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The Line: Can Any '08er Knock Off McCain or Clinton?

The number of candidates entering (and entering and entering) and exiting the 2008 presidential race makes it feel more like January 2008 than January 2007.

With the primary and caucus calendar likely to be more compressed than ever before, candidates are being forced to announce their decisions incredibly early -- to give themselves time to raise the vast sums and build the early state infrastructures necessary to compete.

The emphasis on early money and early organizational strength accrues to the benefit of the perceived frontrunners, who will have all cash and staff power to compete in multiple states simultaneously.

That's not to say that someone can't crack the Big 3 in each party. But it is clearly more difficult to do that in a field with multiple well-known and well-funded candidates running for a nomination likely to be decided by Feb. 5, 2008 -- if not sooner.

As always, the No. 1 candidates below are the ones most likely to win their party's nomination in 2008 -- at this still-early stage in the 2008 cycle. The comments section is open for debate.

To the Line!

REPUBLICANS

1. John McCain: There is a growing sense in Washington that the war in Iraq -- and McCain's outspoken support for sending in more troops -- is more dangerous to his White House hopes than any of his Republican rivals. McCain seems worn out from defending his position; he appeared tired and somewhat laconic during appearance last weekend on NBC's "Meet the Press." And Roger Simon's story in the Politico is just one in a series of looks at whether or not McCain is up to the job. He remains the frontrunner for the nomination thanks to his successful courting of the party establishment nationwide and in places like Iowa and South Carolina, but the sense of inevitability has slipped slightly. (Previous ranking: 1)

2. Mitt Romney: Romney's campaign is checking all the necessary boxes to ensure he remains a viable candidate. Proved that he can raise a lot of money very quickly? Check. Bolster his foreign policy credentials? Check and check. Show that he is agile enough to respond quickly to attacks on his record? Check. At some point, checking boxes won't be enough to convince voters why they should be with Romney, but for the early stages of the nomination he has performed admirably. (Previous ranking: 2)

3. Rudy Giuliani: The question for Giuliani is whether or not he can find ways to convince social conservatives that while he differs with them on abortion and gay rights, he will not bring those personal beliefs to bear on his governing philosophy. The best suggestion we've heard is for Hizzoner to give a high-profile speech in which he makes clear that he favors appointing justices who adhere to conservative principles. Judges are a flashpoint for conservatives, and by speaking out forcefully on the topic Giuliani could win some significant good will despite his personal views. It's still a VERY difficult challenge, and The Fix remains skeptical that he will -- in the end -- make the race. (Previous ranking: 3)

4. Sam Brownback: It's hard to imagine how the timing of Brownback's announcement could have been any worse, coming as it did on the same day that Clinton established a presidential exploratory committee. In many ways, last Saturday was indicative of the kind of campaign Brownback will run -- largely below the radar of the national media. Unlike the three candidates ranked above him on the Line, Brownback won't likely be able to raise tens of millions of dollars or hire dozens of staffers with ties to President Bush's past campaigns. Instead, he will rely on a strongly motivated volunteer corps united around his social conservative beliefs. If you think there aren't enough of those people to make a difference, read Dana Milbank's column on Brownback. And remember if Brownback can win, place or show in Iowa, the game changes for him. (Previous ranking: 5)

5. Newt Gingrich: Every time we decide that Gingrich will ultimately run for president, we read a story like this one and are forced to rethink that conclusion. At the moment there's plenty of room in the field for Gingrich -- an ideas guy who can speak the language of social conservatives. But will that space be there come this fall, which is when Gingrich has said he will make up his mind? Brownback is already working to fill that slot as are others -- former Govs. Tommy Thompson (Wisc.) and Jim Gilmore (Va.) jump to mind. Politics is all about timing. And Gingrich may have lost this race before it starts by setting too long a timeline. (Previous ranking: 4)

DEMOCRATS

1. HIllary Rodham Clinton: After two years of waiting, Clinton is officially in the presidential race. And for all the hype -- much of it deserved -- surrounding Obama, Clinton still carries huge institutional advantages in this race. Often forgotten is the fact that Clinton will be the only woman in the race -- a not insignificant edge in a Democratic primary. (The Post's Lois Romano detailed the opportunities and challenges Clinton faces in wooing women to her cause.) She also will have as much money as she needs to spend on building a top-notch organization and running scads of television ads in early states. And were we the only ones who were surprised by Clinton's 40 percent lead over Obama among black voters in the two most recent Post-ABC polls? (Previous ranking: 1)

2. (tie) John Edwards: We hear more negative rumors about Edwards than we do about all of the other Democrats combined. He's struggling to raise money. He abandoned the people who helped him in 2004. He can't find quality staff in early primary states. Hogwash (to quote Vice president Cheney), according to Edwards insiders. So are all the Edwards naysayers a sign of his strength? Or is it just that people plain don't like him. We don't know the right answer. Here's what we do know. His campaign rollout drew kudos from even his most bitter critics. and he continues to lead the field in Iowa. For now, that's good enough to keep him in the second slot on The Line. (Previous ranking: 2)

2. (tie) Barack Obama: Despite the massive levels of media coverage, The Fix was comfortable keeping Obama in the No. 3 slot until he rolled out the names in his political inner circle. The group, which is arguably the strongest in the field, includes people who possess deep knowledge of national campaign and nomination fights and should make up for their candidate's lack of experience on the national stage. Obama is an immensely talented politician, but we're withholding a full swoon until we see how he wears on the campaign trail over the next few months. One side note: If you haven't read Michael Fletcher's story on how Obama's candidacy is playing in the black community, do it now. How Obama balances his support in the black community with his need to appeal to white voters will be an ongoing storyline in the 2008 campaign. (Previous ranking: 3)

3. Open, see No. 2.

4. Bill Richardson: There's a considerable gap at the moment between Clinton, Obama and Edwards ... and everyone else. Richardson, who formally announced his candidacy less than 24 hours after Clinton made hers official, earns this spot on The Line based on his impressive resume -- governor, congressman, ambassador, cabinet secretary -- and his Hispanic heritage. Plus, Richardson is one of the biggest personalities in the race and should get plenty of press coverage because of his willingness to talk (and talk) with reporters about just about anything. If one of the top three stumbles, Richardson is best positioned to move up. (Previous ranking: 4)

5. Tom Vilsack: If there's anyone in the Democratic field who's used to running from behind, it's Vilsack. During his 1998 campaign for governor, he was counted out with a few weeks left in the election but came back for a shocking win. The Fix once -- affectionately -- referred to Sen. Evan Bayh (Ind.) as the tortoise of the 2008 Democratic race. We're moving that slow and steady moniker to Vilsack. He won't do much flashy between now and November, but Vilsack is slowly but surely building a portfolio of policy proposals. And did we mention he is the former two-term governor of Iowa? (Previous ranking: 5)

By Chris Cillizza  |  January 26, 2007; 8:45 AM ET
Categories:  Eye on 2008 , The Line  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Clinton in Iowa: Setting Expectations
Next: Harold Ford Jr.'s Seat at the Party

Comments

Or might it be Al Gore?

Posted by: Paul de Havilland | February 19, 2007 4:24 PM | Report abuse

Dick Morris has an interesting article entitled, "Here comes Newt" from Feb. 14, that argues that McCain is on the decline, Giuliani is poised to be the centrist pick within the party; but on the right, Romney is on the decline and Gingrich has a shot to be the conservative pick if he jumps in the race now.

It's a reminder that this horse race is still just out of the gates and there's a lot of jockeying left to come.

As strong and inevitable as Hillary or Obama appear, with Edwards getting an outside shot, I still think none of them may win the nomination. When you start to look down the lineup, not many others jump out. Maybe Bill Richardson. But will UN foreign policy experience fit the bill with a majority looking for someone who can be smart and careful, but still tough.

The one that always stands out as having great potential is Wesley Clark. He's been on the record opposed to the war from Day 1, but isn't a dove that will be eliminated in the general election. He actually speaks intelligently about a lot of matters and can speak to the Christian left and center. He came in at a bad time in 2004 and didn't have his act together. But, he's seen the show. He won a primary. He has experience getting the US out of a mess of a war in the past. I hope he gets in this race.

A time will come, perhaps in a few months, when people will find themselves wavering on Hillary, Barack and Edwards, and they'll be looking for the new, new thing. Wesley Clark could be the one.

Posted by: Jon | February 15, 2007 12:10 AM | Report abuse

Nancy - stormin' Norman for president? Haha. Nice one.

Posted by: Aussie view | February 1, 2007 7:40 AM | Report abuse

I don't understand why Guiliiani leads McCain and Romney in every poll but is ranked number 3. I wonder why the polls are so wrong? Maybe they are of all voters and not likely Rebublican voters?

Posted by: Pete | January 31, 2007 7:01 PM | Report abuse

US President Tim Kalemkarian, US Senate Tim Kalemkarian, US House Tim Kalemkarian: best major candidate.

Posted by: anonymous | January 31, 2007 5:46 PM | Report abuse

I think Rudy Giuliani would make an excellent running mate. Ideal republican ticket would be General Norman Schwarzkopf for President in 2008 with Rudy as his VP. Stormin' Norman could help out with the Iraq and Middle East conflicts with his knowledge and background.

Posted by: Nancy | January 31, 2007 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Howdy Folks. I was wondering if anyone had any details on the Eastern re-union that is being held in Moncton in 2007. Cheers, Dan

Posted by: Lauryn | January 31, 2007 1:59 AM | Report abuse

I've seen Vilsack in action in Iowa, and he's actually a pretty good speaker, rousing even, at times. Looking at him that's not what you'd expect, but it's true.

Posted by: Ian | January 30, 2007 11:50 AM | Report abuse

"The Bush years have been such a fiasco that the American people are loathe to let another GOPer into the White House any time soon. "

I'd rather think that, democratic or republican, America won't vote for a stubborn candidate. GWB said "you can agree or disagree with me but here's what I'm gonna do" and since America needed a strong leader then, Bush was given carte blanche. America needs a new way, a new approach. You can find it in both camps.

"As a democrat, I'm looking for Obama to do enough damage to Clinton to allow Edwards to step up from behind,"
Come on, how can you vote for someone whose ass got kicked by Cheney?

Posted by: Pierre | January 30, 2007 4:27 AM | Report abuse

As a democrat, I'm looking for Obama to do enough damage to Clinton to allow Edwards to step up from behind, and then take Obama as his running mate. An Edwards/Obama combination (or even dare I say it, a Gore/Obama combination) will be something the dem's are likely to feel more comfortable with that Clinton V McCain. A Clinton V McCain situation is one of those where voters prefer Clinton until they actually vote - where there's a very very late reversion to conservatism - the just-in-case vote - and dem's would do wise to avoid it. Edwards gets the NE and the south, as well as being by far Iowa's strongest dem, and Obama attracts the centrists.

Posted by: Paul de Havilland | January 30, 2007 3:39 AM | Report abuse

No Republican is going to win the presidency in 2008. The Bush years have been such a fiasco that the American people are loathe to let another GOPer into the White House any time soon. McCain may have had a chance, but his surge support has already ruined that chance, so there goes that. Come November 2008, the Democrats will slightly increase their numbers in the House, drastically increase their majority in the Senate, and take back the White House. Why? Because Bush and the GOP staked the entire future of the conservative movement on the Iraq War. The recent years of Republican dominance only exposed the Republicans as corrupt and inept... the American people aren't going to forget that any time soon.

Posted by: ErrinF | January 29, 2007 7:56 PM | Report abuse

The most critical asset the next POTUS needs is respect and credibility in the International community. Bush has severly damaged Americas reputation, that needs to be restored.

So, the top candidates are:
1. Gore - hope he runs, he's got gravitas, extensive foreign policy and executive experience.
2. Richardson - well qualified, and well regarded.
3. McCain - been around the longest, extensive foreign policy knowledge. Iraq view is unpopular, but outside America he is still well regarded.
4. Biden - been around a long time, extensive foreign policy knowledge.

Obama, Edwards, Romney are all candidates speaking a message of hope with no track record behind them. The last time America picked a 'hope' candidate ahead of an established experienced candidate was in 2000. Let us hope they don't make the same mistake again.

A Gore/Richardson ticket on the Dem side would rock. None of the Repub candidates have got it IMO. McCain has a good stance on the environment, but his Iraq view makes him a no go. If Gore doesn't run, then I'm hoping Richardson goes all the way.

Posted by: JayPe | January 29, 2007 6:18 PM | Report abuse

On the game-
Preferred R ticket: Rudy and Romney- America's Mayor and the fightin' flip-flopping Mormon from Massachusetts!

Likely R nominee: McCain, probably Romney for VP if he does well in primaries, Pawlenty otherwise

Likely D ticket: Clinton/Bayh
Preferred D ticket: Gore/Warner (though the truth is none of the Ds impress me much!)

And the next President is....

if economy stays more or less OK, the President of the United States will be John S. McCain.

Posted by: Woodrow | January 29, 2007 3:04 PM | Report abuse

On the game-
Preferred R ticket: Rudy and Romney- America's Mayor and the fightin' flip-flopping Mormon from Massachusetts!

Likely R nominee: McCain, probably Romney for VP if he does well in primaries, Pawlenty otherwise

Likely D ticket: Clinton/Bayh
Preferred D ticket: Gore/Warner (though the truth is none of the Ds impress me much!)

