The Fix Talks Back: More Thoughts on 2008
I chatted online yesterday, but -- as usual -- wasn't able to get to all of the great questions that were submitted. So, without further ado, let's get started.
Silver Spring, Md.: What do you think about Sen. Sam Brownback as a presidential candidate? There is a HUGE hole on the Right, especially among social conservatives. All the possible favorites there -- Frist, Allen, Jeb Bush -- have either self-destructed or taken themselves out of the running.
The Fix: A cursory look at the current Republican field reveals that neither of the two frontrunners -- Arizona Sen. John McCain and Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney -- is likely to emerge as the favorite son for social conservatives. Romney's record on social issues is something less than consistent, and many social conservatives remain skeptical about McCain as a result of his race against President George W. Bush in 2000. Who among the remaining candidates can fill this niche? Brownback and Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee seem best positioned -- though neither has done much to impress over the past year. Brownback has done little in terms of travel or fundraising to indicate he is serious about the race. Huckabee has traveled relentlessly around the country but not yet put into place any sort of campaign infrastructure either nationally or in early voting states.
Washington, D.C.: Can you size up Bill Richardson for me? I'm really not convinced, having seen him interviewed on various MSM outlets, that he is anything more than a politician's politician. What do his supporters know that I don't?
The Fix: On paper, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson may be the most impressive candidate in the Democratic 2008 field. He has been a congressman, cabinet secretary, ambassador and governor -- a resume that few in elected office can match. Plus, Richardson is Hispanic, which, in the eyes of many party strategists, gives him a unique ability to speak to this increasingly influential voting bloc. So why isn't Richardson a frontrunner for his party's nod? Put simply: Discipline -- or lack thereof. To Richardson's credit, he has ridden his large personality to considerable political success, but real questions remain as to whether he can stand up to intense national media scrutiny that would come with a White House bid. For now, I have Richardson ranked No. 5 on The Fix's presidential Line.
Indianapolis: When will congressional districts be redrawn? Can it be done before the 2008 elections?
The Fix: A ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court earlier this year affirmed the right of state legislatures to redraw congressional district lines at any time. That ruling fundamentally altered the calculus of both parties. Traditionally, the redistricting process was restricted to the election cycle after the decennial census. While Democrats have regularly threatened retaliation for the 2003 Texas re-redistricting, they have yet to follow through.
New York, N.Y.: Amazing job with The Fix. It was a must read for me this political season. My question is this. Lieberman stated emphatically throughout the campaign that he would caucus with the Democrats. Then, on "Meet the Press" on Sunday he was suddenly hedging his bets a bit. Do you see him holding this over the Dems for the next two years? Or would moving to the GOP be political suicide knowing somewhat what the Senate landscape looks like in '08? Thanks.
The Fix: Clearly, given your comments about The Fix, you are an astute observer of politics. That said, I think Lieberman is making sure that Senate Democrats know not to take him for granted in the 110th Congress. Ever since losing the Democratic primary to Ned Lamont back in August, Lieberman has insisted he would caucus with Democrats if reelected. And as you might have noticed, most Senate Democrats endorsed Lamont but did little else to defeat Lieberman -- a sure sign that they did not want to anger him into switching allegiance should he come back to the Senate. Lieberman will be treated with kid gloves by incoming Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (Nev.) going forward.
November 16, 2006; 5:54 PM ET
Categories: Fix Notes
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