian military wrote a book called "The Writing On the Wall: India Checkmates America 2017."

The book was a huge bestseller in India. A lot of Indians of all social statuses dream of vanquishing the mighty USA.

In short, India has yet to demonstrate that they can be trusted.

If India gets a seat on the Security Council, I see them using it to bully their neighbors, use it to further their own jingoistic agenda, and obstructing security council action, like Russia and China always do.

India is far from a constructive member of the world community. If they get a security council seat they will be another security council veto for hire, like Russia and China, and will arrogantly use their veto power to shield rogue states like Iran, Venezuela, Sudan, Syria, etc.

Also, WHY should we support the expansion of the council when it will only dilute our own power and influence in the world. Our goal is to do what is best for our country, not what is best or fair for India.

Let India demonstrate that they are a responsible world power and a reliable ally if they want a seat on the council. They have not done so yet.

As for Brazil, they are another unconstructive country, which serves a backer for Venezuela and other unhelpful leaders and forces in the region.

Furthermore, why, exactly, would it benefit us to give a nation not under our control a veto on the council?

Remember, we should do what is in the best interests of our nation, not what is "fair" or what is in the interests of Brazil.

There is no reason that Brazil should be given a seat. They are a malcontent on the world stage, at least towards the US, along with nations like India and South Africa.

This "Axis of Malcontents" is not overtly hostile to the US, but they don't especially like us, and try to covertly undermine us when possible.

Also, remember, the more countries get seats on the council, the less consensus there will be, and the more dysfunctional the council will become,and the harder it will be to get anything meaningful done, especially on controversial issues like Iran.

If it is so hard NOW to get a resolution on Iran, can you imagine how hard it will be with a bunch of other permanent members each doing their own thing?

Finally, if you give India and Brazil seats, other nations will want seats.

I don't mind giving Germany and Japan seats because Japan is under our control and will be like a second US vote. Germany is an unbaised, responsible power.

But countries like India and Brazil are not and will only make the council even more dysfunctional and useless.

If India and Brazil get seats, Indonesia, which has a much larger population than Brazil, will want a seat, as will Pakistan, and then Africa will complain they don't have a seat, and it will keep going until you have a completely dysfunctional council.

Posted by: William | December 18, 2006 10:15 PM | Report abuse

William, I agree with most of your Repub analysis, except for the part about Romney having no chance because of his views.

Politics is all about perceptions, that is why Hillary is still viewed as "liberal" (when by Dem standards she clearly isn't). Romney has the charm to persuade people that he has developed from his old positions, a changed man. A born-again conservative, if you will. It would not be the first time.

Furthermore, although McCain can argue that Romney is a flip-flopper who has only become Conservative recently, the same argument rebounds on McCains head. McCain is very clearly a born-again Conservative. Compare his 2000 persona with his 2008 views. So he can't attack Romney that much.

This is why I think Brownback has a chance. Not all his views resonate with the base, but at least he's consistent. Guiliani, McCain & Romney are all open to the charge of flip-flopping...

Posted by: JayPe | December 18, 2006 10:10 PM | Report abuse

Another point about Hillary - McCain. Hillary can only go up (all the shady deals were discovered in the 1990s) whereas McCain's support will probably never again peak as it did before 2004, when he was the most popular politician in the US (a spot Obama seems to occupy now...). Now, as voters learn more about him, they may like him less - something they didn't know before will turn them off. Any matchup between those two probably means Hillary wins, unless something happens. With Hillary already ahead in some polls, she can only go up.

Posted by: FreeDom | December 18, 2006 10:05 PM | Report abuse

"Liberals and especially socialists disgust me. You are all despicable traitors.

In the old days you would have been arrested, put on trial for treason, convicted, and shot.

Posted by: William | December 16, 2006 11:11 PM"

You said the other day that you tend to get carried away sometimes and say things you don't really believe. I assume saying all liberals (not just some, ALL) should be killed falls into that category? Otherwise your girlfriend could get upset.

Posted by: Blarg | December 18, 2006 9:50 PM | Report abuse

Jaype, McCain will crush Romney. Romney has a liberal record that is MUCH too long to be ignored.

Now slick Romney is trying to do a 180 and pretend to be a conservative.

But McCain will bring up Romney's strong support of gays and quotes from that infamous letter to match, and devastating soundbites from Romney's campaign against Ted Kennedy.

Romney's policies while in office were generally pretty liberal as well, until the last two months when he did a U turn in policy.

McCain will also play upon the Protestant and Evangelicals' distrust of Mormons.

He has already hired Terry Nelson, the guy who made the "Call Me" ad against Ford. McCain is preparing to go in heavy (and dirty) against any Republican or Democrat who opposes him and he will destroy Romney.

If Romney had been conservative ALL ALONG, he would be a much stronger candidate. But everyone knows he is pretending to be conservative, and isnt really.

I can't see Romney defeating McCain, or in the general, Hillary.

Brownback MAY have some hope if he manages to do the impossible and get adequate name recognition. That is what his AIDS test with Obama and that rather immature and odd overnight stay in prison was about.

IF Brownback was not pro-amnesty, and not anti-death penalty, the right wing base would be more enthusiastic about him and he would have a real chance.

But he IS pro-amnesty, and anti-death penalty. Brownback's views basically match those of the Catholic Church.

He is not really a true conservative. Also, the evangelicals and Protestants of the GOP base are not excited about Brownback because he is Catholic.

And the latest actions of the RC Church (pandering to Islam, interfering in our affairs by declaring our wall "inhumane") will harm Brownback.

What's more, he's pretty boring and doesn't have much more experience than Edwards. He has been in the Senate since, I think, 1996, so he has almost 2 terms.

Before that he was the KS secretary of agriculture.

So all in all, if he was a true conservative, the base would be more excited about him, but he isnt, so there is no special motivation to rally around him.

Huckabee faces the same problem.

McCain or Guliani will probably get the nomination by default simply because they are well known and there is absolutely no high OR medium profile true conservative to oppose them.

Moderates will rally around McCain in the primary, while the base will not rally around Brownback or Huckabee b/c of their views on some issues.

So Brownback and Huckabee will not be able to generate much support.

Posted by: William | December 18, 2006 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Just a few points of clarification I remember from law school. The ICJ only has the right to rule on issues if the party agree to a) an ICJ ruling on that issue, or b) ICJ rulings on any issue that may come up (I think there are rare exceptions for when the security council can refer cases to the ICJ, but that has never been done). For Israel to be judged on the wall, it must have agreed in some manner to the ICJ's jurisdiction (I don't know which method it was). The US generally grants ICJ jurisdiction on a case by case basis, so it can't rule on an issue unless we agree to give it that power. Mostly, the ICJ is used to settle territorial disputes in Latin America and elsewhere. The judges have a pathetically light caseload and seem intent on avoiding most controversial topics (Israel's wall and the ruling on the US-Nicaragua dispute are exceptions). It's mostly powerless to handle real claims, thankfully so.

The ICC is a bit of a different animal. IT has more power, but still most allow states to conduct their own investigations first. If a country decides that its national did not commit a crime, the ICC has no jurisdiction. The only exception is if the state process is a sham (and consensus is that nobody would seriously claim a US court martial is a sham). With that said, the ICC is flawed for another reason. It gives the prosecutor too much power. Obviously when you're dealing with Milosovic, that's not a bad thing, but in less obvious cases that's dangerous. I wouldn't support the US joining unless it becomes more effective in protecting defendants' rights.

Some of the other points William raises I believe are correct but irrelevant (such as voting based on population). The UN is in institutional crisis, and it isn't really strong enough to dictate anything to any country. The more common problem with the UN is that it is not strong enough to push horrible regimes to stop human rights abuses (namely Sudan and Burma). Also, I think some states, such as India and Brazil, should get seats on the UN Security COuncil, but since India is moving closer to the US anyway I think this will only be a benefit as it will counter China and Russia.

Sorry to digress from the topic of this blog, but these are important issues with some legitimate (and not so legitimate) issues. Hopefully the next presidential debates will include serious discussion of them.

Posted by: FreeDom | December 18, 2006 9:32 PM | Report abuse

We'll see about Romney, he's building a very good team. If he wins, it'll be politics Dubya style (think McCain, South Carolina) but I think he's good enough to do it. Unfortunately.

I just don't see McCain doing it though. His experience is outweighed by the fact he's getting older. A younger person can talk about "moving on ... the next generation" and present an image of hope far better than McCain can.

Given McCain, Guiliani, Gingrich & Romney all have big doubts to overcome, who else is there? Does Brownback have any hope?

Posted by: JayPe | December 18, 2006 9:29 PM | Report abuse

FreeDom, thank you for your honest response, when most other people on here become disengenous when asked that question.

I and most conservatives are not opposed to the US taking part in the Sea Law or International Maritime Laws or the Geneva Conventions or trade agreements.

Those are useful treaties that are beneficial to us and our interests.

What I am talking about is the International Court of Justice, the UN having veto power over US foreign or domestic policy, or the UN being able to pass binding resolutions that the US is obliged to follow.

Some extreme leftists HAVE advocated abolishing the US government and establishing a World Government BTW.

The international community should not be able to tell us what to do. We are a sovereign country.

I reject the idea of including the US in an arrangement similar to the ICJ or the European Court.

FOr example, the ICJ ruled Israel's wall with the Palestinians to be illegal.

What right do they have to decide if that is legal or not?

What if we participated in the ICJ and it ruled that our 700 mile fence is illegal?

They have no business telling our country what to do.

What if the ICJ ruled that we have to accept X number of immigrants into the US or abolish or nuclear arsenal, etc?

That would violate our sovereignty.

So in all, I support the idea that the USA is a SOVEREIGN country, and that the rest of the world has no power over us.

The ICJ has no business telling the US what is legal and illegal, that is for AMERICANS to decide.

There is no "world community" in the sense that other countries should not be telling is what to do.

COOPERATING with other countries is fine, as long as we keep our sovereignty.

The US should not participate in the ICJ, nor should it support a UN that has power over its members, nor should it support a UN where the voting weight of nations is based upon their populations because that would allow the rest of the world to tell our country what to do.

Americans should decide what is best for our country, and the rest of the world should have no power over us.

That is a pretty reasonable position right?

What do you think?

Posted by: William | December 18, 2006 9:18 PM | Report abuse

FreeDom, you are correct that there would be no point in putting Pataki on the GOP ticket. He won't be able to carry NY or NJ, and his moderate views will turn off many voters. He is even more moderate than McCain.

Phil Bredesen would have made an extremely strong Democratic presidential candidate. I don't know why he isn't running. Maybe because he is just starting his second term.

However, Bredesen said that while he is not running in 2008, he would be "delighted" to be considered for his party's nomination in 2012.

Also, maybe Hillary will pick him for VP.

You are right that Romney will flop. The GOP right he is trying to do a 180 to appeal to sees through his charade. I don't know where he gets the gall to pretend he's conservative. He has no chance at the nomination unless something happens to McCain.

Posted by: William | December 18, 2006 9:05 PM | Report abuse

What do you mean by ceding sovereignty? By giving up all of our sovereignty as an independent nation, or acting like a normal country and agreeing to international treaties in our best interest (like the Law of the Sea - even GWB agrees) that may require us to give up a few things. Clearly nobody is advocating we abolish our government and give up our nationhood to the UN. But what right-wingers have to understand that we can play a game of give-and-take with the UN and actually benefit. Nobody is claiming to give the UN a veto over our use of force, but it does make sense to try to get UN "approval" before we act, simply because it makes it a lot easier for us to get the job done. Note the absence of UN and European nation-building expertise in Iraq, as well as the absence of any significant amount of non-US peacekeeping troops (and nope, I didn't forget Poland). Working with other countries can help us achieve our goals. And when it doesn't neither Gore nor Richardson would let the UN stand in our way...

Posted by: FreeDom | December 18, 2006 9:03 PM | Report abuse

Interesting observations mgturn. I am actually a bit surprised Bredesen isn't in the race himself...

As for the GOP, Romney is going to flop. His flip-flopping has already become a theme for his campaign. He may win the primary, but if the media keeps up with this theme, he'll be gone. Gingrich could also be a good candidate. He is an ideas man (or claims to be).

As a New Yorker, I liked Pataki, but he has been getting no press coverage on his campaign. I'm not sure he'd make a convincing VP. He wasn't really loved in NY by either party and isn't a great speaker. He wouldn't be able to shift NY or NJ into the Rep column. If he could be pres, I wouldn't mind, but I just don't see him as relevant. His strongest asset is his close relationship with GWB and Rep governors (as one of the longest serving ones).

Posted by: FreeDom | December 18, 2006 8:58 PM | Report abuse

You're LYING again Blarg, which means you owe me another apology.

I DONT "want Bill Clinton to be killed."

I DO want him to be investigated for the sale of our nuclear secrets to China, and other such escapades. If it is found that there was no malfeasance, then I will be satisfied with that.

I NEVER said that "all liberals should be killed."

Name ONE instance where I said that. Again, you are peddling lies. I am waiting for another apology.

I DID say that people who want to give our sovereignty to the UN should be charged with treason.

I NEVER said that "all liberals" or even most liberals, or even many liberals, should be killed.

My girlfriend is liberal, and we argue about politics all the time, but we get along just fine. She calls me her "crazy republican" and thinks most of my views are wacky. I think most of her views are wacky.

But even my girlfriend, who is a moderate liberal, doesn't think the UN should be given or sovereignty.

Blarg, do you believe that a politician who tries to cede America's sovereignty to the UN is guilty of treason? Please answer yes or no.

In any case, I await your second apology, for telling lies about me that are just as bad, if not worse, than the first time.

You owe me an apology telling LIES.

Posted by: William | December 18, 2006 8:50 PM | Report abuse

Gingrich? A chance? For President? Never. What a complete waste of time to even speculate about this. The guy has been married three times - the most recent time to one of his own staff people.

No one cares how many lectures he gives or how much the cocktail party circuit in DC may still find him interesting - he would get blown out of the water in Middle America, because he is immoral and corrupt. He would never make it past Iowa.

What would be his base? NO ONE likes the guy. NO ONE.

Posted by: Sandy | December 18, 2006 8:49 PM | Report abuse

What? Still no completely irrelevant posts from this "Bobby White-Man Servantes" person? This is shocking and deeply disturbing. Either he/she is on vacation, or someone should check on his/her whereabouts. I guess instead we will have to settle for 10,000 posts filled with hyperventilation, name-calling, and foolishness from this "Drindl" person, who clearly needs a real job, or maybe just a life, for that matter

Posted by: Sandy | December 18, 2006 8:45 PM | Report abuse

A few additional comments as well as a little insider information to clear up some of this Mark Warner nonsense.

1) Mark Warner: there are NO personal indiscretions. He really got out of the race for personal reasons. One daughter is going to college soon, the other two are in or entering high school. One has diabetes. He wants to be around his family in these crucial years and his wife has never been keen on a Presidential run. And again I'll say, he is 90% committed to running for Governor in 2009. (For you Virginia political junkies, look for either Viola Baskerville, Public Safety Secretary John Marshall, or Del. Brian Moran to be the Lt. Gov. candidate and Sen. Creigh Deeds to run for Attorney General again). There is no more than a 10-15% chance Warner would accept a VP slot. Why? One, he's always been his own man. Two, if he's governor in '09, he can run in '16.
(If you're wondering how I know this, let's just say I'm VERY involved in the Virginia Democratic Party and have some well-placed sources)

2) If Clinton gets the nomination, she will probably have a short list that looks like this: Vilsack, Bayh, Schweitzer (MT Gov), Bredesen (TN Gov). I suppose you could include Clark as well.