And the next President is....

if economy stays more or less OK, the President of the United States will be John S. McCain.

Posted by: Woodrow | January 29, 2007 3:00 PM | Report abuse

Given the republicans lack of resolve combined with the elite liberal media's adamant insistance in electing a liberal democrat in 2008, it is the elite liberal media who will choose the president in 2008, not the American people. They are already in the process of coronating Hillary Clinton(a.k.a.nurse Ratchet)America's first queen and the GOP knows it. The problem is her liberal values are antithetical to mainstream America!

Posted by: Roy | January 29, 2007 2:39 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, guess there was another point to be made. When I lived in Omaha, and Hagel was running against Ben Nelson for the US Senate, my ex and I had a very long discussion about that race. Now, Michelle is a lot to the left of me, politically, and I don't believe that with that exception she has ever voted for a Republican, but the end result was that we flipped a coin to decide who would vote for Nelson and who would vote for Hagel, that's how much Chuck Hagel impressed us.

That said, if Hagel wants to be President, it will be as a Dem or Independent, because he can NOT win the Republican nomination. There was stuff about him giving Bob Kerrey money, and he's never really been a good fit with the modern Republican party. I personally think the country could do a lot worse than having Chuck Hagel be President, but I cannot forsee any circumstance under which the Repubs will nominate him this time or at any future point.

Steve

Posted by: Steve | January 29, 2007 1:01 PM | Report abuse

Oh yeah, guess there was another point to be made. When I lived in Omaha, and Hagel was running against Ben Nelson for the US Senate, my ex and I had a very long discussion about that race. Now, Michelle is a lot to the left of me, politically, and I don't believe that with that exception she has ever voted for a Republican, but the end result was that we flipped a coin to decide who would vote for Nelson and who would vote for Hagel, that's how much Chuck Hagel impressed us.

That said, if Hagel wants to be President, it will be as a Dem or Independent, because he can NOT win the Republican nomination. There was stuff about him giving Bob Kerrey money, and he's never really been a good fit with the modern Republican party. I personally think the country could do a lot worse than having Chuck Hagel be President, but I cannot forsee any circumstance under which the Repubs will nominate him this time or at any future point.

Steve

Posted by: Steve | January 29, 2007 1:00 PM | Report abuse

"McCain doesn't have chance he'll be decimated by his memebership in the Keating Five, his divorce and his joke about Chelsea."

I don't see where's the problem with the joke about Chelsea. Funny or not, that's really not a big deal. Anyway, The Clintons accepted his apologies.

Posted by: Pierre | January 29, 2007 12:52 PM | Report abuse

Here's a mish mosh of my observations, not to be stated with metaphysical certainty (as ViennaVoter accused me of a couple of weeks ago ;) ) but more just for fun:

1) I saw Mike Huckabee on MTP, and while I sincerely doubt that I'll vote for him, he might be the most formidable candidate the Repubs can put up, if he can walk the line on the evangelical thing, and continues along the line about poverty issues, and environmental issues and how his faith informs his views on how these issues need to be addressed.

2) I think that the Dem race is going to shape up to be a three (maybe four party) throw down, but I'm starting to doubt that Obama will be one of those parties. Where things would get really crazy would be if Gore gets in. I think Richardson has some room to make his case, and that the dynamic that I see is people outside of the Clinton-Obama camps coalescing around one or two candidates as the anti-Hilary/Obama or with Gore in the race, probably just Gore. Richardson being hispanic doesn't affect him in the same way that Obama being what he (1/2 black African)

3) The concept of Obama as the "black" candidate might be overplayed. Reading the material that CC posted last week, and talking to some friends in Chicago, Obama might be a person without a home, or at home with everyone depending on how events play. He isn't a black American in the sense that his father was first generation and as such he might very well be viewed with suspicion by the native black community. At any rate, Edwards and Clinton aren't going to give him a free pass in the black community, nor Gore if he gets in.

4) At some point Obama is going to have to come up with some substance, and preliminary reports are not promising. Its easy to be the guy who's in favor of a nebulous sort of "new politics" and sometimes it even works, especially in the 84 mold of campaign where the frontrunner is a hidebound party hack, or in the 92 mold where there isn't a clear frontrunner. With Edwards and Clinton in the race, this race doesn't shape up to be either campaign. But when pressed, Obama said "there will be universal health care by the end of the next President's first term," which shows two things, 1) he's unwilling to be the first person out there with a proposal and 2) he's already adopted the pols fondness for talking in the third person, which kinda belies the whole "new politics" thing. Its easy to be for "universal health care" as an idea, its kinda like supporting Santa Claus and the Tooth Fairy. The reason it hasn't happened is that when it comes time to pay for it, nobody wants to do it.

That'll do for now.

Posted by: Steve | January 29, 2007 12:39 PM | Report abuse

Lylepink, thank you for your comments.

To Larry, I said the Marist poll shows 45% of the people want Condi run.

In the national polls, in a list of Rudy,McCain and Condi, she gets 10% to 15%, which is more than Newt, or Huckabee, or Hunter. She is in the top tier of ELECTABLE choices for the GOP in 2008.

Gallup shows Condi at 68% acceptable as the presidential candidate.

If you watched the Sunday shows, then you heard Joe Lieberman state that national defense and foreign policy are KEY factors for 2008. Joe also said he could support the Republican candidate in 2008. THAT IS A HUGE KICK IN THE FACE OF DEMOCRATS.

Condi Rice is a serious-minded diplomat. And the liberals who don't like her would not be voting for any Republican anyway. So it means nothing to me to read about why she should not be running.
But among the conservatives and Republican voters, that is a group of people who admire her and support her as a possible choice for 2008.
She has the administrative experience needed for the next president, by far more likely to be seen as GROOMING for higher office.
Few Senators have impact on policy, and few Senators ever get elected as president.
Condi Rice is seen in the minds and hearts of Republicans as a choice to carry on strong foreign policy.
The people who want a Democrat have a chance to vote and make their choices.
That is the same right the Republican have, and I come into THE FIX to debate why I support Condi over any of the other 10 names being shown to us.
No votes will be cast until January 2008, so we are debating this for the next year.
I don't mind debate, it just gets silly with the namecalling.

Posted by: Tina | January 29, 2007 12:29 PM | Report abuse

I am amazed at the sheer number of people joining the Presidential race. Is anyone else? People like Chris Dodd, George Pataki, Mike Huckabee, Sam Brownback, Dennis Kuciunich, ect. Does anyone have any surprise picks that could really make the primary a race for them besides: Clinton, Edwards, Obama and McCain, Romney and Guiliani?

If I had to pick a surprisingly strong cadidate I would go with Duncan Hunter. He's a defense hawk who is driving home the messege of "security through stregnth", promising to nominate conservative court justices and is focusing on "fair trade deals" to gain support from the textile industry. It should be very interesting to see how this messege spills over. Of the 4 early primary states, Hunter is spending the most time in South Carolina. SC is a big textile state with many retired service people and the majority of the state is conservative Christians. Romney has been campaigning there alot lately, and McCain enjoys the support of SC US senator Lyndsey Graham. Either way, Hunter's messege there in SC and a good showing for him in Iowa or Nevada could definately put him in the running for the 'R' nomination.

I don't see anyone running a campaign to win in the democratic nomination race except the front-runners: Clinton, Edwards and Obama.

I don't understand for the life of me why Sam Brownback is 4th in the R nomination. I am as conservative a Republican as they come...but Brownback has not really accomplished anything and there are alot more Conservative Christians that demonstrate love better than him. Were not electing head Pharisee, were electing a Republican nominee we think can win the election and lead the country. That being said, I think 4th has to be Duncan Hunter. He's been a vietnam vet, congressman, Head of the House Armed Services Committee, has a strong socially conservative voting record, a populist messege to the textile workers and executives who have lost jobs due to the perceived "unfair trade" deals with China, b/c they won't float their currency. So, I think Duncan Hunter is on to something. The big question for Hunter is: can he raise the money to compete? If he can, he could be the darkhorse that can win it all. If not, he's just another candidate. Time will tell.

Come on, folks. Any dark-horse predictions?

Posted by: reason | January 29, 2007 11:53 AM | Report abuse

McCain doesn't have chance he'll be decimated by his memebership in the Keating Five, his divorce and his joke about Chelsea. I think Huckabee has the best chance for Republicans in the general election

Posted by: JMP | January 29, 2007 11:39 AM | Report abuse

'José Wilfredo Salgado says he collected baby skulls as trophies in the 1980s, when he fought as a government soldier in El Salvador's civil war. They worked well as candleholders, he recalls, and better as good-luck charms.

In the most barbaric chapters of a conflict that cost more than 75,000 lives, he enthusiastically embraced the scorched-earth tactics of his army bosses, even massacres of children, the elderly, the sick -- entire villages.

It was all in the name of beating back communism, Salgado, now the mayor of San Miguel, said he remembers being told.

But as El Salvador commemorates the 15th anniversary of the war's end this month, Salgado is haunted by doubts about what he saw, what he did and even why he fought. A 12-year U.S.-backed war that was defined at the time as a battle over communism is now seen by former government soldiers such as Salgado, and by former guerrillas, as less a conflict about ideology and more a battle over poverty and basic human rights.

"We soldiers were tricked -- they told us the threat was communism," Salgado said as bodyguards with pistols tucked into their waistbands hovered nearby at his home, ringed by barbed wire. "But I look back and realize those weren't communists out there that we were fighting -- we were just poor country people killing poor country people."

Posted by: Negreponte''s previous project | January 29, 2007 9:20 AM | Report abuse

Of course it's going to be a filthy campaign, Pierre. it always is nowadays. Republicans have armies of oppo research people and dump tons of money into trashing dem candidates --In fact, that's their primary strategy. Did any R run on issues in the last campaign? No, they ran on painting their opponents as 'soft on terror' or other equally bogus slash-and-burn technique.

And this year, I think dems will fight back. So it's gong to be bloody.

Posted by: lark | January 29, 2007 9:08 AM | Report abuse

'FORT LAUDERDALE -- A pizza driver wanted in connection with the fatal shooting of a teen customer over stolen chicken wings and a man convicted of choking and slapping his 4-year-old nephew for playing with a light switch are among those licensed by the state of Florida to carry concealed guns, a newspaper reported today.

A South Florida Sun-Sentinel analysis of state records found loopholes, errors and miscommunication gave hundreds of criminals access to concealed weapons permits.

Among the roughly 410,000 Floridians licensed to carry a hidden gun: 1,400 people who pleaded guilty or no contest to felonies, 216 people with outstanding warrants, 128 people with active domestic violence injunctions and six registered sex offenders, the newspaper reported. '

Posted by: jeb bush is criminally incompetent too | January 29, 2007 9:02 AM | Report abuse

'New sources, including an advisor to Gov. Mike Huckabee, have told the Arkansas Times that Huckabee and a senior member of his staff exerted behind-the-scenes influence to bring about the parole of rapist Wayne Dumond, who Missouri authorities say raped and killed two women there shortly after his parole.

The Times' new reporting shows the extent to which Huckabee and a key aide were involved in the process to win Dumond's release. It was a process marked by deviation from accepted parole practice and direct personal lobbying by the governor, in an apparently illegal and unrecorded closed-door meeting with the parole board (the informal name by which the Post Prison Transfer Board is known).'

Does anyone think this story, which has been floating around for a couple of months, will hurt Huckabee at all?

Posted by: drindl | January 29, 2007 8:58 AM | Report abuse

About the "madrassa hoax", it's quite important for Obama's supporters not to let those awful rumors going on. That's an old dirty trick. A lot of people don't know Obama, and if that negative rumor is the first thing they hear about him, that's all they would remember. Remember 2004. Bush released a lot of ads portraying Kerry as a flip-flopper and it took a lot of time for Kerry to fight against it.
I think this is gonna be a really muddy campaign.

Posted by: Pierre | January 29, 2007 8:52 AM | Report abuse

On the GOP side, I have been very impressed with Huckabee's public appearances. To me he looks like the best contender to fill the enormous gap left in the Republican field by the implosion of George Allen. I also think Giuliani is underrated at #3--if the Republicans think he is their best (maybe only) shot to win an extremely tough general election, I believe they will line up behind him.

On the Democratic side, Edwards will need to make a strong move over the next few months. Given that he was the VP nominee in 2004, he should be an early leader based on name recognition alone, but in many polls he seems to be struggling to keep up with not only Clinton but Obama. And the idea that he is particularly strong in the early-primary states is a mixed blessing--for example, outside of Vilsack, Edwards probably has the most to lose in Iowa if he disappoints expectations.

Posted by: DTM | January 29, 2007 7:29 AM | Report abuse

I think America needs an humble and open minded President. That's what America mourned with Gerald Ford's death and that's what America longs for.

Posted by: Pierre | January 29, 2007 5:30 AM | Report abuse

I think that the Democrats only shot at winning is with a ticket of Bill Richardson and/or Kathleen Sebelius/Brian Schweitzer or Janet Napolitano. The Democrats can not let their passion overtake their reason. What America needs now is someone with both the international and domestic political skills to guide this country forward after the Bush years. It really is "all about the economy stupid!"

Posted by: Chris | January 29, 2007 3:52 AM | Report abuse

Tina is a troll.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 29, 2007 1:10 AM | Report abuse

to meuphys:

Tina keps contradicting herself. Eralier today Tina said 10 to 15 percent of people asked thought Condi should run. So, 85 to 90 percent of people don't think she should run. Tina seems to have trouble seeing the whole picture.

Posted by: larry | January 29, 2007 12:05 AM | Report abuse

Tina, why? WHY? i have yet to see a good reason that Condi Rice should be president, and plenty of reasons (on the news!) why not.

Posted by: meuphys | January 28, 2007 10:57 PM | Report abuse

Most of you will name the usual suspects as presidential contenders, but I believe it may be a sleeper and an underdog, and whoever that underdog is, I'm urging him or her to stand up for the underdog, and to adopt a campaign theme song reflecting of that message coming from an underdog artist like myself. This song is still available as a contender:

A Future to Behold
Dr BLT
words and music by Dr BLT (c)2007
http://www.drblt.net/music/future3.mp3

Dr BLT
blog n roll artist

Posted by: Bruce | January 28, 2007 8:56 PM | Report abuse

Tina: Do not let these folk intimidate you, your choice is what it is, no matter what. I admire you for taking your stand and really wish more folk would not be afraid to be as outspoken as you. This is what this country is all about and however much we may disagree, let us try to at least not stoop to the leval that so many appear to be doing.

Posted by: lylepink | January 28, 2007 6:37 PM | Report abuse

william is NO democrat, Tina -- not by a freeaking long shot...

Posted by: Anonymous | January 28, 2007 4:18 PM | Report abuse

Ok, here are the facts to William who said"YEAH RIGHT" after I reported that
There are thousands of dollars which have been spent already on TV and radio in Iowa, New Hampshire, Florida, and Tennessee promoting Condi for 2008.

****************
WHO radio in Iowa ran an ad for over 2 months of ad. You can easily call their radio station and ask.

WMUR of New Hampshire also ran weeks of radio ads plus a TV ad promoting Condi Rice for president. Again, you can easily call the station to confirm it.

Ads played in Texas, California, Florida and Tennessee. Paperwork has to be filled out by the 527 group, and it was reported in the news about the efforts nationwide.

William, pick up the phone and make some phone calls. If you want to challenge me, make it based on facts, not the fact that you don't like Condi Rice. The polls show that from 10% to 15% of the people polled have considered her and want her to run.
You can pick your choice for the Democrats, and you just need to accept the Republican voters have the right to make their choice as well. That is how the system is set up.

Posted by: Tina | January 28, 2007 2:21 PM | Report abuse

'Newt Gingrich bluntly described Iran's threat to the West in general and America and Israel in particular in his speech to the Herzliya Conference held by the Institute for Policy and Strategy.... If history repeats -- and let's pray it does not -- then Gingrich would find himself in the position that Churchill got to in 1939, when his correct assessment of the Nazi threat was tragically validated, and 60 million people (!) died horribly and unnecessarily.'

-newt as churchill -- ROFLOL

Posted by: of you precious wingnuts | January 28, 2007 2:10 PM | Report abuse

FYI: A couple things have happened this weekend that indeed does help my favorite, Hillary, and Obama as well. The "Madrassa Hoax", an indepth article by J. Alter, of newsweek, about the smear campaigh already being waged by our favorite conservative news outlets. The article points out two specific things I have been trying to get across. The "fear" factor and "accuse your opponent of doing what you are doing so you will know what you are doing".

Posted by: lylepink | January 28, 2007 2:06 PM | Report abuse

"The Guardian interviews a Mahdi army commander. "[Fadhel's] main job is kidnapping Sunnis allegedly involved in attacking Shia areas. It is men like Fadhel, responsible for the scores of bodies dumped on Baghdad's streets daily, whom the US troops pouring into Baghdad will have to bring under control if they are to have any hope of quelling the city's civil war. ... Fadhel and other Mahdi Army commanders describe an intimate relationship with Iraqi security services, especially the commandos of the Iraqi interior ministry. He says the Mahdi Army often uses these official forces in conducting its own operations against Sunni 'terrorists.'"

The Mahdi Army laying low, and Sunni militants step up attacks in Baghdad. "Basim Shareef, a member of Parliament and part of the Shiite coalition that controls the government, said the attacks might be timed to coincide with the Shiite holy days. But he thought it was more likely that militants were taking advantage of the relative lull in activity by Shiite militia leaders, who might be worried about becoming the targets of the new Baghdad security plan. ... The spate of recent attacks appear to have been designed not just to inflict the maximum amount of civilian suffering, but also to grind all aspects of daily life closer to a halt. In a little over a week, places of learning, busy shopping markets and even an animal market have been targets."

http://warandpiece.com/

Posted by: Anonymous | January 28, 2007 1:53 PM | Report abuse


The former first lady also said has learned the lessons of the last two presidential campaigns, both lost by Democrats who responded slowly to criticism.

"When you are attacked, you have to deck your opponent," Clinton said. "I have been through the political wars longer than some of you have been alive. We've got to be prepared to hold our ground and fight back."

Posted by: you go, girl | January 28, 2007 1:50 PM | Report abuse

lthough he has not been seen or heard since last July, a militant Islamist group in Algeria says Osama bin Laden gave formal approval this week for the group to change its name.

In a statement issued by the Algerian Salafist Group for Call and Combat (GSPC), the group -- now known as "Al Qaeda Organization in the Lands of the Islamic Maghreb"-- says it had to await bin Laden's personal review for the name change and has now received it.

Members of jihadi forums have noted that the new statement shows bin Laden is alive and well.

One posting, entitled "News About Sheikh Osama," points out that bin Laden's alleged response to the group is proof that he was supervising matters. "Thanks be to God for the good news. We await to hear your voice," said the posting.

Posted by: More bush failure | January 28, 2007 1:43 PM | Report abuse

'But there's the vote approval for a person who wants a surge - some of the candidates may now need to explain that one also.'

as Alan in Missoula notes, there aen't many choices. If you read about Petraus, you will note that he wrote the Army field guide to fighting insurgents, so he is well qualified, as eveyrone knows.

However, the official manual suggests we need many times more troops in relationship to Iraqis than we can possibly provide.

Posted by: drndl | January 28, 2007 1:42 PM | Report abuse

I saw some of the (in)famous Romney v Kennedy debate on Youtube. Gee Romney seems like a real slimeball to me. Just an impression I know but he seems incredibly insincere and doesn't seem like someone you can trust. Too much hair gel doesn't help either.
Seems like he will say anything and take any position the public wants...whatever helps him get elected.

Posted by: Aussie view | January 28, 2007 1:39 PM | Report abuse

'From high-dollar fraud to conspiracy to bribery and bid rigging, Army investigators have opened up to 50 criminal probes involving battlefield contractors in the war in Iraq and the U.S. fight against terrorism, The Associated Press has learned.

Senior contracting officials, government employees, residents of other countries and, in some cases, U.S. military personnel have been implicated in millions of dollars of fraud allegations.

"All of these involve operations in Iraq, Afghanistan and Kuwait," Chris Grey, a spokesman for the U.S. Army Criminal Investigation Command, confirmed Saturday to the AP.

"CID agents will pursue leads and the truth wherever it may take us," Grey said. "We take this very seriously."

Battlefield contractors have been implicated in allegations of fraud and abuse since the war in Iraq began in spring 2003. A special inspector general office that focused solely on reconstruction spending in Iraq developed cases that led to four criminal convictions.

The problems stem in part from the Pentagon's struggle to get a handle on the unprecedented number of contractors now helping run the nation's wars. Contractors are used in battle zones to do nearly everything but fight. They run cafeterias and laundries for troops, move supplies, run communication systems and repair weapons systems.'

Posted by: Donald Rumsfeld and the fruits of privatization... | January 28, 2007 1:34 PM | Report abuse

Generals serve in political jobs and serve the administration that commands them. Supporting and implementing the current Bush administration push for a "surge" is his duty. As a former soldier and combat veteran of Vietnam, I understand duty and why it transcends one's personal political beliefs.

I think if you read "In the Company of Soldiers," the story of his leadership of the 101st Division in Iraq, you will find that he is a thoughtful and free-thinking leader not bound by ideology. That is why he enjoys broad support in the Senate. Of course the new commander in Iraq is goping to support and implement the policy of the civilian commander in Chief. He either does that, or he retires.

It is retired generals who are free to criticize the administration's Iraq policy. Please note that a great many of them have done just that.

Frankly I am glad to see General Petraeus move up. He will probably rise to Army Chief of Staff some day.

In a difficult war, which I don't support, he is still one of the most intelligent leaders we coud have. If my son, a professional soldier who has already had one tour, has to go back, I will be relieved that it's General Petraeus leading the troops.

Posted by: Alan in Missoula | January 28, 2007 1:28 PM | Report abuse

I said "should we see a marked improvement" - not that we currently are.

But there's the vote approval for a person who wants a surge - some of the candidates may now need to explain that one also.

While some are scrambling to explain support, or proving they never supported the war, etc., the voting records of some keep making a different statement.

Just noting something that was pointed out this morning.

Posted by: dweeb | January 28, 2007 1:05 PM | Report abuse

i don't know where you're seeing "marked improvement." more bombs friday, saturday, and sunday - also, as another poster noted (although maybe not in this particular discussion - don't remember) even with bush's recent escalation, there are not as many boots on the ground as there were a year and a half ago, and things have only gotten worse since then. i trust the bipartisan examination by the Iraq Study Group far more than i do the deep - divinely-inspired? - thought of our president.

Posted by: meuphys | January 28, 2007 12:58 PM | Report abuse

Interesting note this morning - There is the "dichotomy" of the whirlwind Senate approval of General Petraeus who wants a surge but some candidates continue to demand withdrawl.

Interestingly enough - as pointed out, it does present an unfortunate situation if someone chooses to press the candidates for an explanation. Not a single dissenting vote.

So it would more seem that the interest is more about hammering an unpopular president than actually what they believe.

What was also noted this morning is that some are now backing away from the "it won't work" opinion - things appear to be slowly eeking around a turn - even al-Sadr's people are falling back.

I think we're witnessing a shift to the center by some to be able to maneuver to the "winning" opinion should we see a marked improvement in an unpopular conflict.

Posted by: dweeb | January 28, 2007 12:46 PM | Report abuse

Yet some involved in the increasingly aggressive standoff over Iran fear tensions will reach snapping point between March and June this year, with a likely scenario being Israeli air strikes on symbolic Iranian nuclear plants.

The sense of imminent crisis has been driven by statements from Israel, not least from Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who has insisted that 2007 is make-or-break time over Iran's nuclear programme.

. . .

It also emerged last week in the Israeli media that the country's private diplomatic efforts to convince the world of the need for tough action on Iran were being co-ordinated by Meir Dagan, the head of Israel's foreign intelligence service, Mossad.

Hawkish elements of the Israeli government working in tandem with hawkish elements of the U.S. government to spread the chaos outward.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 28, 2007 12:33 PM | Report abuse

Lieberman revealed for the bush weenie and toady thhat he is -- by Brownback!

'This morning on Fox News, Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-CT) echoed the Bush administration and claimed that people who oppose escalation in Iraq are emboldening terrorists. "[I]t will discourage our troops, who we're asking to carry out this new plan, and it will encourage the enemy," Lieberman said.

Sen. Sam Brownback (R-KS), who announced on Friday he will support Sen. John Warner's (R-VA) anti-escalation resolution, pointed out the obvious: "I don't see this enemy as needing any more emboldening or getting it from any resolution. They're emboldened now."

Posted by: Anonymous | January 28, 2007 12:27 PM | Report abuse


'Iran's efforts to produce highly enriched uranium, the material used to make nuclear bombs, are in chaos and the country is still years from mastering the required technology.

Iran's uranium enrichment programme has been plagued by constant technical problems, lack of access to outside technology and knowhow, and a failure to master the complex production-engineering processes involved. The country denies developing weapons, saying its pursuit of uranium enrichment is for energy purposes.

Despite Iran being presented as an urgent threat to nuclear non-proliferation and regional and world peace - in particular by an increasingly bellicose Israel and its closest ally, the US - a number of Western diplomats and technical experts close to the Iranian programme have told The Observer it is archaic, prone to breakdown and lacks the materials for industrial-scale production.'

Posted by: Contrary to the Propaganda... | January 28, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

He's in. It's going to be a battle on the right for who can out 'conservative' each other -- they'll call for an end to all abortions, then gay relationships, birth control, then they'll have to up the ante or call or stoning adulterers. It's gong to be a fun election...

'LITTLE ROCK, Arkansas (AP) -- Republican Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas governor and a favorite of conservatives, will take the first step in a 2008 presidential bid, an official told The Associated Press on Friday.

Huckabee, 51, plans to file papers on Monday establishing an exploratory committee that will allow him to raise money and hire campaign staff, said the official, who spoke on condition of anonymity to avoid pre-empting a formal announcement.'

Posted by: Anonymous | January 28, 2007 12:16 PM | Report abuse

'Contrary to the common liberal view, I don't believe that the 9/11 attacks were payback for U.S. foreign policy. Bin Laden isn't upset because there are U.S. troops in Mecca, as liberals are fond of saying. (There are no U.S. troops in Mecca.) He isn't upset because Washington is allied with despotic regimes in the region. Israel aside, what other regimes are there in the Middle East? It isn't all about Israel. (Why hasn't al-Qaeda launched a single attack against Israel?) The thrust of the radical Muslim critique of America is that Islam is under attack from the global forces of atheism and immorality -- and that the United States is leading that attack.'