3) McCain is not the strongest GOP candidate, though he may well win the primary. His age, his uncertain political philosophy, and Iraq positions will cause him problems. And just like Obama, McCain's media-inspired rosy image will take a tumble in a primary battle. A stronger GOP ticket would be Romney/Hagel or Romney/Brownback. Gingrich is also a strong candidate (if he needed a moderate running mate, he could pick Pataki or he could go with his new, "results-oriented" persona by picking Romney). Giuliani isn't happening. Like so many other fascinating candidates who have flirted with the White House, he will drop out and I can't blame him. He did extraordinary things on and after 9/11 and, despite his critics, did a good job cleaning up New York. He can make a lot more money and keep his hero image by staying out of what is sure to be a nasty primary battle.

4) If Gore hops in, he will have a short list that looks like this: Obama, Kathleen Sebelius (KS Governor), Janet Napolitano (AZ Governor), Bredesen, Vislack, Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin. Gore, because of his credentials can pick anyone he wants to be his VP...he can make a statement with a black man, a black woman, a white woman, or stick with the tried-and-true white, southern Democratic governor.

5) My personal Dem pick would be Obama/Clark with Richardson, Napolitano, and Vilsack somewhere in the Cabinet. Mrs. Clinton would make an oustanding Senate Majority Leader.

Posted by: mgturn | December 18, 2006 8:45 PM | Report abuse

Sorry, William. I shouldn't have implied that you wanted Bill Clinton to be assassinated. It was wrong of me to act like you're some kind of bloodthirsty conservative maniac. You just want Bill Clinton to be killed. And for all liberals to be killed. Those are perfectly calm, reasonable positions to take. There is nothing wrong with desiring the death of approximately 1/5 of the nation's population.

Posted by: Blarg | December 18, 2006 8:40 PM | Report abuse

I know it is a common meme that the media has thrust "Obama-mania" onto an unwilling public, but I really think that is wrong. Rather, I think the media is following Obama because Obama is drawing crowds (and selling books, and so on), and the media is going where the action is.

In that sense, it wasn't the media that did in Bayh's fledgling campaign. It was the people of NH (and places like it), and all the positive media coverage in the world wasn't going to get people in places like NH to come out to see Bayh instead of Obama.

All that said, of course in theory it is possible that people will stop coming out to see Obama too. But having followed him for a while now, it appears to me that Obama is one of those people that the more exposure he gets, the more people like him.

Posted by: DTM | December 18, 2006 8:37 PM | Report abuse

"Its a sign of how quickly the field is shaping that everyone is declaring already. You get the impression if Richardson or Huckabee don't declare soon, their candidacy can be written off straight away."

Yep, the underdogs need to get out early and try to gain some name recognition before they get run over by the titans in their respective parties.

"And I must say I'm disappointed Bayh backed out. He just couldn't formulate a message other than "I'm electable with a great CV". Doesn't exactly inspire."

I feel sorry for Bayh. He is highly popular in his state, served as governor twice, 2 senate terms, and when he went to NH everyone just ignored him in favor of an unqualified upstart.

Bayh must feel betrayed and stunned. He deserved a lot more attention given his electability and qualifications. The Dems will regret forcing him out of the race with this rediculous Obamania.


"What was shaping up as a fantastic Dem field (Left to Right from Obama, Edwards, Gore, Feingold, Clinton, Richardson, Bayh, Warner) suddenly is looking as thin & boring as the Repub field. I do hope Gore or Richardson make it interesting."

I completely agree. I thought that this would be an extremely exciting presidential election. The first time since what, 1928, when there is no Pres or VP on one side in the running.

It was SUPPOSED to be a completely open field.

I agree with you that neither field is very interesting.

I can't even think of anyone in the GOP field I would even want to endorse. There is no real conservative in the race.

At least in the Dem field, every slot is taken (Dem left wing, Dem mainstream, and Dem moderate).

Clinton dominates the moderate slot, Obama and Edwards are on the left, and Richardson and Vilsack are on the moderate side.

In the GOP field, all the candidates are moderates or posers. The roles of GOP-right wing and GOP-mainstream are empty.

I really feel disappointed. This is shaping up to be a boring primary and election between Hillary and McCain.

It would have been much more interesting IF the fields looked like this:

Dems: Clinton, Warner, Edwards, Feingold, Gore.

GOP: Allen (assuming he hadnt self destructed), Frist, McCain, Pawlenty, Guliani, Santorum.

Those fields would have made for a really exciting race. Oh well :(

It looks like we're going to have a boring race if no other candidates will get in.

I hope Gore runs too, just to make things interesting.

Who knows, people could be so annoyed at the GOP that he might win.

He needs to start moving back to moderate terrain, though.

His movie was nice, and that has enhanced his stature, especially with the base, but he needs to moderate his views on how much power the UN should have, gun control, etc.

At least if Gore runs the Dem field has a chance of being interesting.

The GOP field looks like it will stay boring. Even if McCain were to drop out for some currently unforseeable reason, it would still be a battle between 10 uninspiring moderates.

Posted by: William | December 18, 2006 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Richardson will probably enter the race, unless he makes a deal for another spot. In his autobiography, he says he would have considered Secretary of State under Kerry. He might get Clinton to promise the same in return for not running.

If he gets no such promises, expect him to run. Unlike Warner and Bayh, he has a base both in DC and outside of DC. He can formulate a message as a resume candidate better than Bayh because, unlike Bayh, he actually dealt with what will be increasingly important issues: energy, foreign policy, immigration, etc. Bayh's great resume was mostly the fact that he was governor, not what he did as governor. Big difference. Meanwhile, Richardson can talk about how he already has experience negotiating with the North Koreans, managing a budget, etc., which, if played right, should put him at a different tier than the Obamas and Edwards of the field.

As for Gore, he recently said he fell out of love with the political process. He seems really sore from 2000 (rightfully so) and seems happy where he is. Don't look for him unless things go really bad in the primary field.

Posted by: FreeDom | December 18, 2006 8:32 PM | Report abuse

Some thoughts:

1) On VPs, I agree with the above sentiments, but not the choices. When used effectively, the VP can be an effective campaign substitute. Beyond the general label of moderate or liberal/conservative, most voters probably will not care so much about the VP's positions. As long as the candidates don't pick someone unacceptable to the rest of the country (such as Sharpton (D) or Lott (R)), nuanced positions don't matter. But the impression of a person supporting the top-ticket could bolster the candidates image (ie, conservative western Dem with Hillary, conservative Rep supporting McCain). The VP should also complement the candidate (Gore had foreign policy, environmental experience; Cheney had some experience in bureaucracies to Bush's minimal experience). With that, a few suggestions:

2) Clinton may want to go with someone who has a spark of inspiration, not a boring VP, even if from the midwest. Her major problems are that she does not connect well with voters and she is seen as liberal. She would need to find someone with that balance of being moderate and well-spoken. I don't think Bayh has that. If Spitzer weren't so new to his job as governor, he would be a good pick. There might be some good governors out west that can excite voters (Schweitzer from MT perhaps).

3) As for McCain, he probably wouldn't want someone too conservative and alienate moderates. The more he looks like a sell-out, the worse for him. Already he is falling in the polls. Maybe he should choose Sen Grahm from SC or a McCain ally from the South. Grahm is young and can talk well. Furthermore, he has a mix of the South and of being a maverick, which may not repel too many moderates.

Posted by: FreeDom | December 18, 2006 8:26 PM | Report abuse

Jaype, I am trying to be calm, but when people are FALSELY accusing me of supporting assassinations, and boldly and unashamedly lying, as blarg has done, I feel obliged to respond vocally.

Posted by: William | December 18, 2006 8:18 PM | Report abuse

Its a sign of how quickly the field is shaping that everyone is declaring already. You get the impression if Richardson or Huckabee don't declare soon, their candidacy can be written off straight away.

And I must say I'm disappointed Bayh backed out. He just couldn't formulate a message other than "I'm electable with a great CV". Doesn't exactly inspire.

What was shaping up as a fantastic Dem field (Left to Right from Obama, Edwards, Gore, Feingold, Clinton, Richardson, Bayh, Warner) suddenly is looking as thin & boring as the Repub field. I do hope Gore or Richardson make it interesting.

Posted by: JayPe | December 18, 2006 8:14 PM | Report abuse

William, settle down. This is a political blog to discuss the POTUS race, not a Liberal vs Conservative slogfest.

You could make your point in a much simpler way, without going off the deep end...

Blarg, what on earth do you mean by "But which side is always calling for the assassination of elected officials?"

Posted by: JayPe | December 18, 2006 8:04 PM | Report abuse

I hope McCain hasn't picked a VP yet, he still has to win the GOP primary...

Posted by: JayPe | December 18, 2006 8:00 PM | Report abuse

Bert, you are right about the tickets.

Hillary WILL pick a moderate Dem for VP if she wins the nomination. Since she is perceived by many as being liberal, she will have to balance the ticket with a moderate from a red state.

McCain will also have to pick someone who appeals to the right wing of the GOP.

It will not be Brownback.

My guess is that it will Tim Pawlenty, the governor of Minnesota. Tim has kissing up to McCain, hoping for the VP spot.

But even Pawlenty is not that strong of a VP on McCain's ticket.

The GOP's biggest strongholds are in the South and in the West, and Pawlenty is from a liberal part of the midwest.

Also the South will be upset that there is no southerner on the ticket, and it will not make sense to anger the Southern base.

Also, Pawlenty barely won reelection in MN, taking only 47% of the vote.

That says he is not extremely popular in MN.

A much better pick for McCain's VP is Governor Mark Sanford of SC. He is adored by conservatives, and a McCain-Sanford ticket would almost assuredly lock down the South for the GOP.

Sanford is also supposedly on McCain's SHORT, SHORT list for VP, and I hope McCain picks him.

Posted by: William | December 18, 2006 7:54 PM | Report abuse

"Clinton was a moderate or conservative Democrat."

Yeah, right. The justices he nominated to SCOTUS? Ruth "Vader" Ginsberg and Steven Breyer. Are they "moderates o conservatives" in your opinion?

Clinton is unabashedly pro-choice, anti-gun, attempted to give our sovereignty to UN. Is that your idea of a conservative?

I could go on and on. He slashed the military budget, as KOZ mentioned, gutted our military's capabilities, did nothing to prevent or obstruct the rise of the Chinese military, in fact sold our nuclear secrets to China.

I will admit, he is MORE conservative or moderate than a LOT of other Democrats, but considering the current collection of Democrats, thats not saying too much.

"He was heavily supported by the DLC, the major Democratic conservative group."

Sooooo? John McCain is not a member of Republican Mainstreet. For some reason, Johnny Isakson is. Which senator is more conservative? Isakson, who IS a RMSP member. So the group you are backed by is not necessarily a complete indicator of your views.

I will admit though, for the Democratic party, Clinton was more moderate than a lot of others Dems, at least during his first term.

"Throughout his time in office, liberals complained that he was too conservative, as he did things like end welfare and compromise too often with the Republicans. I thought all of this was common knowledge."

That's because the Kos readers think that anyone to the right of Dennis Kuchinich is conservative!

"But which side is always calling for the assassination of elected officials?"

NOBODY is calling for any assassinations. NICE TRY. Your sleazy and reprehensible attempt to put words in other people's mouths has failed.

Many conservatives believe that Carter and Clinton should be arrested and PUT ON TRIAL, and then, if convicted, punished accordingly.

NO ONE called for an assassination! Did you think I would let your slimy little LIE slide by?

THINK AGAIN!

There is a HUGE difference between someone being executed AFTER a trial, and someone being assassinated.

Absolutely NO conservatives want to see either Carter or Clinton assassinated.

Executions after a fair trial are completely different than a murder, UNLESS you are a liberal wacko who thinks that the Holocaust is the same as the death penalty.

Do yourself a favor and save your credibility by refraining from telling LIES.

No one called for anyone to be assassinated.

And conservative fantasizing about Clinton or Carter being convicted of treason and executed are basically just angry ranting. We know that they will never be put on trial. We just like to express our anger at their treasonous policies.

GOT IT? You owe me an apology for telling a lie.

Posted by: William | December 18, 2006 7:45 PM | Report abuse

It is ludicrous to suggest that the nominations are locked up with some variations of Obama/Clinton and Guiliani/McCain.

First of all, those are teams of people who are similar politically and have the same pitfalls. Cinton and Obama both have the draw of being the first woman or black man respectively to hold either job. McCain and Guiliani want to be perceived as moderates and they scare the religious right.

It's got to be one or the other on each ticket. McCain needs a running mate to his right. Hillary needs a running mate who might have a chance of winning her a few votes, because McCain could stomp her in the general.

Obama is getting reamed on the internet mostly because bloggers want to control the content of every newspaper and, whether they blog from the right or left, have kneejerk reactions against anything a medium with a qualified editor says. Obama can win the nomination and even take the presidency.

Out of the four frontrunners for both parties, Obama is likely to be the only one who would settle for a VP slot. Clinton could keep her senate seat and be Democratic leader in a few terms. Guiliani, as mentioned, has an ego which would require an additional zip code. Plus, he isn't actually running nor does he have a chance of winning a primary. McCain would be better off keeping his senate seat than being VP and unemployed in four years (unless the GOP kept the White House for four consecutive terms.)

The only reason Obama shouldn't take second place on the ticket is because he should be president--either now or later. It's unlikely that he would serve two terms as veep and then become president. Admittedly, it's a better story if he wins it this time--a fresh face with lots of charisma and the pleasingly generic rhetoric of unity and overcoming false divisions. He's firmly on the left but can talk Jesus better than anybody. He's Black enough to inspire some but not so black that he'll scare moderates.

Race is still the most important factor in deciding party affiliation in the South. Many nasty things will be said about Obama. (Perhaps a white Playboy playmate or two will go on tv and ask him to call her.) But he can bring out the largest black voter turnout ever.

As for Obama bring out the youth vote, well, I'm skeptical. I'm 24 and I most people I know don't give a damn and probably never will. But if anyone can make them listen, it certainly isn't Vilsack. Or Clinton.

Posted by: Bert | December 18, 2006 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Bill Clinton was a moderate or conservative Democrat. He was heavily supported by the DLC, the major Democratic conservative group. Throughout his time in office, liberals complained that he was too conservative, as he did things like end welfare and compromise too often with the Republicans. I thought all of this was common knowledge.

Conservatives like to call liberals traitors to the country. But which side is always calling for the assassination of elected officials?

Posted by: Blarg | December 18, 2006 6:57 PM | Report abuse

well, i seem to have struck a nerve with His Majesty. i will admit up front that the list i posted yesterday was designed to push Zouk Dogg's buttons, hee hee.

'course it was all true, too.

Posted by: meuphys | December 18, 2006 6:49 PM | Report abuse

Back to the subject at hand...

Bayh's exit benefits Vilsack & Richardson the most ("resume red state executive candidates"). In fact, Vilsacks chances of winning have just doubled (0.1% to 0.2%).