Why does the WaPo print drivel like that whihc issues from Dinesh D'souza, one of the most dishonest pundits in America? Everything he says is a lie. Here he suggests that there 'are no US troops in Mecca' -- no, not now, but there were on 9/11. They were ordered to pull out the next day after The Saudi princes asked their buddy Mr. Bush to do so.

At least TRY for a little veracity, Dinesh, you might not be such a laughing stock. Been dating Ann Coulter lately? You have about that much credibility.

Posted by: lark | January 28, 2007 12:08 PM | Report abuse

I might add also, william, that it is quite clear to a lot of people here that you are a blatant racist, in spite of your pathetic denials of such. Why don't you just admit it to yourself and at least be honest about it? It spills out of everything you say.

Posted by: drindl | January 28, 2007 11:49 AM | Report abuse

''Liberals didn't like Gilmore as governor because he cut taxes which resulted in a deficit (which would not have existed if wasteful entitlement programs didnt exist!)'

If I had some bread, I could have a ham sandwich. If I had some ham.

This is why 'movement conservatives' are completely incapble of governing... you cannot even recognize reality and react to it. You simply instead create an ideologic construct that does not exist, and react to that-- i.e. Gilmore does not wish for 'entitlement programs' [which by the way, we have paid for with our own money and deserve to receive] to exist, but he can't change that, so he simply ACTS as if they don't exist--by cutting taxes and creating massive deficits.

Just like Bush. Unfit to govern a dog pound.

Posted by: drindl | January 28, 2007 11:46 AM | Report abuse

Joel is a buffoon.

'Why don't you move to France or Sweden? America doesn't need some pinko tie-dye shirt wearing nutcase like you.'

It's you that's un-american, my friend. Why don't you move to Russia or China?

Posted by: sandy | January 28, 2007 11:35 AM | Report abuse

Likely Dem nominee: Edwards
Preferred Dem nominee: Gore
Likely Dem ticket: Edwards/Clark
Preferred Dem ticket: Gore/Obama
Dark Horse: Richardson

Likely Repub nominee: Guiliani
Preferred Repub nominee: Hagel
Likely Repub ticket: Guiliani/Huckabee
Preferred Repub ticket: Hagel/Huckabee
Dark Horse: Gingrich

Posted by: Aussie view | January 28, 2007 6:23 AM | Report abuse

in re: Romney - "in the early stages of the nomination he has performed admirably."
Based on his track record as Massachusetts governor, he's more interested in winning than in actually governing. He will say and do whatever he thinks will help his chances.
and his attendance record as governor this year has been anything but admirable - he was absent more than half the time!
he is on an ego trip, and he runs only to convince others that he is a smarter, more capable, and more moral person than almost anyone else. (he long ago convinced himself.)

Posted by: meuphys | January 28, 2007 3:00 AM | Report abuse

William, drop the mouse from your sweaty little hands and back away slowly from your computer. It amazes me that you continue to blindly color others' arguments with the racism you deny having yourself.
e.g. "Obama being half white will not attract more white voters than he would if he was all black, and it will, in all probability, turn off not only a significant number of white voters, but many blacks as well!"
have you considered that other, more mature voters, might base their vote not on race, but rather the qualifications of the candidate? Obama certainly has those.
or this: "Obama being half white will not attract more white voters than he would if he was all black, and it will, in all probability, turn off not only a significant number of white voters, but many blacks as well!"
and you know this how? your seminar in current events doesn't count, and you have yet to establish any basis for your opinions on race in this country. news flash - some people actually CAN and DO look beneath a candidate's skin. After all, we're more interested in the brain, and Obama's is first class.
here's another one:
"we do not have credibility now because we have never had a nonwhite president?"
glad you asked. we do not have credibility now because we have a president who seems to base his decisions not on the facts - and experts' understanding of them - but solely on his own gut, an organ which has landed us in a world of hurt. i do not believe that the rest of the world would collapse in scorn if the US elected a minority. they might actually approve.
and this:
"you always care what "the rest of the world" thinks, kind of like a high school kid who constantly obeys peer pressure just because he thinks it will make him popular."
speaking from experience, Billy Boy? it's actually nothing like that at all - geopolitical diplomacy vs. locker room angst. yes, i know you were trying to sneer at someone else, but face it: it's NOT our world, and we have to share it with others. seems to me the way to do that is to at least listen to what they have to say.
finally, there's this:
"our 1994/Reagan/Goldwater roots."
the Republican Party i used to at least respect owed more to Lincoln and Eisenhower. ever heard of them?

Posted by: moonbat and proud | January 28, 2007 2:45 AM | Report abuse

Hillary is more conservative than Guliani. Hard to believe but true.

Posted by: William | January 28, 2007 1:47 AM | Report abuse

"So, we have a lot of front-runners potentially breaking into the WASP club - Clinton, Obama, Richardson, Giuliani, and Romney (as Mormon)"

Clinton isn't a WASP? I thought she was Methodist?

Posted by: William | January 28, 2007 1:45 AM | Report abuse

I don't think Hillary's "negatives" are as bad as some think. She certainly is someone Republicans love to hate. But her negatives came largely from resentment of her unofficial power in the White House. Partly it was more because of the break in tradition. First Ladies aren't supposed to be out front on anything but the "motherly" issues, like literacy, etc.

But give her some credit. She convinced New York voters to put her in the Senate after recently moving there after the end of Bill Clinton's presidency. She not only overcame her supposed negatives, but also the "carpetbagger" issue.

New York is not necessarily a given for Democrats. Pataki, Giulliani, D'Amato come to mind.

This is also a woman who had a lot of active decision-making participation in two successful presidential campaigns. She knows how to win them. Her primary problem, of course, in the primary will be appealing to liberal Democrats. Regardless of what Republicans say, Hillary comes out of the Democratic Leadership Council background, which is of course the conservative wing of the Party.
But, with her out front of her own race, she can sell her own story. She did it in New York, she shoudln't be counted out anywhere else.
The 2008 primary field is so front loaded, that the early wins are going to very crucial. There is no longer time for the lesser funded candidates to prove themselves early to become viable alternatives and attract the money.
Early front runners have failed in the past. But I think it's still most likely a McCain-Clinton race on 2008.

Posted by: Alan in Missoula | January 28, 2007 1:44 AM | Report abuse

Nobody else seems to have noticed, but electing Rudy would in fact make presidential history as well as the first Italian-American president. Yes, Italians are essentially considered white, but that's still history in my books. As an Italian American, I would take notice.

So, we have a lot of front-runners potentially breaking into the WASP club - Clinton, Obama, Richardson, Giuliani, and Romney (as Mormon). Exciting

Posted by: freeDom | January 28, 2007 1:34 AM | Report abuse

So what if Sandy doesn't like Kerry and thinks Kerry is a buffoon? She is entitled to her opinion. And what nerve to say Sandy has nothing else interesting to say, when this blog is filled with completely irrelevant and useless commentary, self-promotion and drivel. I have yet to see Sandy writing 5,000 words about some irrelevant topic. Maybe she repeats that she thinks Kerry is a buffoon, but that's nowhere nearly as bad as the same people who complain about Sandy are the same ones who repeatedly say that Bush is Hitler, Bush is the devil, Bush is a mass murderer, Bush was responsible for Katrin and the Indonesian Tsunami and the Beubonic Plague, and so on. At least Sandy gets to the point and avoids melodramatic hyperventilation from the anti-war whack jobs who have nothing else to do all day but write into blogs with their meaningless drivel.

Posted by: Joel | January 28, 2007 12:19 AM | Report abuse

I have been checking reports from Iowa throughout the day and night and each and every one appears to be giving Hillary better reviews than even I had expected. The answer to the question about the war vote, which the media has played up to the hilt, was buried at the bottom of one article where she stated in "the do-overs" part in her answer. Check it out.

Posted by: lylepink | January 28, 2007 12:00 AM | Report abuse

To William:

I guess I have more faith in my fellow Americans than you do. I trust them and believe that in the words of one of the greatest singers and songwritters, "The times they are changin'"

Forgive me for not capitalizing the "w" in World, I didn't think on a blog it would make such a difference, but apparently it does to you.

Be Blessed! :)

Posted by: Lorraine | January 27, 2007 11:27 PM | Report abuse

To William:

I guess I have more faith in my fellow Americans than you do. I trust them and believe that in the words of one of the greatest singers and songwritters, "The times they are changing'"

Forgive me for not capitalizing the "w" in World, I didn't think on a bog it would make such a difference, but apparently it does to you.

Be Blessed! :)

Posted by: Lorraine | January 27, 2007 11:18 PM | Report abuse

"William -- I'll repeat my offer to let you pick the GOP nominee."

OK! Call Amnesty Mel at the RNC and see if he agrees. I would LOVE to pick the GOP nominee!

If I did, it would not be any of the people running now.

I would pick Hayley Barbour from Mississippi, and he would destroy whomever the Dems ran (especially Osama!).

And, as evidenced from his handling of Katrina, he would be an EXCELLENT president! Even most liberals admit Barbour is a great governor!

But he is running for reelection in 2008, and not for president. That is wise, b/c he will have served 2 terms as governor by 2012 and no one can say he is inexperienced.

Also, 2008 will be a hard year for a Republican to win. Hopefully, we will get a Dem president rather than a triangulating RINO, so we can take back the WH in 2012 with a good conservative, like Barbour.

I can't wait for Barbour or Sanford to run in 2012!!!

" Jim Gilmore would be fantastic as far as I'm concerned. The guy was a DISASTER as governor and as NRC chair, which is why he got the boot."

Liberals didn't like Gilmore as governor because he cut taxes which resulted in a deficit (which would not have existed if wasteful entitlement programs didnt exist!)

While I acknowledge that he is not the ideal president, nor a very good governor, and quite possibly a mediocre one, he is passable, for a candidate.

But in any case, you really needn't worry. He doesn't seem to be serious about running, and hasn't even started to assemble a staff or infrastructure. I doubt he'll really run.

"Also, you don't seem to know Virginia politics as well as you pretend. Mark Warner was never a congressman. He ran for SENATE against Senator Warner, but lost narrowly before eventually becoming governor. "

I though Warner was a congressman first. Sorry if I am mistaken. Maybe I confused him with Allen, who was a congressman before he was governor.

"On a related subject, wat exactly do you think makes someone "conservative?" Obviously you value tax cuts and socially conservative positions, but you don't seem to think balancing budgets is at all important. At one time, that was the touchstone of the Republican party and conservatives. I guess that makes you a big government "conservative." Sadly, those are the least intelectually honest conservatives, IMO. It's a sad day when I long for Goldwater conservatives. Sigh."

Colin, I understand your point. I DO care immensely about the deficit, which is why I favor pay-go spending, and slashing wasteful entitlement programs like Medicaid and welfare (yes, I know liberals will say that is unfair.)

The deficit and out of control spending is one reason, of many, why I dislike Bush. He has implemented VERY few policies which are truly conservative.

I am certainly not a big government conservative. The GOP has lost its way, and that is why it's lost a lot of support, with conservatives staying home or voting for conservative Dems like Tester or Webb.

While many of the Republicans in the GOP leadership today are the big government kind, such as Bush, Boehner, McConnell, Blunt, Lott, etc, there are some true conservatives left, such as Barbour, whom I mentioned, Sanford (a Goldwater conservative), Senators Coburn, DeMint, Sessions, Thune (I LOVE Sessions and Thune!!!) as well as Senator Isakson of GA and Vitter of LA.

Ironically, many of the older , longer serving GOP senators have become the big government supporters, who love pork and K street lobbyists. Examples include Lott, McConnell, Cochran, Warner, and many others.

There are also a lot of good Congressmen in the goldwater mold, like Tancredo, Paul (although Paul is a little weird), Linder, Goode, etc.

Don't worry, when Bush is gone, we will renew what is left of the GOP, and return to our 1994/Reagan/Goldwater roots.

Posted by: William | January 27, 2007 10:11 PM | Report abuse

Regardung HRC, Her Royal C..., it's obvious that she intends in purchasing the White House by selling shares of influence like Max Bialystock and Bloom ala The Producers;you know where interests, media, medicine, pharaceuticals, finance, etc., collectively own 250 percent of the woman.

When it becomes apparent that she is stuck at 40 percent popularity of the Dems and Big Money starts to not give lotsa dough anymore, Big Al will step in next January and run the table leaving the Queen shreilley shreking.

Nobody believes that she is anything but a woman who hitched her wagon to a popular politican-hubby. Al Gore and Obama have one thing in common. They both have core values, and their voting record shows their idealism.

Posted by: tanaS | January 27, 2007 10:03 PM | Report abuse

" Only to say I'm supporting Senator Obama."

That's nice. Thank you for sharing.

"He is both black and white, (it doesn't get any better than that) which makes me like him even more."

Ummmmmmmmm...you like Obama "more" because of his race? That's intelligent (sarc). Would you consider it racist if someone liked a WASP because of his race? You're stupid for liking any politician "more" because of their race. and how is that a benefit? It always amuses me when liberals opine how Obama, a half-white, half-black man, Christian-former Muslim, will help our nation "get beyond racial and religious divisions".

That's wishful thinking on behalf of Osama's supporters.

I believe a fully black man would stand a better chance of being elected. Many whites (and a lot of black people and other minorities as well) are privately opposed to interracial marriage (in some states, upwards of 70% oppose it). I think that will hurt Obama's chances.

Obama being half white will not attract more white voters than he would if he was all black, and it will, in all probability, turn off not only a significant number of white voters, but many blacks as well!

Interracial politicians have traditionally not been very successful, with Bill Richardson being the only exception I can think of (but NM is about 40 something percent Hispanic, at least, which accounts for much of his support.)

"I think when he is elected it will do so much for our Country regarding the race problem."

Wow...do you really think so? Gosh...I can't wait for him to be sworn in!!!

"We will have instant credibility around the World."

And we do not have credibility now because we have never had a nonwhite president? Does Britain, which has never had a nonwhite Prime Minister, have credibility? What about France? Norway?

And if we elect a nonwhite we will suddenly have credibility??

That's the problem with you liberal moonbats..you always care what "the rest of the world" thinks, kind of like a high school kid who constantly obeys peer pressure just because he thinks it will make him popular.

Oh, and "World" shouldn't be capitalized.

Posted by: William | January 27, 2007 9:29 PM | Report abuse

William -- I'll repeat my offer to let you pick the GOP nominee. Jim Gilmore would be fantastic as far as I'm concerned. The guy was a DISASTER as governor and as NRC chair, which is why he got the boot. Also, you don't seem to know Virginia politics as well as you pretend. Mark Warner was never a congressman. He ran for SENATE against Senator Warner, but lost narrowly before eventually becoming governor.

On a related subject, wat exactly do you think makes someone "conservative?" Obviously you value tax cuts and socially conservative positions, but you don't seem to think balancing budgets is at all important. At one time, that was the touchstone of the Republican party and conservatives. I guess that makes you a big government "conservative." Sadly, those are the least intelectually honest conservatives, IMO. It's a sad day when I long for Goldwater conservatives. Sigh.

Posted by: Colin | January 27, 2007 8:41 PM | Report abuse

Only God knows who will win the 2008 race for the Presidency so I won't speculate. Only to say I'm supporting Senator Obama. He is both black and white, (it doesn't get any better than that) which makes me like him even more. I think when (if the Lord says the same) he is elected it will do so much for our Country regarding the race problem. We will have instant credibility around the World.

Thank you for reading my comments
I love Bill Clinton, I'm not too crazy about his wife. I think a Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton Whitehouse is more than our Country should have to bear.

Posted by: Lorraine | January 27, 2007 8:28 PM | Report abuse

Noreaster - I doubt Webb would be picked for VP. He's too confrontational, and probably couldn't even carry VA for the Dems. He only won by 8,000 votes out of 2.5 million cast, and he only won because Allen self-destructed, and because 2006 was a hugely anti-GOP year. Moreover, Webb will have served in the Senate for less than 2 years in 2008. That's not enough experience to be VP. Plus, the Dems won't want his writing to be dredged up again.

I definitely think Webb may be on a presidential ticket ONE DAY (assuming he's reelected) but probably not in 2008.

The Dem nominee (probably Hillary) would be wise to pick someone with more experience and more likeability in their state than Jim Webb. She should pick someone who actually MAY be able to deliver their state in the general.

Her best choice would probably be Evan Bayh, and she went to Iraq with him, which could be foreshadowing.

Bayh on the ticket would give Hillary a much better chance of taking Ohio, and keeping PA, NH, etc in the blue. bayh in the VP slot may even take Indiana, though I doubt it.

Warner as VP would help balance the ticket and make it seem more moderate, but I really don't see Hillary taking VA either way.

Brian Sweitzer would not be a bad pick, although he would be stronger at the top of the ticket than at the bottom.

I don't know if Sweitzer as VP could take red states, but if in 2012 Sweitzer runs for president, at the top of the ticket, I think he could take MT, WY, IN, OH, IA, NM, CO, and put some other red states in play.

Posted by: William | January 27, 2007 5:53 PM | Report abuse

Colin - Tancredo may not be electable (as long as the Dem nominee is relatively moderate) but Gilmore certainly is. He headed up an anti-terror committee before 9/11, and the committee's report, published 1 week before 9/11, recommended a Homeland Security cabinet post/czar, shared intelligent and increased interfacing and cooperation between the FBI, CIA, NSA, etc, and other recommendations the 9/11 commission later made.

So, he has strong enough national security credentials. In addition, he served as head of the RNC for one year (until the Bushies booted him for being conservative), so he has fundraising skills, and presumably still has connections with the big donors.

Finally, he was governor of VA, and lowered taxes (which will gain him a great deal of conservative support, especially from powerful groups like the Club For Growth.) Liberals claim that his tax cuts hurt the economy of his state, but conservatives disagree, and his tax cutting record will greatly appeal to them.

I would say Gilmore is about as qualified to be president as Mark Warner, who, if he had run, would have been one of the Dem frontrunners.

Warner has more legislative and political experience than Gilmore, since Warner was a congressman before he was governor, but Gilmore has far stronger national security and administrative credentials than Warner.

But as I said, it will be hard for Gilmore to gain traction in the primaries. However, it is certainly not impossible, especially with a conservative candidate lacking.


And Colin: you said I should be allowed to choose the nominee, as it would ensure the Dem being elected.

Well, if the Dems choose Obama as their nominee, that will ENSURE that ANY Republican but Condi (sorry Tina) WILL win in 2008.

So please Dems, pick Obama! Obama 2008!!

As for Bill Ricardoson, I wouldn't bet to heavily on his electability, either.

Posted by: William | January 27, 2007 5:41 PM | Report abuse

Interesting observation Staley. I saw Kaine on C-SPAN in a debate a VA Governor's race debate in 2005; he was okay - his opponent helped in that. Then I saw the response to the 2006 State of the Union; if anybody was "not ready for prime time" it was him.

But then last Fall I saw him C-SPAN again at a campaign rally for Webb. With Webb and Mark Warner on the same stage, Kaine was by far the best. Great presence, great rapport with the audience, great timing. Totally different from the SOTU person.

Kaine could be a gem in the rough for the Democrats. How does he get past Mark Warner though?

Posted by: Nor'Easter | January 27, 2007 4:47 PM | Report abuse

What jumps out at me is that this cycle (like most cycles in the past) no one really looks totally strong. I would've put McCain as the strongest overall, but the already disastrous and getting worse situation in Iraq weakens him more and more each week. HRC is similarly strong but has so many doubts about her candidacy. I think she may begin to turn a corner on most of those soon by the sheer power of inevitability--the longer she's the frontrunner, the more doubts fade. I know some of my own have started to fade already.

I know it's really stupid to worry too much at this point about running mates, but I think it's interesting that 3 of the best prospects for Democrats (especially if HRC is the nominee, but also for other potential ticket-toppers) are from Virginia. Warner and Webb both look good, but I think Tim Kaine might be even better.

Posted by: Staley | January 27, 2007 4:33 PM | Report abuse

I LOVE the idea of either Gilmore or Tancredo being the GOP nominee. Accordingly, I hereby move to allow William to pick the next GOP candidate. Honestly, I can't think of a better way to ensure that the next POTUS is a democrat.

PS the last several unsigned posts are rather clearly from William. Sorry to see he's no longer even willing to sign his name. Sad.

Posted by: Colin | January 27, 2007 3:57 PM | Report abuse

Guliani will NEVER get the GOP nomination, and you can take THAT to the bank.

The right wing MAY tolerate McCain, since at least he is pro-life and anti-gay marriage (if shakily), but that is as far left as they will go.

There is no way Guliani, who is extremely anti-gun, pro-choice, pro-gay, and pro-affirmative action, gets much support.

Only the Linc Chafee branch of the GOP will support Rudy, and even they may be turned off by his numerous skeletons and scandals. Furthermore, the Chafee wing of the GOP counts for about 10% of it at most, and that's a very generous estimate.

Guliani's ONE claim to fame is his handling of 9/11, which his reputation for being strong on fighting terror is due to. But McCain has equally strong credentials in that field.

Finally, McCain has already picked up a ton of endorsements from a wide variety of politicians, including many in key states.

Romney has had a few endorsements, but trails McCain by a lot.

So far, Guliani, Brownback, etc have had NO major endorsements that I can think of, and will have to rely on grassroots support.

To some extent, that may be there for Brownback, but not Guliani.

However, Brownback's pro-amnesty and mildly anti-death penalty stances will cause a lot of people who would have supported him to either simply not support anyone, or go to a smaller candidate like Tancredo or Hunter or Thompson.

Jim Gilmore, I think, would make a good president, BUT so far, all he has done was file papers with the FEC. He has no official website, no exploratory committee that anyone knows about that has actually been assembled, and if he has any infrastructure or operatives on the ground in key states, he is keeping awfully quiet about it, and no one knows.

So Its hard to say if Gilmore is even serious.

If he announces very soon, he may emerge as the right wing candidate, and gather some momentum, and he can probably count of fundraising support from VA conservatives and maybe some other conservatives in the South.

He may also get a good deal of grassroots support at Brownback's expense.

But if he's serious, he needs to act like it.

He may not be able to raise money on par with the big candidates, but if grassroots conservatives, especially in VA and the South, donate to him, he could probably raise several million, maybe even low double digits.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 27, 2007 3:44 PM | Report abuse

Posted by: | January 27, 2007 03:31 PM

Talk about gutless wonders...

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | January 27, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

"no nukes, global solidarity, humanitarian aid not military offenses...I did not vote for Bill Clinton and I did not vote for Papa Bush. So, far, for 2008, looks like I'm not voting due to no good choices."

From your description of your ideal candidate, it's obvious that you are one of those fringe left lunatic freaks in the Dean/Kucinich mold.

No nukes...you're incredibly stupid. According to you we should give up our nukes when Iran, NK, and China are getting stronger and causing trouble?

Why don't you move to France or Sweden? America doesn't need some pinko tie-dye shirt wearing nutcase like you.

Talk about contributing to global warming.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 27, 2007 3:31 PM | Report abuse

The polls don't show enthusiasm of any kind at this point. They are really measuring nothing but name recognition, and of course EVERYONE has heard of Hillary Clinton, while most people have heard of Edwards and a bunch still don't know Obama. Also, I pointed out earlier that there are polls showing Clinton tied with Obama just as others show her significantly ahead.

Who is "michael dot com"?? I might support him if I knew what he stood for.

I like the Tancredo/Paul idea. That's just nutty and entertaining enough to happen. At least, I sure would love it to happen just because it would make the race so much more fun!

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | January 27, 2007 3:30 PM | Report abuse

So far, "none of the above" are an affirmative choice for President. I want a track record that shows no nukes, global solidarity, humanitarian aid not military offenses, and a budget based on self-sufficiency for this country, including energy resources--conserving what we have for natural resources and putting our money where our majority rule mouths are should be the affirmative successor who can lead us from the Iraq Quagmire back into world diplomacy, sanity, and harmony with nature with a FOR PEOPLE not corruption and greed!

I did not vote for Bill Clinton and I did not vote for Papa Bush. So, far, for 2008, looks like I'm not voting due to no good choices.

Posted by: Elizabeth | January 27, 2007 1:31 PM | Report abuse

Sandy is a buffoon. Every time she posts proves it.

Posted by: John Kerry | January 27, 2007 1:27 PM | Report abuse

Amy,

Obama isn't running as African Americans' candidate for President of Black Americans. He's running as the best presidential candidate of any ethnicity or gender. The fact that your coworker has dark skin doesn't make him an expert on whether Obama has the experience, good judgement, and political vision to be president.

If I find a woman who doesn't think Hillary is qualified, or a Hispanic person who doesn't think Richardson is charismatic enough, or a white man who thinks Edwards is a light weight, does that prove that they are right and/or that their opinion should have greater weight?

Let us treat all humans as individuals, and not as categories.

Richardson has an impressive resume. He is not as charismatic as some, nor am I familiar with his legislative accomplishments. But time will tell how he interacts with voters.

None of the top 3 candidates in either party have much experience, except for John McCain, and he is way too tied with war in Iraq.

As you probably know, I think Obama is the best candidate, and I've already explained some of the reasons why.

Posted by: Robert* | January 27, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Sandy said : "Clearly, the last few days have proven that Kerry is a buffoon.
I mean, what an idiot.
Virtually no one takes him seriously."

Vae victis! OK, Kerry had his turn and he lost but I feel quite sorry for him. After all, his campaign wasn't good but wasn't that bad too. Even if it has taken him more than two years to realize how has been he his, and even if it's blatant that his official reasons not to run are fake, I really don't want to shoot at an ambulance

Posted by: Pierre | January 27, 2007 1:08 PM | Report abuse

I think Richardson will turn out to be the dark horse. The resume, the fact that the current frontrunners have big question-marks about electability against a Republican, and his power to woo Hispanics back from the Republican party make me want to pay close attention to him.

Even though I like the top three personally, when I go to the poll I won't be thinking about who I like but about who will have the best chance of winning. Are we ready for a woman? Obama's color -- my African-American co-worker said he wouldn't vote for him because he's green. Edwards' seeming inexperience and the opposition's characterization of him as an ambulance-chaser. Governors have a solid track-record of defeating senators. I'll be watching Richardson closely.