However, its clear that the field is quickly being narrowed thanks to the Media/Need for Dollars squeeze. It seems that the Dem field is now realistically down to:
1. Clinton - massive fundraising, name recognition, good political team, and occupies the moderate niche.
2. Obama - I don't think he can make it, but he'll suck up a lot of dollars and media attention in the process.
3. Edwards - his 6 years in the Senate is just less than Clinton and just more than Obama, so I think the experience issue is overblown. Has massive numbers in Iowa, and his stump performances have improved from 2004 (when he was best in the field anyway!).
4. Richardson - only resume candidate who has the potential to perform well. Needs a couple of the top 3 to make mistakes, or need the country to really focus on the "experience" thing.
5. Gore - the sleeping giant. has the best combination of lefty appeal, executive experience, foreign affairs experience, and political cred. If he comes in, its him vs Hillary.

One possible scenario. Hillary runs on the right, as Edwards & Obama vie for the left. Thy country's view on Hillary changes as they realise she's not an extreme liberal --> She would be sitting very well for the General then.

One more thing, isn't it sad that the Media are calling the shots here? If the media wasn't so obsessed with Obama & Clinton, Bayh would have a shot.

Posted by: JayPe | December 18, 2006 6:47 PM | Report abuse

'But Clintoon and Karter definitely should be shot by firing squad for treason.'

--advocating murder, are we now, Little Willy McVeigh? Your mind is a foul sewer.

Posted by: lark | December 18, 2006 6:45 PM | Report abuse

Methuselah - and your point is. Oh, as usual no point, just blather.
I look forward to refuting your nonsense from yesterday which I just found but am in a hurry and will need a full 3 minutes to demolish your silly stances.

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 18, 2006 6:21 PM | Report abuse

Most conservatives and Liberals do not argue from a philosophical base, usually from an emotional one.

but I think that the death penalty and abortion is working pretty well for the country right now. I would prefer to see much, much less of both, but I succomb to the will of the majority since I have no special knowledge about these issues. Ultimately, it is a moral value at the heart of each of these, despite most people's ignorance of this. Abortion has nothing to do with free speech and search and seizure as is mis-construed in the very poor SCOTUS finding. this should have been left to the states where it would have been resolved long ago. Much like the death penalty. If you think your daughter will need an abortion, move to NY. If you think your criminal can be killed before he strikes again, move to TX. but I do find it questionable that one could think it is OK to kill a baby for convenience. the later in the pregnancy, the more questionable. the first month, I personally would shrug my shoulders and not-decide.

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 18, 2006 6:18 PM | Report abuse

the king of zouk and his page, william, seem to glory in their shared ability to confuse the issue. The King's posts are cunning, distracting you with their misspellings, (admittedly minor) errors in grammar and punctiation, and use of the frat-school-esque epithers "Libs" and "Dem."
His page is slightly better-spoken, and almost endearing in his earnest assumption that he is, at last, bringing religion to the godless. That he intersperses these passages with crude name-calling diminishes their impact, however, and brings to mind a group of second-graders, with boogers on their fingers and battle on their minds.

Posted by: meuphys | December 18, 2006 6:09 PM | Report abuse

Dennis Kucinich - ha ha ha. He is the moonbattiest of them all. Can you state one policy he supports that is based on 21st century Earth. now don't get me wrong, He is a nice guy and lovable enough, but he has no business as President, as it would seem, everyone but you (and He) acknowledges.

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 18, 2006 6:07 PM | Report abuse

KOZ - Credit to you for your consistency on the Death Penalty and Abortion. Most Conservatives and Liberals ignore the philosophical inconsistency in their positions.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | December 18, 2006 6:04 PM | Report abuse

I forget to state that the death penalty has over time been shown to be enforced in a racist fashion. I find this one aspect utterly intolerable and more danger than a criminal who languishes in prison. It is like the entire criminal justice system which insists on "beyond a reasonable doubt" for criminal cases while only "preponderance of the evidence" for civil trials. think about why we do this. It is based on errors in statistics - false negatives and false positives. Out of time today. I will return to thrash the stupid things meuphys said yesterday about so many Lib propositions.

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 18, 2006 6:04 PM | Report abuse

"Vilsack is already in the race and running -- something no other candidate in the Democratic field can claim."

What about Dennis Kucinich? He already announced. I know you are a numbers realist and you think he doesnt have a chance but don't shoot him in the back.

Posted by: David Lerner | December 18, 2006 6:01 PM | Report abuse

William, maybe time to start on the decaf. It is late in the day.

Your generalizations are harming your argument. I am considered the resident wing-nut here but would disagree with you on the death penelty issue. I don't think the State has an interest in putting criminals to death. It is NOT because I feel sorry for criminals. It is not for anything to do with the victim.

there are some practical issues: a death penalty as-is is very costly - more than lifetime incarceration. the death penalty has never been shown to dissuade crime.

And some philosophical ones: either it is wrong or right for a State to decide to kill people or allow it. abortion and death penalty can't diverge on this. the only valid killing is in self defense considering imminent danger. this can be applied widely to just wars wherein the State believes it is in danger of being killed.

Painting with a broad brush, as you do, ignores many of the intracacies of issues like this. One of them is the insanity defense. Is an adult who would kill thier own kids automatically insane. who could do such a thing? We are a forgiving society and wish to punish evil, not medical problems. I am fairly well satisfied with the way this is handled.

and as you may know, I could never be considered a Liberal.

what would you think if the majority of the population decided that some of the things you say or think are criminal and you therefore deserve death? Later it was found you were right after all.

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 18, 2006 5:55 PM | Report abuse

Another quick thought: it seems quite likely to me that the candidate in either party who can convince voters that he or she transcends the political divisions of the past has the best chance of winning the general election. This hypothesis, of course, helps explain the early appeal of Obama (regardless of whether you think it will hold up to further scrutiny). But this was also true of both Clinton and George W. Bush when they first were elected, and also Ronald Reagan, and it was true in all these cases in some sense despite their actual political ideologies.

Accordingly, analysis which depends on saying "X is too liberal" or "Y is too conservative" or even "Z is a centrist" somewhat misses the mark. The most important question is whether X, Y, or Z will be able to convince voters that those labels don't matter.

Posted by: DTM | December 18, 2006 5:46 PM | Report abuse

Why would you oppose the death penalty? Do you feel sorry for the disgusting monsters who kill other humans, rape women, or molest children?

Take a look at pictures of some women after they have been raped. No monster who would do that to a woman deserves to live.

People who rape, molest or murder other members of society have forfeited their right to live amongst us, and therefore should be executed.

We as a society should not have to pay to feed, clothe, give medical treatment, etc to these vermin, nor should they have 10 year "appeals."

I have NO SYMPATHY WHATSOEVER for evil animals who commit capital offenses like rape and murder. They should be EXTERMINATED like the beasts they are.

To me, criminals are less of a life form than insects. If someone broke into my house, I would shoot them in the face, have the police remove the body, and then I would be able to sit down and enjoy my dinner.

The life of an evil animal who harms innocent people means ABSOLUTELY NOTHING to me.

Having two arms and two legs doesnt make you a human. Monkeys have two arms and two legs.

Humans are intelligent and can tell the difference between right and wrong. People who can't or won't do this need to be killed.

And as for "insane" criminals, they are worse than non-insane criminals since they are like rabid dogs who cannot control themselves. All people who rape or murder and then claim insanity should be obliviated with no mercy.

People who oppose the death penalty feel sorry for the rapist or murderer.


People who support the death penalty sympathize with the victim.

Heinous criminals have forfeited their right to live.

As I said before, the value of the life of a criminal is NOTHING!

They should be exterminated like the beasts they are.

If I killed a criminal, it wouldnt even matter to me. It would be the same as killing a fly. In fact, I would consider a criminal to be less than a fly.

Posted by: William | December 18, 2006 5:44 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone actually want to talk about politics or is it more funny to call each other communists and fascists?

Posted by: B | December 18, 2006 5:38 PM | Report abuse

I oppose the death penalty so that makes me a Liberal. Spending our national treasure on a war for oil/money and costing the lives of our young folks in uniform makes me a conservative. How logical is this for anyone to understand? I certainly cannot.

Posted by: lylepink | December 18, 2006 5:29 PM | Report abuse

Nowadays carter gets a nobel puss prize instead.

clinton a Liberal - no way. turning over the national health care system to the government is liberal? making gays in the military your first issue is liberal? gettin busy with interns? lying, cheating, stealing, scandals every day? raising taxes? gutting the military budget? nope that's not liberal, that's kooky. all though it sure sounds like most of the Libs on this site. Blarg, do you always need to be clubbed by the facts? Are you the head of a Dem thinktank? does the guage read E?

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 18, 2006 5:24 PM | Report abuse

I didn't say ALL Democrats are traitors who deserve to be executed.

But Clintoon and Karter definitely should be shot by firing squad for treason.

Clintoon sold our nuclear secrets to Red China.

blarg, you don't think Clinton is a liberal?????????? Are you KIDDING me?

Why is he the hero of the Dem party then????

He is very liberal. All of his policies made that clear.

It is his fault that we got attacked on 911. The 911 Commission should recommend his indictment. If he had taken out Al Qaeda when he had the chance, instead of caring about being PC, we would not have been attacked.

Clinton is one of the WORST presidents EVER!

The others are Franklin D*ckhead Roosevelt, Andrew Johnson, Woodrow Wilson, Jimmy Carter, and LBJ.

Posted by: William | December 18, 2006 5:23 PM | Report abuse

Clinton proved himself to be a liberal when he entered office? How?

Seriously, William, you keep saying that you hate the Democrats, or at least that you have no respect for them. I don't see how you can rant about how the Democrats are all traitorous pinkos who deserve to be executed, then try to have a serious political discussion.

Posted by: Blarg | December 18, 2006 5:17 PM | Report abuse

Seriously, Carter was a complete disaster as president.

You forgot to mention his panama canal giveaway to china.

Communism reached the high water mark while that socialist was in power.

He should be tried for treason, not only because of what he did while he was POTUS, but because of his current activities as well.

He is a facilitor of and an apologist for Al Qaeda, Hamas, Chavez, Iran, NK, Russia, China, and every other ememy of the US.

In an earlier day, he would have been hanged.

Posted by: William | December 18, 2006 5:17 PM | Report abuse

By the way, it seems likely to me that William is a parody/troll.

Posted by: DTM | December 18, 2006 5:15 PM | Report abuse

didn't Jimmy carter show you wacky Libs just how perilous our grasp on reality is when we elect big smiles. In an energy crisis he turned off the tree and put on a sweater. When our embassy was taken he invaded with 4 helocopters. when the entire nationand economy was in the doldroms, he pleaded that it was only a malaise. We boycotted the Olympics to stop an Afgan invasion, while hollowing out the CIA and DoD. We stood in line on even/odd days for gasoline. We have still not recovered from that level of ineptitude. and now you are trumpeting more of the same. A untested radical Lib with no experience to speak of but with a winning smile. And you thought that Dems were intellectually barren. Well, you were right.

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 18, 2006 5:11 PM | Report abuse

Whatever candidate that oprah endorses will be the one who loses.

That is DEFINITE.

Honestly, I really wonder about the people who drink her KoolAid.

Her show is about the dumbest thing on TV.

Watch OReilly instead, you might learn something.

Posted by: William | December 18, 2006 5:09 PM | Report abuse

"The great weakness of the Democratic Party is its propensity to nominate people who can wrap up the early money or party mechanism -- but who either cannot get elected or cannot lead if elected. McGovern, Carter, Kerry."

Fred, you are completely correct. It's easy for a liberal to win the Democratic primary, but someone who is the ideal candidate of the Dem base will not appeal to the rest of the nation. On the other hand, a candidate like Allen who is the favorite candidate of the GOP base WILL appeal to the rest of the country.

The Dem base doesn't seem to understand that they are out of touch with the other 70% of the country, so they nominate people, or support people like Obama, who have no chance of being elected.

The only way for Dems to win the election is to run a candidate who pretends to be conservative or moderate until they get into office, like Clinton.

You never see a GOP candidate attending a pro-abortion rally or a gay pride march, but you do see people like Kerry showing off that they hunt.

That is because the GOP is more in line with the rest of the country.

We only lost this election because a lot of conservatives were angry at the GOP for abandoning conservative principles, so they stayed home.

Iraq, the patriot act, huge spending, nuclear give-aways to potential enemies, etc are NOT conservative values.

That is why we lost the election.

Don't think for a MINUTE that we lost because the American people have suddenly embraced liberal "values" like queer "marriage" and gun control, giving our sovereignty to the UN, Kyoto, global warming, high taxes, abortion, abolishing the death penalty, and other ludicrous and insane liberal ideas.

We will regain control, probably in 2008.

And we will almost assuredly win the 2008 pres election.

Posted by: William | December 18, 2006 5:06 PM | Report abuse

Should Obama run, it will be interesting to see how far Oprah chooses to inject herself into the race. After remaining politically neutral throughout her career, she's made no bones about her desire to see Obama in the White House. Would she dare make an open appeal to her audience to support his campaign? It could alienate her fan base but Obama's war chest could overflow.

Hilary Clinton ignores this possibility at her peril. She should spend the holiday watching video of the Clintons' appearance at Rosa Parks' funeral. That would give her an idea of what a campaign against Obama would look like - not unlike a race opposite her husband. If she's half as smart as I think she is, she would make a New Year's resolution to remain in the Senate and aim for Harry Reid's seat - one for which she's far better suited.

Posted by: Judy Raddue | December 18, 2006 5:01 PM | Report abuse

THANKS KingofZouk!

Posted by: William | December 18, 2006 4:56 PM | Report abuse

On a minor point: I think the idea of using the VP nominee to provide "regional balance" is overstated. To give a few recent examples, Arkansas/Tennessee beat Texas/Indiana and then Kansas/New York. Texas/Wyoming beat Tennessee/Connecticut and then Massachusetts/North Carolina.

So, I don't think there is a strong case for the regional balance idea--much more important, in my view, is whether the candidates are complimentary from a professional experience standpoint (e.g., foreign/domestic, legislative/executive, state/national, and so on).

Posted by: DTM | December 18, 2006 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Why should anyone care what another posts to this site? There is no admission standard here. Haven't you learned from Che how to entirely skip certain postings? and I care what william says so make that one. I would also care what you said if it actually had any substance. Or did this finally become a Dem/Lib moonbat or nutcase only site. I knew there were leanings, but hadn't heard it was official yet.

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 18, 2006 4:50 PM | Report abuse

Each of us have our favorite ticket and I have pointed out mine of Clinton/Warner and have given many reasons why and the most important thing of all is winning. I can say without any doubt in my mind this is the ticket the dems will have the best chance with and I cannot think of another combination that even comes close no matter how I try.

Posted by: lylepink | December 18, 2006 4:42 PM | Report abuse

William, why should anyone care what you think of the Democratic candidates? You've said repeatedly that you think liberals are like cancer, you laugh when you think of them being killed, all Democrats are traitors, etc. So who cares about your analysis?

Or is this the one reasonable post you make each day before you switch over to Hannity-style personal attacks and hyperbole?

Posted by: Blarg | December 18, 2006 4:37 PM | Report abuse

A thought for "lylepink".....

I'm a democrat-leaning independent.

Contrary to lylepink's claims, I oppose Hilary's candidacy for the opposite reason: I don't want her to ruin the Democrats' chances in 2008.

She's been wrong on Iraq from Day One -- but doesn't show the integrity to admit. She's a political captive of the Israeli lobby, which means she lacks the independence necesary to break the Middle East gridlock. Her domestic stance is to seek "workable" compromises which accomplish nothing. My God, she's a woman who can't even stand strong for abortion rights.

The great weakness of the Democratic Party is its propensity to nominate people who can wrap up the early money or party mechanism -- but who either cannot get elected or cannot lead if elected. McGovern, Carter, Kerry.

Senator Clinton fits that prescription for failure.

Posted by: fred494 | December 18, 2006 4:36 PM | Report abuse

Alright, here's my take:

Hillary Clinton benfitted tremendously from Bayh's exit. Her husband endorsed him for president in his book, which would be a problem for her if she was running against him.

Also, she has been trying to portray herself as a moderate, and has had some degree of success.

With Warner and Bayh out, the two most high profile moderates who would have made strong rivals to Clinton are now out.

Richardson has a LOT of skeletons in his closet, and is seen as being pro-amnesty and a shill or Mexico, in addition to being Hispanic. Believe it or not, his marriage will also be an issue. Remember Ford?

I think he will be steamrolled by Clinton, who will be able to make hay over Richardson's fetes with the North Koreans.

Can you imagine that made into a campaign ad? Richardson invites North Korean officials to private parties at his house? Cozy with NK and Iran.

Terry Nelson, are you HEARING ME?

Richardson will be a lot weaker of a candidate than you might think. And yes, he has a lot of skeletons that will come to light. He is a corrupt guy. Just look around on Google.

With Feingold and probably Gore out on the left, and it quickly becoming clear that Obama is neither electable nor qualified, Hillary will become the favorite of the liberal base.

She hopes her moderate credentials will appeal to moderates.

Edward's resume is WAAY too thin. One term in the senate is definitely not enough experience to be president.

Can you imagine 12 year old Edwards against McCain in a debate?

McCain would DESTROY Edwards!

Edwards is a spent force from the past. He won't even carry NC for the Dems, and he is so inexperienced that his ability to carry PA, OH, MI, OR, WA, IA, NH etc will be compromised as well.

IF MCCAIN or GULIANI or ANOTHER MODERATE is the GOP nominee, you CANNOT necessarily count on all the states Kerry took as staying blue.

Therefore, you need a candidate who is able to at least have a chance at taking some red states. Richardson and Edwards are NOT that candidate.

Vilsack has the moderate creds but completely lacks charisma. If national sentiment is still highly anti-GOP he might win anyway, but its not wise to trust a presidential election to luck.

At this point, I think the strongest Dem candidate is Clark, if he chooses to run. As proudtobeGOP mentioned, he has some problems, but I still think he is the strongest.

Richardson, Obama and Edwards are VERY weak candidates. You Dems will be well advised not to nominate them.

HRC is a little more complicated. A LOT of people don't like her, and she IS a polarizing figure, but she is a much stronger candidate than the three above, and with a moderate VP, might be able to take OH in addition to Kerry's states.

Again though, if McCain or Guiliani is the GOP nominee, you are going to have to consider some of Kerry's states in danger.

You need a candidate who can either lock those states DOWN, OR make inroads into the red states.

It's far from clear that Vilsack could even take Iowa. It's far also unclear if Clark could take any southern states, but I bet he would take WV and AR at least.


Some of you Dems on here need to stop tossing out rediculous tickets that are completely unsupported by fact. Above, someone came out of the blue and put out Napolitano-Obama.

First of all, Napolitano has said definitively that she is NOT running.

Secondly, that ticket would s*ck. Napolitano will NOT carry AZ against McCain. It is a red state. Nap is seen as COMPLETELY pro-amnesty. Obama...enough said. Obama will sink ANY ticket.

Re: Gingrich.

He is certainly highly qualified and I think he would be an excellent president, almost as good as Reagan.

BUT, he has SERIOUS electability issues. If he runs against anyone but Richardson or Obama, he will NOT win!

He is too polarizing a figure. Remember, if the Dems take Kerry's states plus OH or any other combination of 20 votes, the Dem wins.

I doubt Gingrich could take OH, and he would probably lose IA, NM, CO, and possibly NV and MO to the Dem.

He would take the south, and probably most of the plains west, as well as states like MT and ID and WY.

But that will not be enough to win. If we run Gingrich, we will lose.

His personal scandals will keep a lot of moderates and evangelicals away.

If no more candidates get in the race, I think McCain will definitely be the strongest nominee.

I don't much like him, in fact, I despise him, but we cannot afford to have Hillary or God forbid, someone like Obama or that traitor Richardson win in 2008.

That would be the END of America as a superpower. The WH MUST stay in GOP hands in 2008 and McCain is the way to go if we want to do that.

Unless Sanford runs, in which case he will be the best candidate.

Hillary will almost ASSUREDLY win the Dem nomination, unless Gore runs (in which case the GOP automatically wins the election) or if the Dems surprisingly rally around Clark because he has red state appeal but is also liberal.

Out of the current GOP mix, McCain owns the moderate label. I doubt Hagel will even run, and even if he wants to do a Mitt Romney, I don't think voters will buy it.

I really don't see Mitt taking off. His gay support, his liberal record as Massgov, all the soundbites that can be used against him, his religion, etc. That is too many negatives.

McCain will shred him, I'll wager.

Guliani is trying to "own" the national security issue, but McCain can solidly lay claim to it as well.

Huckabee? Please! He's going out of his WAY to pander to illegals and Hispanics. Also, he has a mean style, and is anti-death penalty. Stay in AR Mike, you worthless P.O.S. Also, Huck is a big govt, tax and spend Republican.

Brownback? He has some issues that prevent him from claiming to be a true conservative. He is very weak on the death penalty, and is proudly pro-amnesty. In fact, he seems to be parroting the RC Church view on every issue. Converting to Catholicism was kind of a dumb thing for him to do. It hurt his political future. But oh well. Brownback is a somewhat more conservative McCain. The last thing we need is Sam Helen Prejean in as POTUS.

Duncan Hunter: A congressman with no name recognition? I'd say he is angling for the VP spot, but won't get it.

My favorite candidate is Tancredo, but unfortunately he would come up just short, and would probably fail to take OH and NM as well as maybe FL.

So all in all, I think McCain is the strongest GOP nominee, even if I despise him.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 18, 2006 4:32 PM | Report abuse

Alright, here's my take:

Hillary Clinton benfitted tremendously from Bayh's exit. Her husband endorsed him for president in his book, which would be a problem for her if she was running against him.

Also, she has been trying to portray herself as a moderate, and has had some degree of success.

With Warner and Bayh out, the two most high profile moderates who would have made strong rivals to Clinton are now out.

Richardson has a LOT of skeletons in his closet, and is seen as being pro-amnesty and a shill or Mexico, in addition to being Hispanic. Believe it or not, his marriage will also be an issue. Remember Ford?

I think he will be steamrolled by Clinton, who will be able to make hay over Richardson's fetes with the North Koreans.

Can you imagine that made into a campaign ad? Richardson invites North Korean officials to private parties at his house? Cozy with NK and Iran.

Terry Nelson, are you HEARING ME?

Richardson will be a lot weaker of a candidate than you might think. And yes, he has a lot of skeletons that will come to light. He is a corrupt guy. Just look around on Google.

With Feingold and probably Gore out on the left, and it quickly becoming clear that Obama is neither electable nor qualified, Hillary will become the favorite of the liberal base.

She hopes her moderate credentials will appeal to moderates.

Edward's resume is WAAY too thin. One term in the senate is definitely not enough experience to be president.

Can you imagine 12 year old Edwards against McCain in a debate?

McCain would DESTROY Edwards!

Edwards is a spent force from the past. He won't even carry NC for the Dems, and he is so inexperienced that his ability to carry PA, OH, MI, OR, WA, IA, NH etc will be compromised as well.

IF MCCAIN or GULIANI or ANOTHER MODERATE is the GOP nominee, you CANNOT necessarily count on all the states Kerry took as staying blue.

Therefore, you need a candidate who is able to at least have a chance at taking some red states. Richardson and Edwards are NOT that candidate.

Vilsack has the moderate creds but completely lacks charisma. If national sentiment is still highly anti-GOP he might win anyway, but its not wise to trust a presidential election to luck.

At this point, I think the strongest Dem candidate is Clark, if he chooses to run. As proudtobeGOP mentioned, he has some problems, but I still think he is the strongest.

Richardson, Obama and Edwards are VERY weak candidates. You Dems will be well advised not to nominate them.

HRC is a little more complicated. A LOT of people don't like her, and she IS a polarizing figure, but she is a much stronger candidate than the three above, and with a moderate VP, might be able to take OH in addition to Kerry's states.

Again though, if McCain or Guiliani is the GOP nominee, you are going to have to consider some of Kerry's states in danger.

You need a candidate who can either lock those states DOWN, OR make inroads into the red states.

It's far from clear that Vilsack could even take Iowa. It's far also unclear if Clark could take any southern states, but I bet he would take WV and AR at least.


Some of you Dems on here need to stop tossing out rediculous tickets that are completely unsupported by fact. Above, someone came out of the blue and put out Napolitano-Obama.

First of all, Napolitano has said definitively that she is NOT running.

Secondly, that ticket would s*ck. Napolitano will NOT carry AZ against McCain. It is a red state. Nap is seen as COMPLETELY pro-amnesty. Obama...enough said. Obama will sink ANY ticket.

Re: Gingrich.

He is certainly highly qualified and I think he would be an excellent president, almost as good as Reagan.

BUT, he has SERIOUS electability issues. If he runs against anyone but Richardson or Obama, he will NOT win!

He is too polarizing a figure. Remember, if the Dems take Kerry's states plus OH or any other combination of 20 votes, the Dem wins.

I doubt Gingrich could take OH, and he would probably lose IA, NM, CO, and possibly NV and MO to the Dem.

He would take the south, and probably most of the plains west, as well as states like MT and ID and WY.

But that will not be enough to win. If we run Gingrich, we will lose.

His personal scandals will keep a lot of moderates and evangelicals away.

If no more candidates get in the race, I think McCain will definitely be the strongest nominee.

I don't much like him, in fact, I despise him, but we cannot afford to have Hillary or God forbid, someone like Obama or that traitor Richardson win in 2008.

That would be the END of America as a superpower. The WH MUST stay in GOP hands in 2008 and McCain is the way to go if we want to do that.

Unless Sanford runs, in which case he will be the best candidate.

Hillary will almost ASSUREDLY win the Dem nomination, unless Gore runs (in which case the GOP automatically wins the election) or if the Dems surprisingly rally around Clark because he has red state appeal but is also liberal.

Out of the current GOP mix, McCain owns the moderate label. I doubt Hagel will even run, and even if he wants to do a Mitt Romney, I don't think voters will buy it.

I really don't see Mitt taking off. His gay support, his liberal record as Massgov, all the soundbites that can be used against him, his religion, etc. That is too many negatives.

McCain will shred him, I'll wager.

Guliani is trying to "own" the national security issue, but McCain can solidly lay claim to it as well.

Huckabee? Please! He's going out of his WAY to pander to illegals and Hispanics. Also, he has a mean style, and is anti-death penalty. Stay in AR Mike, you worthless P.O.S. Also, Huck is a big govt, tax and spend Republican.

Brownback? He has some issues that prevent him from claiming to be a true conservative. He is very weak on the death penalty, and is proudly pro-amnesty. In fact, he seems to be parroting the RC Church view on every issue. Converting to Catholicism was kind of a dumb thing for him to do. It hurt his political future. But oh well. Brownback is a somewhat more conservative McCain. The last thing we need is Sam Helen Prejean in as POTUS.

Duncan Hunter: A congressman with no name recognition? I'd say he is angling for the VP spot, but won't get it.

My favorite candidate is Tancredo, but unfortunately he would come up just short, and would probably fail to take OH and NM as well as maybe FL.

So all in all, I think McCain is the strongest GOP nominee, even if I despise him.

Posted by: William | December 18, 2006 4:31 PM | Report abuse

Well, Blarg, I think Clark has been doing pretty much exactly as you have described your expectations. He's a senior fellow at a UCLA think tank and is on the board of the International Crisis Group. He's done a lot of writing and public appearances to help Americans make sense of the nonsense that is the Bush-Cheney policy in Iraq and the Middle East. He's a news analyst for Fox and does a lot of other media appearances. He also worked very hard for Democrat candidates (and especially candidates who are veterans) in the midterms--both as a fund raiser and on the stump. He's also a fairly prolific author, and I understand he's recently signed a contract for his campaign biography. So, I think he's been pretty busy. Still, you're right in a sense. As busy as Clark has surely been, and although he has done a lot to establish his Democrat credentials since 2004, he has not raised his profile so much in the interim as one would expect a presidential proto-candidate to do. He's still a bit too much of an aw-shucks Midwesterner/Southerner to be a good self-promoter. Clark needs a lot more aggressive management if he is to be widely noticed and taken seriously.

Posted by: Gale | December 18, 2006 4:31 PM | Report abuse

"Some people at Air America assert that, under Mr. Glaser and the team he put in place, the network was top-heavy with management, inept at selling ads, unwilling to make program compromises that veered from the liberal message and overstaffed with more than 100 employees when two dozen would have sufficed.

"What they did for $45 million they could have done for $10 million," said Sheldon"


Typical Lib methods yeild the predicted results.

"Now that I have run a commercial enterprise into the ground, I think it is time I ran Minnesota into the ground" - Franken faker.

Posted by: kingofzouk | December 18, 2006 4:24 PM | Report abuse

"Mark Warner's indiscretions will keep him out as VP."

About once a week since Warner dropped out somebody mentions "indiscretions," or "shoes about to drop."

I agree with JD, what are Warner's indiscretions?

The innuendo is getting as tiresome as the Karl Rove/Ken Melhman is Gay innuendo.

Even if you're an RNC/DNC operative trying to "plant" something about an opponent, you should provide something of substance to support it; otherwise, drop the innuendo - for everybody!

Facts, not fiction.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | December 18, 2006 4:24 PM | Report abuse

I tend to agree with those that say that many Democrats do not want to see Hillary get the nomination. All the Democrats I know are looking for another Bill Clinton of '92 and '96. Someone who you can be truly excited about.

In the last year I have heard Wesley Clark speak and he was not the one. I have heard Tom Vilsack speak and he was not the one. I have heard Hillary Clinton speak, and again, she was not the one. After hearing Barack Obama speak it was clear, he can do it.

Barack Obama in this past election cycle was the best Democratic fundraiser for his colleagues. When he speaks, the crowd listens. Though many have mentioned that his race may be a problem for him in the south they forget that it may also be an asset. The south holds some of this nation's largest black populations.

I think that in the end the Democratic party will turn to Barack Obama as the only candidate who can ignite the youth vote and turn out black voters in numbers which are unimaginable. The only candidate who can not only lock up traditional fundraising sources but will have a deluge coming in from individual small money donors.

Two years from now Barack Obama will most frequently be compared with the Kennedy brothers whose lives were ended all too soon.

Posted by: B | December 18, 2006 4:00 PM | Report abuse

Well, a little insanity isn't such a bad thing I guess, J P.