Posted by: Amy | January 27, 2007 11:06 AM | Report abuse

Remember the saying in politics."early money is like yeast." McCain and Clinton will both have more than they know what to do with it. Hillary, with her fundraising-in-chief husband, should be able to amass no less than $200 million over the next 18 months. McCain with alot less but well within striking distance.

McCain and Clinton will do yeoman work for the next 11 months before any big media blitz. They know they have to stay out of the glare of media lights do to overexposure, which is what is happening to Barack Obama at the moment. He won't be a player this year or next.

I just wish that America's political version of professional tag team wrestling - Bushes and Clintons - would leave the ring. I am more than a little tired of both families and would like to see something else of the Presidential level. However, the current crop of Presidential hopefuls look to be woefully weak and uninspiring.

Danny L. McDaniel
Lafayette, Indiana

Posted by: Danny L. McDaniel | January 27, 2007 12:32 AM | Report abuse

Most of the conservatives on the GOP have at least one serious flaw. My scenario is that the GOP conservatives split the vote, allowing Giuliani to get a plurality in the early primaries (and in 2008, all of them that matter will be early). Since many of the Republican primaries are winner-take-all, I think Giuliani could get a healthy lead, but not enough to grab the nomination.

Posted by: Montanan | January 27, 2007 12:19 AM | Report abuse

Clearly, the last few days have proven that Kerry is a buffoon.

I mean, what an idiot.

Virtually no one takes him seriously.

Posted by: Sandy | January 26, 2007 11:41 PM | Report abuse

Chris, once again I mostly agree except for your #5 picks. I believe you're overrating Vilsack and Gingrich. Dodd and Hagel, respectively should be in those positions.

Hagel has picked up a lot of steam this week with his stern and much-publicized opposition to the surge in Iraq. This will appeal to many moderates and libertarians within the party. He has solid conservative credentials as well on issues like abortion. People who never considered him before or possibly those who had never heard of him will now take a serious look at him. Besides, look at all the free advertising he's gotten.

Anyway, here's a look at my complete updated ratings:

Democrats:

1. Hillary Clinton

2. Barack Obama

3. John Edwards

4. Bill Richardson

5. Chris Dodd

6. Joe Biden

7. Al Gore

8. Tom Vilsack

9. Wesley Clark

10. Dennis Kucinich

11. Mike Gravel

Republicans:

1. John McCain

2. Rudy Giuliani

3. Mitt Romney

4. Sam Brownback

5. Chuck Hagel

6. Newt Gingrich

7. Mike Huckabee

8. Tommy Thompson

9. Jim Gilmore

10. Tom Tancredo

11. Duncan Hunter

12. George Pataki

13. Ron Paul

14. Michael Bloomberg


Posted by: Terry Mitchell | January 26, 2007 11:36 PM | Report abuse

Richardson is an excellent candidate. You can learn more about him at http://dcforrichardson.blogspot.com or http://www.americaforrichardson.org/

See you there.

Posted by: Expat Teacher | January 26, 2007 11:26 PM | Report abuse

Huckabee jumping in would be bad news for Brownback, because Huckabee would contend with him for the conservative role.

Posted by: William | January 26, 2007 9:45 PM | Report abuse

Huckabee might announce this weekend
http://political-buzz.com/?p=12

What impact will he have on the GOPers?

Posted by: parker | January 26, 2007 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Wait'll Al Gore jumps in the race!

Posted by: TruthProbe | January 26, 2007 9:24 PM | Report abuse

LylePink, You might enjoy this piece in The Moines Register about the Clinton/Obama/Harkin seating at the SOTU.

http://desmoinesregister.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20070126/NEWS09/701260394/-1/politics

I'll be on the lookout for Iowa Hillary bashing, if any.

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | January 26, 2007 8:58 PM | Report abuse

Not wanting to sound cocky, but with Iraq in the toilet, there isnt a repub that stands a chance to win in 08. Not a chance.

So the race to win the Dem nomination is the one to watch.

Posted by: WOW | January 26, 2007 8:25 PM | Report abuse

Re: Romney

"I have discovered that while his "values" changed on ONE subject - abortion(not "many" issues as some are inclined to make you believe), that he has remained the most consistant on every thing else!"

Either you are massively uninformed or you are ol' Mitt himself to make a statement like the one above.

Have you seen the YouTube video on Mitt's flip-flops?

He is a two-faced, opportunistic flip-flopper who has absolutely no core values, but says whatever he thinks his audience will approve of. The only reason he has any support is because he is seen as the anti-McCain. If Allen or Frist were in the race, Mitt would be trying to position himself as a moderate candidate, not a conservative. He has no moral values and no honesty, and cannot be trusted, because he is a disengenous flip flopper AND because we have no idea what he truly believes.

Let's look at a small number of the issues Willard Mitt ROmney has flip flopped on since his failed race against Kennedy, and since his race for governor. During his 4 yrs as governor of MA (MA!!!) he was very liberal (more liberal than Rudy) for over 3.5 of those years.

Abortion: In 2002, Mitt thinks abortion should be safe, legal, and available to everyone. although he "personally opposed it," he strenuously asserted that he would not impose his views on anyone else, and he supported Roe.

Today, Mitt says he is strongly against abortion.

Gay marriage: As governor, Mitt violated the MA Consitution by ordering state officials to perform gay marriages. I posted the link to an article on a previous thread.

He also wrote a letter to the MA gays saying he would be a "stronger advocate for gays than Ted Kennedy."

Mitt opined that excluding gays from the military is "discrimination," as are bans on gay marriage.

Wow! A stronger advocate for gays than Teddy K????????

Today, Mitt says he strongly opposed gay marriage. How can we believe him? Why should we trust this over-opportunistic sleazeball?

Judicial appointments: I don't know much about Mitt's judicial appointments, but he appointed a gay activist to a judicial post while he was governor.

Economics: In a debate with Ted K, which you can access on Youtube, Mitt rejected and disparaged Reaganomics and supply-side ecomonics and other conservative economic policies in the strongest of terms.

Now, he says he has done a 180.

Social programs and entitlements: Mitt used to champion them, but again, has now flip flopped.

Guns: Mitt strongly,strongly supported MA's "assault weapons" ban, and even signed it into law.

Now, Mitt goes around saying "from my cold dead hands" and pretending to be pro-gun. DOes he think we're stupid????

Capital punishment: As governor, Mitt opposed the death penalty, but then as he neared the end of his term, proposed a plan that would bring back the death penalty in theory, but make it virtually impossible for someone to be executed in actuality.

The Reagan legacy: During his debate with Ted, Mitt disparaged and denounced Reagan and his legacy, rejecting Reagan's policies and proudly proclaiming himself an independent while Reagan was pres.

Now, he likes Reagan.

Illegal Immigration: When Mitt ran for governor, he sympathized with illegals and favored amnesty.

Today, he says he wants to "increase legal immigration to the USA" but he also wants improved border security.

By the way, Mitt hires illegals to tend the grounds of his house. Did you know that?

In his last three weeks in office, Mitt signed an agreement with ICE that would allow 30 MA state troopers to apprehend illegals. He knew that he would leave office before the agreement went into effect, and his successor scrapped it.

That pathetic gesture does little to bolster Mitt's immigration cred, especially since illegals mow his lawn.

Is there ANY issue Mitt HASN'T flip flopped on???????????

Come on! This guy has absolutely no values. He believes in nothing but his own career! He has flipflopped so much he cannot be trusted, since NO ONE knows what he actually believes.

For all we know, he may still be an MA liberal at heart.

Oh, did I mention that Mitt supports affirmative action?

Why vote for Mitt when you can actually have a real Democrat?

If you care about social issues, as you said you did, support Brownback, Hunter, Gilmore or Tancredo.

Even if they dont have much of a chance, at least they stand up for what they believe in and don't base their moral values on their audience.

Posted by: William | January 26, 2007 7:54 PM | Report abuse

bhoomes: Your statement about Hillary bringing out the worst in people, to a degree is quite correct. Now here is where the "but" comes into the picture. The Hillary haters tend to fall into a few "molds" i.e. Women Haters, Jealous Men and Women, Envy, Resentment, and Fear of a Strong Woman. Strangely, another thing I've found is that folks that do support her are afraid to say so, for as best as I can figure, mainly from folks I've been in contact with, because they feel they will be attacked for their views. These are in another "mold" that I have never came across and am having a hard time understanding.

Posted by: lylepink | January 26, 2007 7:51 PM | Report abuse

People, People - here I am on the West Coast, late in my day and you have all gone home. I support Obama, and to this comment >>Obama has no substance, and no ideas, and is terified of taking a stand on ANYTHING!> I say EDUCATE YOURSELF! He has taken many brave stands including opposing the war in 2002. He has fought racism every step of his career, and is all the stonger for it. You will notice in many posts here, Hilary is said to be the likely nominee, but Obama is preferred. If that is the case, then he will only become more likely to be the nominee as people come to know him. Still, with the doubters out there, a dream ticket would be Gore/Obama or (gasp!) Obama/Gore!!

Posted by: Anonymous | January 26, 2007 7:21 PM | Report abuse

And the winner is Michael Bloomberg!

draft michael dot com

Posted by: Joseph Oddo | January 26, 2007 7:17 PM | Report abuse

As a registered and voting Independant for many years - I wanted to be very careful of who I wouild lean toward for this crucial 2008 election. My values are conservative and religious - so, I have ruled out all the leading Democratic contenders; their values and voting histories are far too liberal, in my opinion, for the Constitution and what America should be standing for.

Looking at the Republican party, I've ruled out Guiliani and McCain - they are Democrats in Republican's clothing, either too moderate or too liberal in some key areas.

I had ruled out Mitt Romney several months ago because I too believed, as some who are want to do, that he was a flip-flopper on issues important to me, and didn't believe he had enough experience.

Well, that was then and this is now.

I have done so much research, pro and con, on Romney these last 5 months and am now 100% solidly supporting this decent, honest, competent man for 2008!

I have discovered that while his "values" changed on ONE subject - abortion(not "many" issues as some are inclined to make you believe), that he has remained the most consistant on every thing else!

People out there have tried to twist and turn things that Romney has said about other subjects - but that's all they're doing to turn people off of Romney...twisting and turning his record and his words! All the facts and truth is out there if you really study, as I have done now.

The truth can certainly make you free - and I'm happy now to know the truth!

ROMNEY in 2008!

BTW - his official Website is www.mittromney.com

Posted by: Jacosta | January 26, 2007 7:15 PM | Report abuse

You underrate Huckabee.

Posted by: TomT | January 26, 2007 7:06 PM | Report abuse

"You see? The thing is, republicans are, be the very nature of what they believe in, capable of far more hatred and hostility than Democrats."

This is a pretty ignorant statement no? I think it shows such a narrowness of view point and ideological spite that it utterly contradicts itself.'

Umm, you're right. Oops. I had just been to the Dauo Report, which has a cross section of R/L blogs. The hatred, the incipient violence toward dems from the right is really scary. The bigotry and anger and racism... and talk radio. I pay attention to these things because I know they inform the viewpoints of so many.

And there is a level of demonization, of vitriol. there is some of that on both sides -- but can you imagine if a left-leaning major publication suggested someone should kill jenna bush? How great would the outcry be? But yet, the National Review defended thier publication of the same about Chelsea Clinton.

Same as with Ann Coulter and a lot of other R pundits like her, who talk about murdering judges and liberals. Can you think of anybody on the left who talks about murdering federal officials or republicans?

You see what I'm saying?

Posted by: drindl | January 26, 2007 6:55 PM | Report abuse

lylepink,Nor"easter and my old chum Drindl: In hindsight maybe Bush made a mistake in taking out Saddam but we are there now and we need to leave a stable Iraq. This resolution the dems are floating does abosulutley nothing but give comfort and aid to our enemy. I believe right now, Mitt probably has the best chance to be our nominee but I'm not that crazy about him because he changes his postions to fit his audience. I know politicians are opertunistic by nature butt Mitt takes it to the next level. But between him and Hillary, I won't have any problem in voting for him. While I disagree with OBAMA on most everything, he does bring the best out in people, which is a good asset to have as President. Hillary brings out the worst in people.

Posted by: bhoomes | January 26, 2007 6:48 PM | Report abuse

Drindl,

"You see? The thing is, republicans are, be the very nature of what they believe in, capable of far more hatred and hostility than Democrats."

This is a pretty ignorant statement no? I think it shows such a narrowness of view point and ideological spite that it utterly contradicts itself.

On a lighter note. Agree with you about not making this into an everyone vs. muslims issue. If the Anne Coulters of the world succeed in making this a culture war, the terrorists will have accomplished all of their goals.

Posted by: TG | January 26, 2007 6:41 PM | Report abuse

Okay, Just for the fun of it, what's wrong with Hillary? She's not my cup of tea but to all those Hillary haters out there what has she done either before or after becoming Senator that's sooooo awful? (please don't say she and Bill had 20 something people killed cause a trip to snopes.com will easily dispel that silly myth)

Posted by: SteveinVa | January 26, 2007 6:33 PM | Report abuse

Hillary's new found urgency about her campaign probably means that she has the Dem nomination sealed. But is her trip to Iowa her idea or that of worried camapign advisers?
http://political-buzz.com/
Iowa was the only place that H was sluggish, so a trip to meet with rabid Dems will be great for her.