I think you and I are pretty close on our predictions - I say it's HRC and Obama, you say it's 2 out of the 3 of HRC, Obama, and Edwards....OK. I think Edwards is too far gone from the limelight, plus he had his chance already. The argument - 'he's from the South' doesn't mean jack - what Red State is he going to switch now, that he couldn't last time around? The fact you only see his face on milk cartons and not Russert doesn't bode well either.

As for Rudy/McCain - depends on how desperate GOP is. And I think they'll be desperate to win, hold their noses and go with moderates.

Romney has little chance, being both a Mass Northerner (he won't even win his own state), and a Mormon.

Posted by: JD | December 18, 2006 3:58 PM | Report abuse

I will answer my own question. The Post and the rest of the MSM will be trying to freeze Kucinich out because he has a real progressive agenda and is not controlled by the financial-corporate establishment like all the other candidates.
The Hillary-Obama contest is being staged by the MSM as a distraction. Neither can win but both take away attention from the possibility of a real candidate such as Kucinich. Will it work? Will the wish of the people for real change be thus thwarted? We shall see!

Posted by: Rick | December 18, 2006 3:55 PM | Report abuse

I will answer my own question. The Post and the rest of the MSM will be trying to freeze Kucinich out because he has a real progressive agenda and is not controlled by the financial-corporate establishment like all the other candidates.
The Hillary-Obama contest is being staged by the MSM as a distraction. Neither can win but both take away attention from the possibility of a real candidate such as Kucinich. Will it work? Will the wish of the people for real change be thus thwarted? We shall see!

Posted by: Rick | December 18, 2006 3:54 PM | Report abuse

JD, you are insane and your comment just makes you look foolish:

"Please....it's painfully obvious to all but the mental patients out there that the '08 race is Hillary-Obama vs McCain-Rudy. The only mystery is who gets the top of each ticket.

Can't we just pencil that in now and save a few hundred million dollars? Maybe we could give the money to charity or something."

The fact is that Rudy Giuliani is pro-choice, pro-gay rights, and pro-gun control. He is truly more of a moderate Democrat. Polls showing him in the lead mean nothing. It only tests name recognition at this point. Plus, there is no way that all of those polls are truly done of Iowa Caucus-goers and voters in the New Hampshire and South Carolina primaries. I think the truth is that the Democratic nomination is three way: Clinton, Obama, and Edwards. Most see Clinton in the lead. I disagree. Edwards has been polling in the lead among Iowa caucus-goers, and has courted the labor groups, making him likely to be the frontrunner in Nevada as well. Therefore, I think Edwards is in the lead. If the media romance with Obama fades, he will be out likely. On the Republican side, the frontrunner is McCain. Rudy will not win the nomination and may not even run. The leading anti-McCain candidate is former Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA).

Posted by: J Perez | December 18, 2006 3:49 PM | Report abuse

I take it that it's the policy of the Washington Post not to mention Dennis Kucinich as a presidential candidate? Hmm..wonder why...

Posted by: Rick | December 18, 2006 3:47 PM | Report abuse

Obama's a big winner.

Why? Two words:

Anita Dunn.

Posted by: mriowa | December 18, 2006 3:44 PM | Report abuse

JimD, thanks for the answer. It's great that Clark has worked on his speaking skills, but I was hoping for something of more substance.

I'm suspicious when I see someone running for president who hasn't done much lately. If a candidate isn't fresh out of another office, I want to hear about them researching issues, spearheading initiatves in the private sector, publishing articles as part of a think tank, etc. Look at Al Gore. He lost in 2000, and would have been a bad candidate in 2004 because he hadn't done anything in the meantime. But now he's got a name as a leading crusader against global warming, so a lot of people want him to run again in 2008.

This isn't just about Clark. A lot of names from the past have been brought up: Edwards, Gingrich, Daschle, etc. Maybe some of these guys have been doing useful things in their time off. But all I ever hear about is them campaigning, for themselves and for others. Practice campaigning and speaking might make someone a better candidate, but it won't make them a better president. It just seems like some of these guys are lying low, only to pop up every few years when the primary season starts, and I don't like that.

Posted by: Blarg | December 18, 2006 3:41 PM | Report abuse

JD-- you don't want a conversation, all you really want is to declare yourself right.

however, i agree with you that pressure on russia is something we should try. but we don't seem to have people at state who are particularly good at that right now, do we?

please, do try to stop with your condescending 'kucinich' BS.

and try to keep in mind that many of the iranian people would like to see regime change. but they would rather do it themselves, thank you. even now, there is a vote in iran that is moving against ahmadinejad. if we leave the reformers alone, they might actually achieve something. if we intervene, that will guarantee their failure.

Posted by: lark | December 18, 2006 3:40 PM | Report abuse

"Vilsack is already in the race and running -- something no other candidate in the Democratic field can claim." Um, Chris, didn't you hear about Dennis Kucinich announcing his candidacy? He may not have much of a chance, but then neither does Vilsack.

And Jackson Landers: "NH going blue in 2000, for example, would only have offered a couple of electoral votes that still get buried by Florida." You need to look up the numbers. New Hampshire has four electoral votes. The official electoral college result was Bush 271, Gore 266. If Gore had carried New Hampshire, he would have won, 270 to 267.

Posted by: Hersch | December 18, 2006 3:34 PM | Report abuse

Bayh was a zero, a nothing, another DLC clone and a total bore to boot. He would
add nothing to the ticket.
Feingold might be ok. Obama has done nothing to indicate he should be President.
Hillary needs to move left now and start taking some real stands. Divorcing Trailer
Trash Willie would be a good start.

Posted by: Michael Hardesty | December 18, 2006 3:34 PM | Report abuse

OK lark, deep breaths, let's calm down now, go stroke your 'Kucinich in 2008' bumper stickers or something ...

I never said that we should go for an all-out attack on Iran. That's the strawman that the flamers on the left are tossing out there.

I think we need a more 'muscular' solution than just asking nicely to tone down their ambitions, however. I think the pressure would be more effective on Russia and France, Iran's buddies, than applied to that maniac Ahmadinejad.

So....I ask you again: what's your solution? Oh wait, I forgot, you DONT HAVE ONE.

Posted by: JD | December 18, 2006 3:25 PM | Report abuse

DCer - Obama/Napolitano looks good against Giuliani.

Posted by: Amy | December 18, 2006 3:20 PM | Report abuse

Bayh never had a chance and he knew it. Exciteablity is what drives presidental candidates and right now the Dems have four strong aces in Obama, Hillary, Edwards and Gore (should he decide to run). Bayh is a total sleeper when it comes to the likes of the beltway and Youtube. Vilsack and Richardson too. Expect one of the the above mentioned Dems to take Warner as VP. The south is more important to the Dems than middle America (parts of which they won in 2000 + 2004). Virginia, Arkansas, Missouri, and Florida are all within striking distance in the general election. Warner would a good choice because he can carry Virginia, he's got a great record on goverance, he can raise $, and he's won't compete with the charisma or aggressiveness of #1.

And I agree, Guliani will never be a VP nor will McCain. On the GOP side it will be a blood bath. Here is how I see it: Romney is going to run hard right to garnish the social conservative vote. Guliani will play the "top cop" card. McCain will play up his military credentials while claiming he's the natural heir to Bush and Gingrich will play the populist. All of them are exciteability candidates. And just forget about Pataki (whose records on taxes and jobs in NY was pitiful) and Brownback....neither of them get people very excited and versions of them are already represented in Guiliani and Romney.

Posted by: Gerald | December 18, 2006 3:17 PM | Report abuse

Richardson can't be VP for anyone - the comparison would be drawn between his resume and the candidates, and that comparison would probably only detract from the candidate's. The only time the VP was filled by someone with a better resume was with Kennedy-Johnson in 1960, and even then the difference was merely the number of years in the Senate and Johnson's role as majority leader.

Hillary has done a great job in NY of converting Republicans to liking her. The problem is that she cannot realistically do this nationally with only 2 years or so. Furthermore, NY Republicans aren't as bad as those in the South.

As for the South, give up on it. Having a Dem appeal in the South is not really going to happen anytime soon. Warner may have been the best shot, but he's out. Southerners are too concerned about issues like abortion that the Dems would never compromise on. Ergo, choosing Edwards as the Southern candidate would be a mistake because he probably wouldn't win anything there anyway.

On the other hand, the West is really the area of expansion for the Dems. That's why they really should consider a Richardson, Clark, or Western governor on the ticket. Even a non-westerner with a Western governor as VP (there are some good ones in MT and KS) would help. Add to this Richardson's foreign policy credentials, rare for governors, and he could be a dream candidate. If only he became more exciting on the stump...

Posted by: FreeDom | December 18, 2006 3:13 PM | Report abuse

Although I like Biden, I don't see how he can be an effective senate committee chair AND pres. cand. No more than Scoop Jackson, Bob Dole, ect.. could be.

Furthermore, I think that sitting Senators should be prohibuited from running for pres., or be required to show up for at least 80% of the votes.

Especially now that Dems have a majority (?) in the senate, every vote counts. I would say to Biden, Hillary, Obama, ect...- if you want to run, resign from the senate first.

Posted by: Grant Schott | December 18, 2006 3:13 PM | Report abuse


'And for the anonymous ranter who said that attacking Iran is such an awful idea, and gave about 15 reasons why....fine - what's your solution? Let them go nuclear, and give weapons to suicide terrorists who would annhilate Israel?'

attacking iran will accomplish nothing. you are the sort who thinks the answer to every challenge is military. if that kind of thinking ruled during the cold war we'd all be dead by now. we talked to russia even when they had thousands of nuclear weapons pointed at us -- that's why we survived. instead of getting your knickers in a knot about israel, why don't you let them worry about defending themselves [they do a fine job] and worry about the survival of your own country.

Posted by: lark | December 18, 2006 3:07 PM | Report abuse

I am unimpressed with this post. Which is unusual because Chris usually writes a first-rate blog entry.

First of all, it is not true that any single red stage swinging the other way would have thrown the election results in '00 or '04. NH going blue in 2000, for example, would only have offered a couple of electoral votes that still get buried by Florida. Ditto for many other red states. This is also true of many sparsely populated states in the mid-west. You need a bunch of them to flip in order to really change the outcome.

Secondly, you assertation that 'single digit Democrats' are damaged by Bayh's exit makes no sense at all. First of all, at this point in the last cycle most Americans had no idea who John Kerry was. At this point in the 2000 cycle most people outside of Texas were only dimly aware that George H. W. Bush had a son in politics. And at this point in the 1992 cycle, most Americans had no idea who Bill Clinton was. How about Jimmy Carter at this point in the '76 cycle? Nobody knew who the hell he was either. Michael Dukkakis? Who the hell was he?

Historically speaking, incumbent Presidents and former Vice Presidents are usually the only candidates with high name recognition prior to the height of the race that end up winning nominations. Ronald Reagan in 1980 is the only exception that I can think of since the time of Barry Goldwater. The candidates who look like the big winners 2 years out from election day are very rarely the actual winners of their party's nomination.

Nothing about your logic makes any sense. The loss of a 'single digit Democrat' is, if anything, *good* for other single digit candidates. Right now there are 2 columns. Hillary and the not-Hillaries (ie the single-digit guys). Every time that another not-Hillary drops out, the majority of those votes are moving over to another no-Hillary. She is so well-known that everyone has already made up their mind about her.

Bayh's exit is GOOD for Clark, Vilsack and any other single digit moderate candidate still looking to make a go of it. If those voters were going to back Hillary then they would have indicated that already.

I still do not believe that the real nominee has arrived at the party yet. The race lacks a charismatic moderate. Obama and Hillary Clinton are both far-left darlings, but Democrats have become a pragmatical bunch after so many years out of power. Give them a Southern or Western governor with a good personal story and an NRA endorsement and they will flock to him even if they've never heard of the guy before. Neither Hillary nor Obama really smell like winners. Democrats' doubts about their ability to win moderate votes in the general election can be exploited just as readily as Howard Dean was suddenly deflated in 2004. Weakness like this will be exploited by a dark horse candidate eventually.

Posted by: Jackson Landers | December 18, 2006 2:43 PM | Report abuse

Blarg,

As to what Clark has done since 2004, he campaigned tirelessly for Democratic candidates all over the country. He has become a much better speaker and is much more comfortable dealing with the press and their "have you stopped beating your wife" type of questions.

Posted by: JimD in FL | December 18, 2006 2:35 PM | Report abuse

No matter who runs on the dem side, they will be tarred as 'liberal extremists' because that's what rightist hate radio does. It's no wonder that their braindead listeners keep parroting that stuff... it's all they hear, repeated endlessly, 24 hours a day, every day--for 20 or 30 years now.

Posted by: drindl | December 18, 2006 2:33 PM | Report abuse

lylepink,

I also have a lot of friends and family in the Northeast who are lifelong Democrats and are decidedly unenthusiastic about Hillary. My Republican friends would love to see her be the nominee because it will ensure a huge turnout by the Republican base. Look at the high negatives Hillary has in almost every poll taken. I cannot see her beating McCain.

Elections are won in the center - polls show that it was independent centrist voters who were concerned about national security that provided Bush the winning margin in the swing states in 2004. I do not see how Hillary Clinton can appeal to enough of these voters to win.

Posted by: JimD in FL | December 18, 2006 2:32 PM | Report abuse

mgturn, I think Obama/Clark would be a very strong ticket. Clark looks like the perfect VP candidate to me, since he brings military and foreign-policy credentials. Obama seems like more of a domestic policy guy.

I'd still like an answer on this from the pro-Clark people: What has he done since his horrible performance in 2004? What evidence is there that he'll do better in 2008?

Posted by: Blarg | December 18, 2006 2:30 PM | Report abuse

DCer, what are Warner's indiscretions? I hadn't heard anything along those lines.

And for the anonymous ranter who said that attacking Iran is such an awful idea, and gave about 15 reasons why....fine - what's your solution? Let them go nuclear, and give weapons to suicide terrorists who would annhilate Israel?

It's always so easy to criticize the actions of others, when you don't have to actually solve any problems yourself.

Posted by: JD | December 18, 2006 2:29 PM | Report abuse

'Newt would be better suited for a cabinet post in the next administration!!'

Newt would be better suited to a halfway house for theocratic sex addicts

Posted by: Anonymous | December 18, 2006 2:27 PM | Report abuse

I'm still totally puzzled why Hillary is viewed by the media as a "left-wing" candidate in comparision with a Bayh, Vislack, or Warner.

Let's be honest. Those three are attractive some Democrats, but not because Clinton is flaming liberal who would drive the Democrats too far to the left. Its because they are low-profile red-staters who didn't spend the 90's getting bashed on a daily basis on the radio by right-win extremists.

Posted by: Alex Hogan | December 18, 2006 2:24 PM | Report abuse

Oskar

Did you forget that Clinton was Governor for 12 years.

Posted by: RMill | December 18, 2006 2:22 PM | Report abuse

If Obama is the nominee (which is a good chance, but not the only likely outcome), then expect Clark to be the VP nominee. Clark will provide his military experience and foreign policy credentials to an Obama Administration. Obama has been working hard on the Foreign Relations Committee to master international issues and Clark will further strengthen his position. Clark is also good friends with Richard Holbrooke, who will be either Sec. of State or Nat'l Security Advisor for the next Democratic President. Obama is also pals with Dick Lugar, who could be given a foreign policy post in the cabinet to provide President Obama with a Republican in his Administration.

If Obama is not the nominee, Richardson's chances of being VP shoot to the top. If Democrats go with Obama, they'll be reluctant to pick Richardson for VP because it would put two minorities on the ticket, something perceived as difficult for Middle America to swallow (whether not it is, we don't actually know). Richardson shouldn't be counted out for the top slot, nor should Clinton, Edwards, or Vilsack. Biden is possible, but may have passed his presidential shelf date.

Mark Warner is running for Governor of Virginia in 2009, count him out for VP. First of all, he is an executive and loved being Governor. Secondly, he is practically guaranteed victory and the Dems have no other viable gubernatorial candidate.

Posted by: mgturn | December 18, 2006 2:20 PM | Report abuse

Just for fun, I am planning to drop the question "With Bayh Out, Which Democrats Benefit Most?" this holiday with family and friends.

It will be interesting to hear what non-blogger think about this one...

Posted by: Amy | December 18, 2006 2:15 PM | Report abuse

Mark Warner's indiscretions will keep him out as VP.

Bayh wouldn't do Obama much good because their both Midwesterners. Obama would need a Dick Cheney to his George Bush kind of person to handle the inexperience with foreign affairs and someone who has executive experience. Any one have any thoughts on who that might be?

Posted by: DCer | December 18, 2006 2:14 PM | Report abuse


For uncensored news please bookmark:

otherside123.blogspot.com
www.wsws.org
www.onlinejournal.com
www.takingaim.info

http://onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_1540.shtml

Election fraud in Georgia
The Cox legacy: Who "owns" our votes?
By Denis Wright

Online Journal Contributing Writer
"A temporary restraining order is necessary and proper under the facts presented to the Court since release of the CD-ROM today at 5:00 p.m. will significantly and permanently impair the rights and interests of the public and the Secretary of State as the custodian of those rights and interests." --Motion and Supporting Authority for a Temporary Restraining Order, filed in DeKalb Superior Court, State of Georgia on behalf of Cathy Cox, Secretary of State

Two months prior to leaving office Cathy Cox, Georgia's outgoing secretary of state and the subject of much controversy, felt compelled to stop an effort to perform a citizen audit of the state's primary and run-off elections of July and August 2006.

Georgia's elections, like some 38 other states, are conducted on DRE or direct record electronic voting machines which are manufactured, upgraded and serviced by various private corporations that claim they are unaccountable to any outside scrutiny. In Georgia's case that corporation is Diebold Election Systems, and Diebold supplies not only the machines but the ballots, the training, and the "proprietary" software that counts the votes.

The most recent legal battle in Georgia began after Atlanta attorney Mike Raffauf filed an Open Records request for a copy of the CD-ROM "which contains a copy of the information on each memory card (PCMCIA Card) which shall include all ballot images and ballot styles as well as vote totals and a copy of the consolidated returns from the election management system" for DeKalb County.

Linda Latimore, director of elections for DeKalb, responded thus on November 3: " . . . by copy of this letter we are putting all interested parties on notice of our intent to provide you with a copy of the requested CD-ROM by 5:00 p.m. on November 9, 2006."

Ms. Cox and her legal representatives felt that it was improper for the very citizens who cast the votes to audit the results; results that exist only in the inner workings of an electronic voting system that is itself mired in controvery and shrouded in great secrecy. Ms. Cox apparently felt very strongly that Georgians be kept in the dark about their votes: She had the request to deny the release of the CD records filed with the court 25 minutes before the disk was due to be handed to the public, without notifying Mike Raffauf she was racing to beat the deadline.

Cox and her staff contend that release of the files would constitute a "threat to public security or property if released." One of her staff members, Kathy Rogers, felt it necessary to send an email to county election supervisors equating release of the data to "criminal or terrorist acts" after Georgia citizens requested it in 2004. Also enlisted was Ray Cobb, director of the Center for Election Systems at Kennesaw State University, who filed a supporting affidavit with the court.

While Ms. Cox claims in her request for the restraining order that she and her office "fully support and indeed have advocated" for the Open Records Act, the record shows a different reality. Numerous Open Records requests have been filed by citizens for information regarding the voting process which have been denied or never answered.

To bolster his case, Mr. Raffauf enlisted industry expert Yobie Benjamin to rebut the claims by Ray Cobb and Cathy Cox. Mr. Benjamin describes his experience and expertise in his affidavit, "I have 20 years experience with information systems management technologies . . . I am an internationally recognized expert in computer information security and have served in this capacity with several notable companies". Mr. Benjamin inspected and analyzed the Diebold election system for former California Secretary of State Kevin Shelley.

According to Mr. Benjamin, "Release of election data that was recently publicly available should not cause this level of security risk. There is clearly something deficient with this election system."

Benjamin continued, "Regarding the claims made by Mr. Cobb's affidavit that the files 'contain encryption codes that could be used in an attempt to modify, 'spoof', 'crack' or 'hack' the GEMS [Global Election Management System] software or the receipt or tabulation of votes using the GEMS software.' It is common practice in commercial and government industry to regularly change security codes and points of access as part of a prudent security program."

In fact, the certification test of the Diebold Election System prepared by KSU for the office of the Secretary of State in July 2006 states that the dynamic password on a Poll Manager Card "has a six digit password and allows this password to be changed as often as desired." Similarly, the password on Voter Access Cards can be changed to ensure security. Surely this most basic of security tenets would be followed in elections and this information would be changed as often as deemed necessary. Had industry standards been applied in the voting system and passwords and other security related information been changed after the election, Mr. Cobb's assertion is a red herring. If not, security concerns move well beyond the release of records regarding a closed election and speak to the apparent incompetence of those entrusted to protect the votes.

Furthermore, in response to Cobb's claim that the CD data cannot be reproduced without copying security information, Benjamin calls this an "ignorant assertion" as any bit or byte of data in any computer system can be isolated securely by any competent computer professional.

Concludes Mr. Benjamin, "Election results and ballots should be made public irrespective of its form or format. It is up to the public to decide how they utilize this information."

Why is the release of this information so vital to the citizens of Georgia? First there is the question of "who owns the votes." Diebold and other manufacturers have consistently insisted that the vote tabulation software is private company property and have fought vehemently to stop any independent scrutiny. There are other concerns and issues as well which are specific to this election and merit in-depth study: In almost 50 percent of DeKalb County precincts, the number of cast ballots did not match the number of signed voter certificates; undervotes were unusually high, exceeding 40 percent in some races; 106,000 ballots statewide (14 percent of the voters) did not record a choice for the U.S. Senate, the "top of the ticket" race.

According to Cathy Cox, it seems, the interests of a private corporation take precedent over the rights of the state's citizens to know how their votes are tallied in state elections. As the official "protector" of our votes, just who is Ms. Cox protecting? One has to ask why Ms. Cox would feel the need to halt the release of information that, in fact, already belongs to each and every voter in Georgia. Why rush in just minutes before the deadline in a secret and faulty court filing? Just who are the "interested parties" in our elections, Diebold or the citizenry? And just how do the results of a public election "significantly and permanently impair the rights and interests of the public" as Cox claims?

These and other lingering questions should be asked and answered under oath by Cathy Cox prior to leaving office. It seems likely, however, that the ever-expanding voting scandal will be inherited by incoming Secretary of State Karen Handel.

In her position papers prior to election, Ms. Handel claimed that our voting system is both insecure and outdated and promised to replace it with one that provides a Voter Verified Paper Ballot. But will any new system continue the history of secrecy and subterfuge exhibited by Diebold and their apologists or herald a new era of openness and transparency so desperately needed in this arena so critical to our democracy?
The fact remains that we already have the capability to provide a Voter Verified Paper Ballot utilizing Optical Scan technology. Not only would this solution be much preferable than would pouring millions more dollars down the Diebold money pit, it would provide something that DRE voting can never attain: clear voter intent. If Ms. Handel hopes to regain public confidence in elections her office should explore and pursue any options that put the votes back where they belong: in the hands of the people.

Posted by: che | December 18, 2006 2:04 PM | Report abuse

Yes, Oskar, and Carter and Bush were the two weakest (elected) presidents in our lifetimes. Experience matters -- a lot.

Posted by: Gale | December 18, 2006 1:43 PM | Report abuse

Just a brief addenda: The whole argument of Obama having no experience is a very bankrupt one. I can think of three cases immediately of politicians who "had no experience" and went on to be president.
Jimmy Carter
Bill Clinton
And the winner:
George W. Bush
If any of these can be president, so can Obama, and in my opinion would do a better job than all three.

Posted by: Oskar | December 18, 2006 1:38 PM | Report abuse

Just a breif addenda: The whole argument of Obama having no experience is a very bankrupt one. I can think of three cases immediately of politicians who "had no experience" and went on to be president.
Jimmy Carter
Bill Clinton
And the winner:
George W. Bush
If any of these can be president, so can Obama, and in my opinion would do a better job than all three.

Posted by: Oskar | December 18, 2006 1:37 PM | Report abuse

Let's face it. If Obama enters Hilary may as well pack it in. I've talked to enough disenchanted Democrats who are desperate for an Obama like candidate. Hilary is yesterday's news and one, who along with her husband, has pushed the Democratic to a point farthest to the right than it's been in decades. Time to shift the Democrats to where they belong, and stop using the party as a personal pulpit.

Posted by: Oskar | December 18, 2006 1:33 PM | Report abuse

No Bayh, no Gore, no Kerry or Biden. I'm not sure HRC can win because I too fear she would fire up the GOP base in a way no other candidate would. I like Obama so far, but would like to know more, and I also fear for his safety. Perish the thought, but if there is a candidate most likely to be assassinated by some wacko, it is him. I live in the Southwest and like Richardson a lot. Personally, he would be my pick at this early point.

Posted by: JH in Four Points | December 18, 2006 1:15 PM | Report abuse

Bayh did not have a chance. Good local Pol. I don't think he is positioned for National level. He's like Barack without the US Senate time. Besides...no fire coming from him.

Edwards is yesterday's Vice presidential candidate. He will always be one of the guys who lost to the Great Decider.

I don't think the electorate is ready for, or wants another Bush or Clinton.

Obama/Richardson is the ticket.

Posted by: zippy | December 18, 2006 1:07 PM | Report abuse

I think all of the comments about either Clinton, Edwards or Obama having absolutely no chance are completely off base.

Both Clinton and Obama are far less disadvantaged by gender or race than Romney is by religion. Clinton has major money and structural advantages, and leads in early polls based on name recognition. Obama will be able to get close on money, and the more you watch him the more he seems like an intellectual heavyweight compared to the other candidates, even if his resume is small. He also has a large group of die-hard supporters already. Edwards, while I personally feel like there's not much there, has improved a lot since 2004, and has done a great job cultivating labor and other supporters in early primary states; he leads the polls by a lot in Iowa and took SC last time too.

Posted by: Nissl | December 18, 2006 1:04 PM | Report abuse

JimD in FL: I seem to recall that you are a small busisness man, retired military, and run with a crowd that would naturally oppose Hillary and support someone like Gen. Clark. Where we differ is that I talk to folks from all income and social levels. By doing so I think I am getting a wider scale of opinions and by a very good margin the folks I talk to are in favor of Hillary. When Gov. Warner is added as her running mate it is overwhelmong. So, IMO, the ticket of Clinton/Warner is the best the dems have to offer for 08 and the folks I talk to agree. Also, my repub friends think they have little chance of winning against this ticket but naturally will not say so in any public or private forum.

Posted by: lylepink | December 18, 2006 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Bayh knows he hasn't a shot at the nomination. Give him props for actually being a little smart in his decision making process. This sets him up for a sweet Veep post with H or BO.

www.polibuzz.blogspot.com

Posted by: mpp | December 18, 2006 12:45 PM | Report abuse

Al Gore has not ruled out running. How could Democrats ignore the man who won the election in 2000, came out strongly against the Iraq war before it started, and is taking on the biggest threat to the planet (global warming). Did I mention he might win an Oscar?

Posted by: reispace | December 18, 2006 12:44 PM | Report abuse

Joseph,
I am a die hard democrat, and I don't want Gore to run. Gore just doesn't get me motivated at all. He is yesterday's news and the democratic party needs a new direction. The power of the baby boomer generation is waining, and the way to win the next 5 elections is to get young people to vote in scores. Al Gore will not do that, nor will Hillary or Richardson. Barack Obama definitly has the draw to drastically increase the amount of young voters, as does Edwards to a lesser degree.

Posted by: Andy R | December 18, 2006 12:37 PM | Report abuse

a couple of points:

Lyle, you need to quit with the drugs. Every Repub I know wants HRC as the Dem candidate because they are pretty sure they can beat her. She is the one way to guarantee a big Repub turnout, because their minions HATE her.

ProudtobeGOP, the one candidate HRC could beat without question is Newt. If he runs and the repubs put him up, they'll lose 47-48 states without question. Newt running at the top of the ticket, with his three marriages and questionable family values would guarantee a Dem sweep on election day 2008, to the point of 260 seats in the House and 55-57 seats in the Senate. Put Newt up PLEASE.

I don't see how Bayh not running fundamentally changes the picture on the Dem side. The only thing that would do that is Gore getting in, because it would deflate HRC and Obama about equally and would signal an all out war for the Dem nomination.

Posted by: Steve | December 18, 2006 12:35 PM | Report abuse

"Only Al Gore can win for the Democrats in 2008."

Please. Gore is old news - wonderful though he may be. Recycling old candidates is just not wise when we have new fresh faces to bring to the table. HRC is way too divisive to win in 08 and my prayer is that she realizes that. I'm for Obama or Edwards - but miss Mark Warner!

Posted by: Anonymous | December 18, 2006 12:35 PM | Report abuse

"Only Al Gore can win for the Democrats in 2008."

Please. Gore is old news - wonderful though he may be. Recycling old candidates is just not wise when we have new fresh faces to bring to the table. HRC is way too divisive to win in 08 and my prayer is that she realizes that. I'm for Obama or Edwards - but miss Mark Warner!

Posted by: Anonymous | December 18, 2006 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Colin Powell for President. As a Democrat. Seriously.

Posted by: Voter | December 18, 2006 12:35 PM | Report abuse

Bayh has a lot of very scary skeletons in his closet back in Indiana. I would advise any presidential candidate to steer clear of him.

Posted by: exgringo | December 18, 2006 12:35 PM | Report abuse

The things which Sen. Clinton does not already "have" are the caucus and primary votes. Fortunately, she has to earn those.

In the Spring, I was chastized for saying that I didn't want to see her run because she made me nervous and I had "trust" issues. Some posters told me that a "feeling" was simply not good enough.

Personally, I believe that such "feelings" are what most of us rely on when we make that choice in the voting booth. But, I've been thinking for months as to why more specifically I don't want to see her run. It was her first four years as First Lady. She was allowed to operate as Alternate President, and in doing so she (and her staff) displayed an arrogance and lack of understanding of how to govern, which was similar to the current Administration.

It's possible that as a Senator she is no longer that way; but, those first four years still have me nervous that anything she says, does or supports is simply a means to the end. And, that her staff operates that way also.