Posted by: matt | January 26, 2007 6:15 PM | Report abuse

Well hey bhoomes. I agree with you, actually. I don't really understand Hlllary's lead, I don't know many people who are really enthusastic abot her.

But I would still vote for her over any of the rpublicans who are running now. McCain is too much like bush, mitt is a blank slate written by whoever buys him, guiliani is a diva [although i think he'd probably be abou the same as prez as hillary] but the rest -- newt, brownback -- ewwww. Creepy.

Posted by: drindl | January 26, 2007 6:14 PM | Report abuse

bhoomes: Hope you had a nice vacation. A slight disagreement on "principle". One of my posts in the last few days was a question about how some of the repubs could follow GW so blindly when just about every thing he has done turns out not to be in the best interest of this country.

Posted by: lylepink | January 26, 2007 6:05 PM | Report abuse

bhoomes - glad to see the post-election depression has run its course.

Posted by: Nor'Easter | January 26, 2007 6:04 PM | Report abuse

.. and they feel that way about Muslims because people like you are continuously out there spouting hatred and bigotry. Sorry, my friend, I have lots of Muslim neighbors in Westchester, right on my very street. Surpise! They're just like everybody else. They go to our public school, they give out candy on Halloween, they keep their yards clean and volunteer for community projects. And we also have Hindis and Sikhs and Pakistanis. Docotrs, lawyers, chemists, engineers, teachers.

They key is 'extremists' .. oh you bet there are some muslim extremists. Dangerous ones. But there 'extremists' in all religions -- including christians who would bomb women in health clinics, or shoot doctors through the windows of their homes. Or Jews, who murdered their own leader for ideological reasons.

When you foster hatred toward all muslims, when you make them feel spat upon and despised, how do you expect them to react? You perpetuate the terrorists yourself, GOP. These things are a vicious cycle that turns into a downward spiral and you are helping make that happen.

Posted by: drindl | January 26, 2007 5:50 PM | Report abuse

For the people who think that there is a lot time left in the nomination process.

This thing should be over in March 2008. Over folks! If you're running you better be spending your time on airplanes, raising money and making visits. This isn't 2000, or 2004.

Posted by: james b | January 26, 2007 5:32 PM | Report abuse

drindl,
some fairly recent polls on how Americans feel toward Muslims.

39% believe Muslims are not loyal to the United States.
40% believe Muslims are not respectful of other religions.
44% believe Muslims are too extreme in their religious beliefs.
52% believe Muslims are not respectful toward women.
34% believe Muslims are sympathetic to al-Qaeda.
39% admit feeling prejudiced against Muslims.

Meanwhile, a broad survey of British opinion found that last year's London transit bombings have led people to feel substantially less comfortable with having a Muslim neighbor, boss or in-law. The proportion of people who believe that Muslims have made the security situation in Britain worse rose from 35% before July 7 to 53% after the attacks. Before July 7, 34% of people questioned by TNS/Global said they would feel comfortable with a Muslim neighbor. This figure fell to 21% after the bombings.

Gee, go figure...Muslim extremists declare jihad on America and western civilization and Americans and Brits respond negatively. Shocking.
Go ahead and move to Dearborn if you like; then you can hear the call to prayer 5 times a day blasted out over your neigborhood from the 70,000 sq. foot gold-domed mosque. Probably wouldn't want that in your backyard in Westchester county I'm guessing. bad for property values.

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | January 26, 2007 5:26 PM | Report abuse

Regarding Clinton's 40 point lead over Obama among blacks, the question would seem to be is Obama black or African-American. The Clintons have worked long and hard to court blacks and black leaders. Some might argue Hillary Clinton has a better understanding of the black experience in America than Obama. But the primaries are one thing and a general election against that white Republican guy another.

I have only heard Obama give his speech at the 2004 Convention and read the speech he gave at that California mega-church. Do not underestimate his oratory skills and the power of his speeches - those two are in a completely different league then anyone else.

Posted by: muD | January 26, 2007 5:18 PM | Report abuse

Umm slight correction - it was maniacal killers that got us into this situation. bush and co are trying to get us out. what are the Dems trying to do - answer - LOSE.

Posted by: kingofzouk | January 26, 2007 5:16 PM | Report abuse

Drindl, you are most certainly the resident expert on fear and loathing. all of your posts are wacked out leftist conspiracy and hate-mongering. you group everyone into categories and then despise them for your purported and projected characteristics. to accuse me of sinking down to any level still makes me miles above the miasma you inhabit. Just look at the posts for today. I take people to task for their actual foibles, you attack anyone based on simple ignorant ideaology. But I don't suppose you or your ilk will ever get this. Hating bush has run its course and is tired and passe. Move on.

You mentioning the idea of reading about economics will keep me bemused all weekend. Lipstick on a pig. economics for Dems could be published in comic book format.

Posted by: kingofzouk | January 26, 2007 5:13 PM | Report abuse

Obama has taken positions on many issues, and has sponsored many bills. As for Iraq, there are no good answer for the problems that Bush and the Republican Party has gotten us into.

But we do not expect our leaders to tell us what to think. He has the tools to lead a national discussion on the major issues of our time.

Socratic method requires a nuanced understanding of all sides of a debate. And an ability to relate well to all sides. It trains people to think logically, not emotionally. It trains people to think quickly on their feet, and to anticipate every possible strength and weakness in a thesis. It refutes dogma.

We expect our leaders to help guide our national discussion on how best to achieve the common good. What better way to rise above wedge issue politics, slash and burn personal attacks, and politics as sport, than for Obama to to lead a thoughtful, intelligent conversation that rises above partisan sound bites.

Posted by: Robert* | January 26, 2007 5:07 PM | Report abuse

Newt is plenty smart enough and qualified to President but like Hillary is extremely divisive and lacking warmth and class. I have never considered Newt as a possibility for those reasons but am quite dismayed some many democrats would consider Hillary. The dems do have a better line up than we republicans. Obama is okay, so is Richardson, Biden and a few others, but if the dems insist on nominating somebody that half the country absolutely hates, they will richly deserve the defeat she will bring you. Beside's she supported the war until things got tough. Have some principle dems

Posted by: bhoomes | January 26, 2007 5:04 PM | Report abuse

Clarification -- meaning some dems would vote for a black or female R candidate, [a condi say, if she weren't bush's condi] whereas R's would never vote for a female or black D candidate.

Posted by: drndl | January 26, 2007 4:53 PM | Report abuse

'Sorry Drindl, but Bush's health insurance plan takes from the rich and gives to the poor. '

Clearly you have not read it, or the policy implications. Read a real economist's take on it [not one of bush's faith-based economists] -- the entire plan and the policy implications, and then we can talk about it. sorry, bush is not robin hood. will never, ever happen. everything he does is about privatizing. please, get over it.

And we all know the racists and the Hate Muslims crowd will NEVER stop harping on the lies about Obama--I have seen too much of it already, and I don't believe he will survive the primary. Maybe I'm too cynical but I've lived all over the country for several decades and I've just seen too much of what americans [like all othher peoples] are capable of, in terms of hatred and bigotry. Why just look at zouk here... he's a good example of the levels some are capable of sinking to. so I don't think so.

Or Hillary either. Just a few years ago, a 'respectable' writer did the cover story for the National Review, and suggested, in all seriousness, that someone should kill Chelsea Clinton before she was old enough to run for office.

You see? The thing is, republicans are, be the very nature of what they believe in, capable of far more hatred and hostility than Democrats. If there's ever a black or female president, they will be R's. Becuase we Dems would give them a chance, whereas the R's never will.

Posted by: drindl | January 26, 2007 4:50 PM | Report abuse

zouk,

Socrates was killed for corrupting the youth of Athens - by teaching them to think for themselves.

Jackson Landers,

There is no way Sam Brownback could be elected president. He is too extreme.

I have a hard time seeing Edwards or Obama winning - too little experience.

GaleKi - I think you do a disservice to Bush I, Mondale and Gore by lumping them in with Quayle - Bush I had been a Congressman, CIA Director and Ambassador. Mondale and Gore both had considerably more political experience than Obama or Edwards. Gore ran a fairly credible presidential campaign in 1988, losing to Dukakis. They were both considered serious Senators.

Posted by: JimD in FL | January 26, 2007 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Truth Hunter: I know Hillary is not your favorite, but do us a favor about when the adds started running against her when she announced she would be in Iowa this weekend. My main interest would be in who is behind them. Thanks, lylepink.

Posted by: lylepink | January 26, 2007 4:32 PM | Report abuse

'On the one hand you seem to be saying that people should not have control over their own money and to choose to decide to invest it as they wish.'

As far as reproductive choice and financial choice, I hold them both equally dear. You likely would also, were you a woman. But I don't perceive bush trying to force everyone into a private insurance market, whee the older and the sick would be brutalized and savaged, is the same as 'deciding how to invest'...

Posted by: drindl | January 26, 2007 4:31 PM | Report abuse

I am sure Obama Osama used the Socratic method. why do I say this - because it does not require the "teacher" to offer any answers or positions on any subject. he simply continues to ask questions which may eventually lead the student to some enlightenment. The gifted professor can ask the best questions to really allow the student to progress. the charletan can hide behind his ignorance and pretend he actually knows something. hey that last line descibes about half of the Libs on this website. they mouth other talking points they heard with no original input. I give them an F for their grade. example of Socratic method as used by Obama:
Reporter: Obama, will you raise taxes?
Obama: do you believe taxes need to be raised?
Reporter: All reporters think that, as you know. How will you end the war?
Obama: If you have decided the war needs to be ended, as all wars do then you begin by stopping the current methods which are not working, right?
Reporter: but then what?
Osama: do you think diplomacy with others should be considered?
Reporter: you're going to talk to N Korea and Iran?
Obama: what else would I do wtih them. I did not go to a muslim school. OK, any other questions.

All the non-answering and lack of position is par for the course in Dem pres contenders. do they have a secret plan to end the war?

Socrates was killed for his impertinence.

Posted by: kingofzouk | January 26, 2007 4:09 PM | Report abuse

Correct in my earlier post: Obama sponsored a Pell grant bill, but I'm not sure it has been enacted into law.

Posted by: Robert* | January 26, 2007 3:49 PM | Report abuse

The game: a good way to avoid 2 minutes of work...

Likely Dem nominee: Clinton
Preferred Dem nominee: Obama
Likely Dem ticket: Clinton/Richardson
Preferred Dem ticket: Obama/Biden
Dark Horse: Richardson

Likely Repub nominee: Guiliani
Preferred Repub nominee: Hagel
Likely Repub ticket: Guiliani/Rice
Preferred Repub ticket: Hagel/Snowe
Dark Horse: Brownback

Likely 3rd Pary: Tancredo/Paul

Posted by: IMN | January 26, 2007 3:44 PM | Report abuse

As for his debating skills, Senator Obama used them every day teaching constitutional law at the U of C. Ever hear of socratic method? He was a very popular and respected professor at U of C.

Posted by: Robert* | January 26, 2007 3:38 PM | Report abuse

I agree with the earlier reader who said Obama doesn't have to poll highest among registered Black voters in order to *prove* he's a viable candidate. He is not running as The Black Candidate. He is running as an American candidate, who cares for all Americans.

A certain other reader has already proven themselves to be racist in an earlier thread. So I don't put any weight in their attacks on Obama.

One reader claims: "Obama has no substance, and no ideas, and is terified of taking a stand on ANYTHING!"

Hello, are you even awake??? Obama has enough ideas to fill two best selling books. He has enough ideas to pass bills on welfare reform, insurance coverage for children, criminal justice reform, gun control, increases in Pell grants, transparency in government records.

As for substance, Obama is an expert on constitutional law, led a drive to register 150,000 new voters in Chicago, and is on the Senate committees for foreign affairs, homeland security, and veterans' affairs.

As for being terrified to take a stand on anything. Obama has courageously taken many stands. In 2002, he had the political courage and good judgement to oppose war in Iraq, back when Bush and the war still had strong support.

Posted by: Robert* | January 26, 2007 3:36 PM | Report abuse

The best chance that I could see for McCain winning the general election would be if Hillary somehow managed to get the Democratic party nomination. McCain is so closely tied to the war in Iraq and Bush's approach to it in specific while America is so overwhelmingly against this war now that he hasn't really a prayer against an anti-war candidate.

Which Hillary is not. She voted for the war and has never shown any willingness to back off from that. She may criticize some details of Bush's policies but fundamentally a vote for Hillary is a vote for staying in Iraq. This would be sort of like Nixon vs. Humphrey in 1968, where the anti-war voters had no clear way of voting against the Vietnam war and thus Nixon was able to edge out Humphrey by less than 1% of the popular vote. Had Bobby Kennedy not been shot, Nixon would probably never have been President. So far, John Edwards seems to be playing an RFK role for 2008.

The warts on most of these candidates are becoming clearer over the last month. McCain, Obama, Giuliani and Clinton each have something fundamentally wrong with their background or politics that will sleep for a while before torpedoing them. Unless of course 2 of them wind up running against each other in which case one of them has to win.

So far, the declared candidates who look the most likely to have a ghost of a chance of both winning the nomination and not running into a brick wall in the general election are Edwards, Huckabee and Brownback.