We don't another four years of arrogance after this Administration.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | December 18, 2006 12:34 PM | Report abuse

Personally, I don't see Bayh in or out as a factor at all, and probably neither does he. That's why he's out. I'm betting on (not necessarily hoping for) a Clark-Clinton or Clinton-Clark ticket -- and not just because I like alliteration.

I see these two as both in the same camp, and I suspect the reason Clark is holding out to announce is that he's negotiating with the Clinton people. I see Clark as most likely at the top of that ticket, even though he's an underdog, because Hillary is a smart lady who is going to know that she is too polarizing to run in that slot (even though she is plenty enough smart and experienced for it, no matter how one feels about her personally).

I don't see Edwards or Obama as serious when you get right down to it. They just don't have the experience for the job. We've already had to deal with 6 going on 8 years of an extreme lightweight president. I think the American people will look for serious experience and intelligence the next time around.

Posted by: Gale | December 18, 2006 12:29 PM | Report abuse

Where have your gone, Albert M. Gore, Jr...our nation turns its lonely eyes to you.

Only Al Gore can win for the Democrats in 2008. He's already proven he can win an election, there can be NO swift boating of the guy, as everything about him is already known, he doesn't come across as a hypocrite on the war, and he harkens Americans back to prosperous and fairer times. Say what you will about him, but no other Democrat can beat Hillary for the nomination.

Hook him up with Bill Richardson or Mark Warner, and McCain goes down.

Posted by: Joseph | December 18, 2006 12:28 PM | Report abuse

Here here Kim! I too am a yellow dog Dem and Edwards is the guy.

Posted by: Jay | December 18, 2006 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Jim D, If your daughter's intestines had been sucked out by a pool drain that was well known by the pool company to be a defective drain, I don't think you'd call Edwards an ambulance chaser. He very carefully vetted his cases and didn't take cases without merit. And Lylepink, I'm a yellow dog Democrat, but I will never vote for HRC and everyone I know of my persuasion feels the same way. She will be a disaster for the Democrats if she is the nominee.

Posted by: Kim | December 18, 2006 12:22 PM | Report abuse

Agreed...Edwards is the winner here and has wider appeal.

Posted by: Jay | December 18, 2006 12:21 PM | Report abuse

I believe that John Edwards is the Winner here-Bayh supporters will support him before they support Clinton or Obama. Sen. Edwards is the one to watch now!

Posted by: GeorgeW. | December 18, 2006 12:20 PM | Report abuse

I believe that John Edwards is the Winner here-Bayh supporters will support him before they support Clinton or Obama. Sen. Edwards is the one to watch now!

Posted by: George | December 18, 2006 12:19 PM | Report abuse

I believe that John Edwards is the Winner here-Bayh supporters will support him before they support Clinton or Obama. Sen. Edwards is the one to watch now!

Posted by: George | December 18, 2006 12:18 PM | Report abuse

AR, I know, I know...Newt's a polarizing figure to say the least. McCain would attract more independent voters but I'm not sure he can get the party nod, sadly. Newt would be better suited for a cabinet post in the next administration!!

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | December 18, 2006 12:16 PM | Report abuse

I like how Edwards is flying under the radar...12 months from now people will realize he is the only Dem that has a chance to win states in the South. He is the only Democrat who can win nationally and appeal to moderate Republicans. HRC and Obama...will not have national appeal.

Posted by: EdwardsIn08 | December 18, 2006 12:15 PM | Report abuse

Listen folks you are all spining your wheels..... HRC has the nomination to lose. While we may not be happy about it, she has the expeience, money, staff and the name power in place. Add to that bill clinton's aura with the public (and his former political people who will run the HRC campaign in the end). We all know that the media needs a horse race, so they all do the Obama dance while secretly knowing that he has no chance, this time.
Actually, both parties have front runners that cause the public to squirm in their seats.
McCain and Rudy. That should get the media going for a while....

Posted by: james b | December 18, 2006 12:08 PM | Report abuse

proud, I hope you are kidding about Newt running on the GOP ticket. If Hillary is the most divisive Democrat out there then Newt is the most Divisive Republican out there. If the GOP nominate Newt the Democrats will come out of the woodwork to make sure he doesn't get elected.

Barry Goldwater comes to mind everytime I hear Newt's name.

Posted by: Andy R | December 18, 2006 11:57 AM | Report abuse

Amy,

The Republicans I know want Hillary to run because it will fire up their base and their fundraising. They think that 2008 might be a very bad year for Republicans but Hillary Clinton at the head of the Democratic ticket will help them recapture the Congressional seats lost in 2006 in districts that went for Bush in 2004 even if they lose the White House.

Posted by: JimD in FL | December 18, 2006 11:55 AM | Report abuse

It is still way too early to make statements about it being decided. The White House has not been this wide-open for a long time. No incumbants, no VP's (unless Gore gets in-don't think he will).

Bayh certainly goes to the head of the class for possible VP.

Regardless of the candidate running, having the midwest representated is crucial in political geography this time around.

Not sure that Bayh's personal political situation or decision portends anything regarding moderates or resume candidates.

If anything, taking a moderate well-resumed candidate out would seem to bolster the candidacies of those remaining. Not having to match the resume of Bill Richardson against Evan Bayh means the resume is stronger against those with thinner one's (Edwards and Obama).

Richardson-Bayh would be a powerhouse ticket from a geographic, demographic, experiential standpoint.

That is to say nothing of Richardson strong personality which will be a hit in the personal retail politics of Iowa caucuses and New Hampshire primary.

Posted by: RMill | December 18, 2006 11:51 AM | Report abuse

Re: "Delaware Senator Joseph Biden is making no bones about it -- he intends to run for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Have we so quickly forgotten?
"A proven accusation of plagiarism can have serious repercussions for a candidate's political ambitions. Just ask Joe Biden. His borrowing of a British politician's campaign speech is perhaps the most famous instance of political plagiarism.."famousplagiarists.com

Sounds like a risky pick even for VP. Hillary would do well with someone like Bayh or Richardson on the ticket.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | December 18, 2006 11:48 AM | Report abuse

I agree with posters who have emphasized that Bayh's withdrawal is most relevant to the moderates and originally pro-Iraq War candidates. In general, I think there is room for only one person in the field who belongs to that group -- and Senator Clinton has that locked up. This race is going to boil down to her vs. one or two candidates who have credibility as opponents of the Iraq War -- Obama for one; Gore if he will get up and put himself through hell again; Edwards if he can spin himself as an early-enough convert; Clark if he can put together the money, team, and organization. Does Richardson qualify? I like him but I've never heard him as a vocal opponent of the war.... again, a necessity for everyone except Senator Clinton.

Posted by: Practical Progressive | December 18, 2006 11:42 AM | Report abuse

'Now that we've screwed the pooch on Iraq, there are only three possible outcomes for George Bush's presidency.

1. He stays the course and just drives Iraq into the ground. This could involve putting more troops in, keeping the same number of troops or even some form of withdrawal. But anyway you slice it, Iraq will be a monumental failure. It is what George W. Bush will be known for. He could leave it at that.

Or he could choose one of two other options. One could make things much better and the other is guaranteed to make things much worse.

2. He could attack Iran and turn the world upside down. This would guarantee his place among - not just the worst US presidents of all time - but the worst world leaders of all time. Attacking Iran would rank among the biggest military blunders in history.

We do not have the forces to fight against Iran. It would not be an easy fight, quite to the contrary, it would be exceedingly difficult. Iran is four times the size of Iraq and has far greater military and political capabilities. They could mobilize Shiites to attack our already weakened interests in Iraq and Lebanon, let alone Israel. They could nearly bring the production and distribution of oil to a halt out of the Persian Gulf. And expose our soldiers in Iraq to much greater harm.

The leaders of Iran already know this. They also know that being attacked by the US is the best thing that could happen to their political fortunes inside Iran. It would turn a young, disaffected population into one with nationalistic and religious fervor united behind the mullahs.

Mahmoud Ahmedinejad is the Dennis Rodman of global politics. He is trying to goad Bush into taking a swing at him. He knows that it is not possible for Bush to finish the job, and that if America jabs at Iran, it will secure Ahmedinejad and the Ayatollahs' reign in Iran for another generation. It's a dangerous but smart game. And it is being played against an opponent who doesn't have any idea of what's happening to him. It's easy to provoke this dumb, blind beast.

Say a couple of inflammatory things against Israel - but don't actually take any aggressive steps. So, when the US attacks, they are the guilty party. You are the protector of Iran. America is loathed across the world for starting another aggressive war. And the whole Muslim world is united behind your leadership.

If Bush falls for this trick, he will live in infamy as one of the least capable and least intelligent men to ever lead a global power. The old European and Ottoman empires would often breed entirely within royal families. This would from time to time produce a mentally handicapped heir to the throne. None of them have ever made a mistake as large as the one Bush would make if he attacked Iran without a legitimate military provocation.

We are told we must be wary because Ahmedinejad denies the Holocaust. I have never heard a worst reason to contemplate attacking another country in my life. Who cares?! What is the official Chinese position on the Cambodian genocide? And should we invade them based on this? The government of Turkey still denies the Armenian Genocide. Should we invade them too while we're at it?

Have people in this country lost their minds? You don't go to war with people and risk the lives of hundreds of thousands of people because they hurt your feelings. Please tell me our leaders aren't this painfully stupid.'

Posted by: Anonymous | December 18, 2006 11:36 AM | Report abuse

I wanted to highlight what I think is a pretty good example of how the current obedience to the odd conventions of modern journalism creates some really crappy writing. So, in the middle of the article about the American detained in Iraq, we get this:

A spokeswoman for the Pentagon's detention operations in Iraq, First Lt. Lea Ann Fracasso, said in written answers to questions that the men had been "treated fair and humanely," and that there was no record of either man complaining about their treatment.


Now, the reporter lets this comment stand without any response. The smart reader, of course, will note its Kafkaesque absurdity. They didn't have access to attorneys. They were placed in solitary confinement. They were in cold cells, with fluorescent lights left on all night.


And First Lt. Lea Ann Fracasso is suggesting she checked with the Complaints Department, and found nothing, so there's nothing to see here.

Overall it's an excellent well-reported story, and the smart reader who reads all the way through will understand what an absurd statement this is. Still, later today, if Rush Limbaugh decides to talk about this story he'll say "But they guy didn't even complain!!!"

Posted by: Anonymous | December 18, 2006 11:32 AM | Report abuse

Delaware Senator Joseph Biden is making no bones about it -- he intends to run for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Speaking with reporters at Southern New Hampshire University, 'Biden said, "I am running for president." Asked if that was his "official" announcement, Biden drew laughter by replying, "I've announced it 27 times."

Biden says he plans to set up a campaign committee in January.

Biden's appearance was part of a weekend swing through New Hampshire, aimed at boosting his chances in the state's first-in-the-nation presidential primary.'

--he's just too much of a suck-up to repugs.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 18, 2006 11:29 AM | Report abuse

By the way, none of the "losers" make sense to me if one is talking about candidates--to the extent another candidate is like Bayh, it obviously helps, not hurts, to have Bayh out of the field.

Posted by: DTM | December 18, 2006 11:27 AM | Report abuse

Why was General Wesley Clark fired? General Robert Gard says: "General Joe Ralston, Vice Chair of the Joint Chiefs, was the favored candidate for Chairman (apologies to the ladies), when Shelton eventually was appointed. When it was disclosed that Ralston had an affair much earlier with a fellow student at the National War College, even though he then was separated from his wife, the existing political climate precluded his nomination as Chairman. Ralston agreed to accept a second term as Vice Chair. Ralston, a very capable officer with political savvy, earned the friendship and support of Secretary of Defrndr Cohen. When Ralston's second term as Vice Chair was up, he was prepared to retire. Cohen wanted him to stay on. Ralston said that the only position that would keep him on active duty was SACEUR. This required the departure of Wesley Clark earlier than the scheduled completion of his term.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 18, 2006 11:24 AM | Report abuse

Kosovo was the United States' first post-Cold War experiment in "humanitarian intervention." Clark, who was the U.S. Supreme Allied Commander in Europe (and who, before that, had been a military aide in the Dayton negotiations over Bosnia), supported going to war in order to protect the Kosovars from the savagery of Serbian leader Slobodan Milosevic. Secretary of Defense William Cohen and the entire Joint Chiefs of Staff, who had no taste for interventions of practically any sort, opposed it.
That much, Boyer has right. But much else, he does not.
For instance, he portrays Clark as not only maneuvering around the chiefs in his advocacy, but also as drawing a lackadaisical Clinton White House--distracted by domestic troubles over Monica Lewinsky--into war. In fact, however, Clinton may have been distracted somewhat, but Secretary of State Madeleine Albright was not. Albright was a fiery supporter of military intervention in the Balkans (many have written of the famous meeting where she appalled the reticent chiefs by saying, "What good are all these fine troops you keep telling us about if we can't use them?"). Albright was the prime mover; many observers at the time--supporters and critics alike--called it "Madeleine's war." And her prime collaborator, Richard Holbrooke, Clinton's envoy to Bosnia, also enjoyed direct access to the president.
So it is more than a bit startling to read, in Boyer's article, the following sentence: "Clark's view, which had the support of Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and Holbrooke, prevailed." It would be more apt to say, "Albright's view, which had the support of Holbrooke and Clark, prevailed." She welcomed Clark's endorsement, but she didn't need it to make her argument or to win it.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 18, 2006 11:21 AM | Report abuse

I for one comment on Obama not because I am anti-Clinton or impressed by the media coverage, but rather because I have been following him since the Senate primaries in Illinois.

Anyway, this news had me thinking of a possible Obama-Bayh ticket (call it the "Midwestern Values" ticket).

Posted by: DTM | December 18, 2006 11:20 AM | Report abuse

I love all the posters so certain that neither Obama nor Rudy would accept the VP slot. Both men are young, and both need some street cred in terms of national service (commander in chief, especially) before getting the needed gravitas for presidential run.

How can anyone be so certain that they'd turn down the spot, if offered? Especially Rudy, since McCain's pretty old and a mid-term promotion is always possible.

And Drindl, yes, we get it, you're a flaming lib and you hate the GOP, fine. But can you lose the non-relevant posts and stick to the topic of the day? Or is the trade deficit, Darfur, or some other topic next up? You're getting as bad as Che's posts.

Posted by: JD | December 18, 2006 11:04 AM | Report abuse

Clark was FIRED in his last job as Supreme Allied Commander! There's no way he could win against McCain, who may not get the nomination if Newt runs!

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | December 18, 2006 10:59 AM | Report abuse

JimD - interesting observations!
If the Republicans you know want Hillary to run because she can't beat the Republican candidate, she must have figured out the same thing by now. After all, she is doing careful research on her chances.

So how long until Hillary announces she is not running after all?

She is a smart person and understands the value of keeping her moneychest full for future Senate races.

Posted by: Amy | December 18, 2006 10:56 AM | Report abuse

Mo Rocca did a funny commentary on Obama yesterday on CBS Sunday Morning. It's difficult to imagine someone named "Barack Hussein Obama" getting elected President. If Hillary becomes the first woman to be a major party's presidential nominee, there is no way she is going to select Obama to be the first black vice presidential nominee of a major party. She is too cautious for that, and she wants to win, so it's likely she would run with a moderate white male from a "red" state (Mark Warner, Evan Bayh, etc.).

Posted by: Progressive | December 18, 2006 10:54 AM | Report abuse

Chris, I have to disagree with you about Richardson. I think he is actually helped by Bayh's exit. With Bayh and Warner now out, Richardson is the only prospective Democratic candidate remaining that has gubernatorial experience. Governors (and former governors) tend to perform better in presidential races than senators do. Four of the last five presidents were elected as sitting or former governors.

http://commenterry.blogs.com

Posted by: Terry Mitchell | December 18, 2006 10:47 AM | Report abuse

MC I see your point but the safest bet isn't Biden its Clark. He is a southern ex-general, and he is one of the few candidates who can take on McCain (who WILL be the GOP nominee) on military issues.

Posted by: Andy R | December 18, 2006 10:46 AM | Report abuse

It is ironic that Hillary Clinton is derided as a moderate by the liberal activist wing of the Democratic party but has the national image of an extreme liberal. Hillary's negative image has been imprinted on the public for 15 years and I doubt that she can change the preceptions enough to improve much on Kerry's performance. It is not just the talk radio wingnuts but it is the 15 years of jokes by Leno, Letterman, et. al. The total failure of the Bush administration might enable any Democrat to squeak by, but, if the candidate is HRC, I fear that a score of red state Democrats in Congress would go down to defeat. Far from being the Republicans' worst nightmare, the Republicans I know hope she gets the nomination. No one would motivate their base like Hillary. Her negatives are extremely high and unlikely to improve enough. I also think the public does not want to rotate the presidency between the Bush and Clinton families.

I think that Edwards is a lightweight. One undistinguished Senate term and a career as an ambulance chaser does not make one qualified to be president. I also think that Obama is too inexperienced for 2008. Although his magnetism could propel him to the nomination - I doubt that he would win the election. Richardson has a very impressive resume but his resume padding (MLB draftee), the security lapses at the nuclear labs under his watch as Energy Secretary and the rumors of his lack of discipline would combine to make him very vulnerable.

I am a supporter of Wesley Clark. I can think of no other Democrat who would appeal to red states as much as Clark.

Posted by: JimD in FL | December 18, 2006 10:46 AM | Report abuse

I think that Democrats will ultimately look for a safe bet in '08, because the thought of not winning the White House after 2 Bush terms will terryify them... That means no Clinton (b/c she's a Clinton and a woman) and no Obama (b/c he's inexperienced and black).

Edwards would be the safe pick, except that if he gets scrutiny early, too many commentators will conclude that he is vapid.

Mark Warner would be the runaway winner if he hadn't dropped out. Bayh might have had a shot too, though I understand his misgivings.

I think the party votes for serious and safe. Probably either Biden or Vilsack.

Posted by: MC | December 18, 2006 10:41 AM | Report abuse

FreeDom, the sad fact is that competence doesn't always win elections. Successful candidates have to be charismatic and the resume is just not enough for many voters. Personally, I would love to see Joe Biden getting some more attention because he is the best guy the Dems have when it comes to foreign policy, but I'm not at all confident that he will be a contender. Experience and resume are only part of the package when it comes to winning over the American public (sigh).

Posted by: GoBlue girl | December 18, 2006 10:38 AM | Report abuse

't might be far better to lock down control of the Senate and the House and let a Republican try to dig himself out of what the current White House has done.'

Too dangerous.

'The real question is whether voters actually want competence?'

The serious idealogues and profiteers certainly don't. That would bring oversight and light shone into corners they'd rather keep dark.

Posted by: drindl | December 18, 2006 10:36 AM | Report abuse

Resume Candidates may be winners. If a guy like Richardson is THE only resume candidate in the field, he'll stick out more. Voters may be attracted by competence (for once!) and therefore treat Ricahrdson more seriously. It's easier to do that if he's not competing with Bayh for that spot. Furthermore, as a hispanic, Richardson has other electoral draws. The real question is whether voters actually want competence?

Posted by: FreeDom | December 18, 2006 10:31 AM | Report abuse

There is no way that Edwards chooses Bayh as his VP. They look too much alike. Also the Democrats will have either a minority or a woman on the ticket in some way shape or form in 2008. Also IMO the Democratic Nominee will have to have voted against the War or said they would vote against it.
That means Richardson, Obama, Clark are your best bets for the nomination at this point. Edwards might sneak in because he said early on that his vote on the war was a mistake. Hillary never backed off her vote and she is going to pay for that in the primary (no matter what James Carvile is telling her).

Posted by: Andy R | December 18, 2006 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Just in Obama concerned about personal safety.

Posted by: lylepink | December 18, 2006 10:20 AM | Report abuse

Bayh is best friends with Edwards and was trying to vie for the labor support. As soon as Edwards signed Bonior, Bayh knew that the labor angle was going to lose points.

Posted by: Truth | December 18, 2006 10:07 AM | Report abuse

Barak Obama has a very real chance of getting the nomination. He'll own the minority vote. He has rich and powerful backers (Warren Buffet, Bill Gates, Oprah Winfrey). He appears to be a legitimate Christian (liberal Christian/Catholic vote). He is smart, well spoken, and well educated. He plays well on TV. I've heard women say they find him attractive. Most importantly, he has the magic. People are inspired by the man. Obama can win.

Posted by: nerdoff | December 18, 2006 10:03 AM | Report abuse

Here's a thought: do we really want a Democrat in charge in 2008? Do we want a Democrat trying (and likely failing) to clean up the tragic messes this administration has created already and will no doubt create in the next two years? It might be far better to lock down control of the Senate and the House and let a Republican try to dig himself out of what the current White House has done.

Posted by: Toulouse | December 18, 2006 9:46 AM | Report abuse

Don't quite understand CC's comment about "Moderates" on the Losers section. Does this mean CC is counting Clinton as a Loser or a Winner on the minus-Bayh equation?

"Moderates: With Bayh and Warner out of the race, the moderate/centrist wing of the Democratic Party has no top-tier candidate in the race. Clinton has worked to position herself as a centrist on a number of high-profile issues, including the war in Iraq, and could well benefit from the absence of an obvious moderate alternative. For the last several election cycles, the power and energy in the party appears to have shifted to the liberal left -- a trend that appears likely to continue in 2008."

Posted by: Amy | December 18, 2006 9:45 AM | Report abuse

"a single red state pick-up for Democrats in 2000 or 2004 would have swung the election the other way"

This was not entirely true in 2004. While a shift of Florida or Ohio would have changed the outcome, a shift of a single red state like Indiana or Virginia, Bayh's and Warner's red home states, respectively, would not have been enough to change the outcome. GWB ended up with 286 electoral votes. 270 are needed to win. Indiana brings 11 EVs and Virginia 13 EVs. Switch either, but not both, and GWB would have still had enough EVs, with at least 273.

Posted by: not mario cuomo | December 18, 2006 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Winners: The American People, from having to put up with Bayh's insufferable being. The man stands for nothing. Literally.

Posted by: Vincente | December 18, 2006 9:38 AM | Report abuse

Sen. Bayh helped the folks throughout the entire country in that he has enough sense to know that the nomination will go to Hillary if she wants it. The thing that troubles me is the media and their shameful promotion of Barak Obama who,IMO, has a ZERO chance of being on the dem ticket in 08. A lot of the posters here are doing the same thing and it brings up the question as to why and the simple answer is they are against Hillary for she is the one dem the repubs know they cannot beat in Nov. 08. I have stated Hillary is the repubs worst nightmare and by reading these posts they are proving my statements about Hillary are more and more accutate as time goes by.

Posted by: lylepink | December 18, 2006 9:31 AM | Report abuse

I really can't beleive anybody thinks Guliani would settle for VP. You clearly don't know him -- he has a monstrous ego.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 18, 2006 9:23 AM | Report abuse

I agree partly with Staley, Edwards looks like a safe bet. I would rather go with Edwards than with HRC or Obama. I think an Edwards/Bayh ticket would be a very formidable one.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 18, 2006 9:22 AM | Report abuse

What republican trade practices have brought on us:

'WASHINGTON Dec 18, 2006 (AP)-- America's deficit in the broadest measure of trade shot up to an all-time high in the summer, reflecting the huge jump in the country's foreign oil bill.

The Commerce Department reported Monday that the current account trade deficit increased 3.9 percent to a record $225.6 billion in the July-September quarter. That represented 6.8 percent of the country's total economy, up from 6.6 percent of the gross domestic product in the spring quarter.

The current account is the broadest measure of U.S. trade because it tracks not only the flow of goods and services across borders but also investment flows. The figure is closely watched by economists because it represents the amount of money the country must borrow from foreigners to make up the difference between what America imports and what it sells overseas.

The current account deficit is expected to hit a new record for the full year, far surpassing last year's $791.5 billion imbalance even though the shortfall for the fourth quarter is likely to show an improvement, reflecting the drop in oil prices after hitting records this summer.

Democrats, who took over control of the House and Senate in the November elections, attacked President Bush's trade policies, charging that the administration has run up record deficits for five straight years by failing to protect U.S. workers from unfair foreign trade practices.'

Posted by: drindl | December 18, 2006 9:05 AM | Report abuse

'I had just about been driven to distraction by the catch-word of the moment: "surge." As in, the President's "New Way Forward" in Iraq calls for a "surge" of additional troops. How can such a ridiculous euphemism makes its way into print past so many editors in one week's time?

But Colin Powell made a good point today about what "surge" really means:


Before any decision to increase troops, "I'd want to have a clear understanding of what it is they're going for, how long they're going for. And let's be clear about something else. . . . There really are no additional troops. All we would be doing is keeping some of the troops who were there, there longer and escalating or accelerating the arrival of other troops."
"That's how you surge. And that surge cannot be sustained." The "active Army is about broken," Powell said. Even beyond Iraq, the Army and Marines have to "grow in size, in my military judgment," and Congress must provide significant additional funding to sustain them.

Suddenly "surge" seems worth co-opting, as a euphemism for ephemeral last gasp.'

http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/

Posted by: jana | December 18, 2006 8:59 AM | Report abuse

Now, before everyone gets upset and thinks that we are saying all southerners are racists: the data does not say that. But when it comes to conservative white southerners, I'm sorry to say that the evidence is clear. When all is said and done, the thing that separates them from the rest of the nation is racism. All the racial codes, the slick misdirection, even the appeals to homophobia and religion are in some sense directed at this one simple characteristic. And that characteristic is the thing that trumps all the other concerns about economic justice that Democrats persist in believing they can use to persuade white southern males to vote for them. Democrats simply cannot thread that needle.

Schaller does not "write off the south" as so many assume. Indeed, he explicitly endorses Howard Dean's 50 state strategy to build for the future and ensure that Democrats are prepared to step in where opportunities present themselves. What he is saying is it is impossible for Democrats to currently win nationally by trying to appeal to the southern conservative majority, which seems to me to be an obvious point. You can't be all things to all people.

Yet we have seen for decades now a concerted effort to persuade the Dems that they must appeal to NASCAR dads and "the heartland" and "evangelicals" and all the other cultural signifiers that relate closely to the conservative south. But that's not where the votes for us are and the more we try to get them, the less appealing we are to everyone else. As Schaller persuasively shows, there are plenty of votes to be had among blue collar workers in the upper mid-west and among the less traditionalist and religious types in the west and southwest. These appeals offer the possibility of emphasizing areas on which we agree instead of compromising on fundamental issues on which we never can. Schaller's "diamond demography" chapter shows exactly where the Dems stand the most to gain.

The fact is that it is the Republicans who have backed themselves into a corner. By allowing their southern wingnuts to dominate they have marginalized themselves and are losing their appeal to the country as a whole.

Posted by: Anonymous | December 18, 2006 8:58 AM | Report abuse

No way you get a Clinton/Obama ticket, in any order. Neither of them would go near the Vice Presidency with a Geiger counter.

Personally, I'm with Rodger. Richardson, at this point, has my primary vote if he wants it. Richardson/Warner would stomp anything the Republicans can put out there, simply on the basis of competence.

Posted by: jazzyndn | December 18, 2006 8:53 AM | Report abuse

'Thousands More Dead In Continuing Iraq Victory

America marks three and a half years of winning in Iraq, and nearly 3,000 victory deaths

Statistics released by the Department Of Defense estimated that 2,937 U.S. troops and over 100,000 Iraqi civilians have died in the ongoing American military victory in Iraq.

General George Casey, Jr. lauds "another plainly measurable step" in America's victory.

"Victory deaths are at a higher level than we had anticipated, yes," Gen. George Casey, Jr. said at a press conference shortly after the figures were released. "But one of the crucial lessons of our Vietnam experience is that a victory, in order to remain victorious, can't be abandoned halfway through, or in the case of Iraq, one-of Iraq, one-eighth of the way through."

"And significantly more troops may be required if we are to continue to enjoy that victory, especially if this turns into an all-out civil war," Casey added, stressing that it was still too early to deem the victory a "quagmire."

Posted by: Anonymous | December 18, 2006 8:50 AM | Report abuse

'Everybody notes former Secretary of State Colin Powell broke his long-held silence on the issue when he declared yesterday that the U.S. Army "is about broken" and he doubts an increase in the number of troops in Iraq would help resolve the current situation. Instead, he said the United States should work to transfer security responsibilities to Iraqi forces and American troops should begin withdrawing next year.'

Posted by: better late than never | December 18, 2006 8:46 AM | Report abuse

Big Bill (Richardson) just spent weekend in NH shaking hands...he'll do it more...and more...Don't count him out, he's not even it it, yet. He's driven to work hard...I was with him when he broke Guinness Record of shaking 13,200+ hands in 1 day - he may shake that many, and more in NH, before he decides if he's running for POTUS!

Posted by: Rodger | December 18, 2006 8:44 AM | Report abuse

'The New York Times leads with a story on how an American civilian, who was also a whistle-blower, was detained for 97 days in a U.S.-run maximum-security detention site in Baghdad. The story illustrates how disorganized the detention system is in Iraq and shows how little recourse an American has to challenge his imprisonment.'

--Well you're right about that, staley. Here's just another example of the combination of incompetence and danger to the constitution that this worst-administration-in-Us-history represents. Any democrat will do better. It would be imipossible not to.

Posted by: drindl | December 18, 2006 8:43 AM | Report abuse

I was thinking the same thing about Bayh's hopes for the VP nomination. Being an early (and likely forgotten) "dropper-outer" puts him in a much better position than also-ran. Same with Mark Warner.

What worries me about this is HRC and Obama are both interesting but even their supporters must agree that they would be very risky as the nominee. That's not saying that we should refuse to pick them, but Democrats may ultimately conclude just that. Which (at this point, anyway) looks as though we could end up with John Edwards. And something about the last campaign just left me with pretty strong misgivings about Edwards (like he seems awfully malleable and opportunistic). I don't think he will ever be President--and I don't really think I want him to be.

I was comforted the other day by one thought: it would ba almost impossible to do any worse than we have right now, even if the GOPpers win again.

Posted by: Staley | December 18, 2006 8:32 AM | Report abuse

Please....it's painfully obvious to all but the mental patients out there that the '08 race is Hillary-Obama vs McCain-Rudy. The only mystery is who gets the top of each ticket.

Can't we just pencil that in now and save a few hundred million dollars? Maybe we could give the money to charity or something.

Posted by: JD | December 18, 2006 8:31 AM | Report abuse

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