Posted by: Jackson Landers | January 26, 2007 3:25 PM | Report abuse

D, the equivalent date would be January 2003, not 2002. That makes me think about the primaries in the 2004 election. What was the timeline like? I can't imagine that everyone announced their candidacies this far in advance. What about in 2000, on the Republican side?

It seems like there's a lot more advance buzz this election, and bigger-name candidates. I didn't follow politics closely in 2000, but I hadn't heard of Bush or McCain. And the only Democrat whose name I recognized in 2004 was Sharpton, because he's such a punchline. So the issue of one candidate overshadowing everyone else didn't really exist for the last few elections, like it does now.

Posted by: Blarg | January 26, 2007 3:15 PM | Report abuse

I will concede Richardson's foreign policy experience is a strong differentiator for him among the Dems, and he is generally respected, if not liked in his home state. But if the Kansas City Athletics didn't want him, why should America?

Conservatives who distrust or dislike McCain really have nowhere to turn. Giuliani is not much better on the issues, and has fatal character flaws.
The fear of losing the presidency during the same election in which the Dems expand their majority in the Senate (read: judicial nominations!) will eventually push the GOP hard core to accept anyone who can capture enough moderate swing voters to win. But McCain's temper will almost certainly make him a one-term president.

Posted by: Sacandaga | January 26, 2007 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Playing the game:

Likely Dem nominee: Edwards
Preferred Dem nominee: Obama
Likely Dem ticket: Edwards/Richardson
Preferred Dem ticket: Obama/Richardson
Dark Horse: Richardson

Likely Repub nominee: McCain
Preferred Repub nominee: Guiliani
Likely Repub ticket: McCain/Sanford
Preferred Repub ticket: Guiliani/Hagle
Dark Horse: Huckabee

Lylepink, I see your point but I just disagree that Hillary can win without one of the first four states. Now if she wanted to she could start a 'national campaign'. Still go to Iowa and New Hampshire, but run a true 20 state campaign. It would give the impression that the primary victory is inevitable.

Posted by: Andy R | January 26, 2007 3:04 PM | Report abuse

WaPo is giving Vilsack lots of ink.... why?

The Dem who is Iowa's new gov didn't get Vilsack's support in the primary. So don't expect the Iowa Dem party to fall into line for "favorite son" Vilsack.

Even Iowa Sen. Harkin featured Obama at his annual steak fry last fall, not Vilsack who was already openly (and embarrassingly) panting to run.

It seems Gore, Biden or even Clark would be better picks for 5th place.

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | January 26, 2007 3:01 PM | Report abuse

The first actual votes in the primaries are literally a year away. At this stage, public polling reflects name recognition more than anything else. That is why only big name candidates are showing up in these polls. How many people could say they heard of and supported Kerry, Edwards, or Dean in January 2002? Wait until the candidates are actually on a stage together debating before anything is set in stone.

Posted by: D | January 26, 2007 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Playing the game:

Likely Dem nominee: Clinton
Preferred Dem nominee: Tom Vilsack/Joe Biden
Likely Dem ticket: Clinton/Obama
Preferred Dem ticket: Vilsack/Biden

Likely Repub nominee: McCain
Preferred Repub nominee: McCain, Thompson, or Lyndsay Graham.
Likely Repub ticket: McCain/Giuliani
Preferred Repub ticket: Thompson/Graham

Everytime I see Graham on TV, he is the one person making his points rationally and showing an indication that he understands the other side of the argument.

Posted by: Badgerfan | January 26, 2007 2:43 PM | Report abuse

I agree that right now it looks like Clark is not mounting a serious campaign, which is a pity, I think, because he is the only Democrat I see with the ideas, experience and smarts to deal with the Middle East mess that it looks like Bush-Cheney will continue to cook up for another couple years. I really don't see him coming in as a running mate, either. I think that is viewed as a lightweight position (Quayle, Bush I, Gore, Mondale -- lightweights all in my view), and I don't see a four-star general moving into such a position. More likely, and unless he gets drafted because somebody slips up, Clark will continue to work hard to help good and deserving Democratic candidates in 2008 and will then aim to get into the new Democratic administration. He'd make a great Secretary of State.

Posted by: GaleKi | January 26, 2007 2:42 PM | Report abuse

DraftObama.org, a grassroots site designed to encourage U.S. Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) to run for president in 2008, today announced the launch of an"Honorary Celebrity Members" class.

http://universeeverything.blogspot.com/2007/01/pastor-rick-warren-oprah-among-stars.html

Posted by: Anonymous | January 26, 2007 2:36 PM | Report abuse

My blog post today is a refresher course on Hagel, his voting record and "his" electronic voting machines in Nebraska.

I like his stance on Iraq also, but....

For more:

http://whathappenedtomycountry.blogspot.com

Posted by: Truth Hunter | January 26, 2007 2:36 PM | Report abuse

GOP:
Nominee: Romney (They'll talk-up his Michigan and Utah roots/experience and just say that he was "the Governor of a large state.")
Likely ticket: Romney/Powell (sorry Tina, competence trumps fashion. Powell will appear to be making amends for the support he gave to "go into Iraq.")

Dark Horse: Gingrich (Gingrich actually was politically successful with his Contract for America; it was his personal shortcomings which did him in, and his supporters disregard those)

DEM:
Winning nominee: Clinton (Organization from A-Z with lots of money trump Charisma and Dogma)
Likely Dem ticket: Clinton/Clark (Remember the Nominee chooses the running mate, and she's as pragmatic as they come. No way a woman and a minority are on the Democratic ticket if she's the nominee.)
Dark Horse: Gore

Posted by: Nor'Easter | January 26, 2007 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Andy R: I don't think Hillary has to win any of the first four, and many of her opponents will play that up big should she not take any of the four. The other way, lets assume she does win one of them, will be going into Calif. that is beeing set up to be on 5 Feb. 08. Now should the Calif. vote be that early it will be, in reality, all over and the winner will go on to be the next POTUS. Hillary is very popular in Calif. and so is Bubba and that is another purely opinion on my part based on facts that are available to all of us.

Posted by: lylepink | January 26, 2007 2:29 PM | Report abuse

I agree with William on Condo for Prez. Wasn't she the NSA on 9/11 who later said that the Aug PDB didn't warn about terroist attacks on the US? As far as I'm concerned, she's a Harriet Miers clone--no original ideas, basically tasked with getting W his coffee during meetings. Not only that, but she's PRO CHOICE and PRO AFFIRMATIVE ACTION! Its amazing to me how many of her (and Guiliani's) supporters miss that. No way in hell that she would ever make it through the primaries and she knows it. Rebublicans don't elect people that condone abortion--it's that simple.

Posted by: SteveinVa | January 26, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse

I agree with William on Condo for Prez. Wasn't she the NSA on 9/11 who later said that the Aug PDB didn't warn about terroist attacks on the US? As far as I'm concerned, she's a Harriet Miers clone--no original ideas, basically tasked with getting W his coffee during meetings. Not only that, but she's PRO CHOICE and PRO AFFIRMATIVE ACTION! Its amazing to me how many of her (and Guiliani's) supporters miss that. No way in hell that she would ever make it through the primaries and she knows it. Rebublicans don't elect people that condone abortion--it's that simple.

Posted by: SteveinVa | January 26, 2007 2:13 PM | Report abuse

The party not in the White House always has its convention first.

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | January 26, 2007 2:11 PM | Report abuse

I agree with William on Condo for Prez. Wasn't she the NSA on 9/11 who later said that the Aug PDB didn't warn about terroist attacks on the US? As far as I'm concerned, she's a Harriet Miers clone--no original ideas, basically tasked with getting W his coffee during meetings. Not only that, but she's PRO CHOICE and PRO AFFIRMATIVE ACTION! Its amazing to me how many of her (and Guiliani's) supporters miss that. No way in hell that she would ever make it through the primaries and she knows it. Rebublicans don't elect people that condone abortion--it's that simple.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 26, 2007 2:10 PM | Report abuse

I am supporting Obama. I think Clinton is the most likely Dem nominee. I have no idea who either would choose as their running mates. I'd think NY Gov. Elliot Spitzer would be a good one for Obama, but there are many possibilities.

McCain is the most likely GOP nominee. He's the establishment candidate, and they always win GOP nominations for president. I couldn't say who I want to win the R nomination; I have no idea. I have no idea who any R would pick as their VP either.

McCain is too old (72) and tied to the toxic Iraq war. Moreover, it's rare that a party holds the White House after 8 years occupying it. At this point I would give a small edge to the Democratic nominee. I also expect Democrats to expand their majority in the Senate, though it could shrink in the House.

http://sandwichrepair.blogspot.com

Posted by: Sandwich Repairman | January 26, 2007 2:06 PM | Report abuse

Let's keep the game going.
GOP:
Winning nominee: John McCain
Preferred nominees: former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge or Colin Powell
Likely ticket: McCain/Guiliani
Best ticket for America: McCain/Ridge
DEM:
Winning nominee: John Edwards
Preferred Dem nominee: Governor Brad Henry of Oklahoma
Likely Dem ticket: Edwards/Clark or Edwards/Richardson
Best ticket for America: Edwards/Henry
For Dems I think the lesson of the last election wasn't that the voters preferred the Democrats but that they didn't want to continue with the status quo or business as usual. Hillary would be business as usual. It's not fair, but a black candidate with the middle name Hussein isn't going to be elected. Edwards will be a fresh, new direction and Clark would give the ticket credibility in military matters. Richardson would add international and Washington experience but he's dealing with sexual harassment charges that could harm him and any ticket he's on.
For Reps the conservatives have no choice but to support McCain or they risk losing the White House. Guiliani as VP would help create the Big Tent the Reps want. Ridge as VP would provide that comfort level the original head of the Department of Homeland Security can provide. If Powell was McCain's VP they'd be unbeatable.

Posted by: Anonymous | January 26, 2007 2:04 PM | Report abuse

How does Newt Gingrich keep managging to cling on to the bottom of the list has everybody forgoten about his failed contract with America and how terrible of a speaker he was.

As far as Obama and the black support I know there have been a lot of stories about the him not having black support but I think the leaders of the African American communities will come around to support him they are just jealous of him right now and are skeptical of him because he doesnt define himself as the black candidate. Despite this most of hte black people I talk to love Obama

Posted by: Luke | January 26, 2007 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Chris: Is that Lorelai or Emily Gilmore you keep promoting?

Posted by: Nor'Easter | January 26, 2007 2:01 PM | Report abuse

Which party has its convention first
If Reps first may impact Dems especially if
HRC does not have the votes on first ballot
Then all bets are off and door opens for Gore draft unless Edwards becomes the unity candidate on a second ballot
There could actually be a multiple ballot convention for the Dems
When have we seen one of them last
Who does better again McCain
HRC or Gore
My bet is Gore

Posted by: Anonymous | January 26, 2007 1:59 PM | Report abuse

steveinVA,
I like your idea of Kay Bailey Hutchison as VP for McCain. It would be awesome to put a woman on the ticket to give voters a chance to demonstrate "how far we've come" as one poster put it, as a trial run of sorts.
I also agree with your preferred Repub ticket: McCain/Powell. win-win!

Posted by: proudtobeGOP | January 26, 2007 1:55 PM | Report abuse

It is way too early to be making accurate guesses about nominees and tickets. Just because Clinton seems unstoppable now doesn't mean anything. The primary process for the democrats is very important, especially given the amazing star power seeking the nomination. Bill Clinton was not even among the top few candidates in the primaries for 1992, but he ended up with the nomination. I say look towards every single person in the top five of this list as a possibility. I would like to see Obama gain the nomination for several reasons. I think he has the best chance of winning over support from moderates, despite his more liberal tendencies.
In the end, I would just like to say that it is times like this, even more than the election, that I am proud to be a democrat. Of the top five candidates for President, one is a woman, another black, and yet another is Hispanic. This is nothing short of amazing...I hope that one of them will be the first non-white or female in the Oval Office.

Posted by: ed6900a | January 26, 2007 1:34 PM | Report abuse

It is way too early to be making accurate guesses about nominees and tickets. Just because Clinton seems unstoppable now doesn't mean anything. The primary process for the democrats is very important, especially given the amazing star power seeking the nomination. Bill Clinton was not even among the top few candidates in the primaries for 1992, but he ended up with the nomination. I say look towards every single person in the top five of this list as a possibility. I would like to see Obama gain the nomination for several reasons. I think he has the best chance of winning over support from moderates, despite his more liberal tendencies.
In the end, I would just like to say that it is times like this, even more than the election, that I am proud to be a democrat. Of the top five candidates for President, one is a woman, another black, and yet another is Hispanic. This is nothing short of amazing...I hope that one of them will be the first non-white or male in the Oval Office.

Posted by: ed6900a | January 26, 2007 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Like a lot of posters, I think its McCain's and Clinton's to lose.

This stage of the race, they both look unstoppable.

Likely Dem nominee: Clinton
Preferred Dem nominee: Clinton
Likely Dem ticket: Clinton/Richardson
Preferred Dem ticket: Clinton/Clark
Dark Horse: Edwards? (Obama is a newbie, no way America would trust him to protect us)

Likely Repub nominee: McCain
Preferred Repub nominee: McCain
Likely Repub ticket: McCain/Kay Hutchingson
Preferred Repub ticket: McCain/Powell
Darkhorse: Newt or Brownback

Winner McCain.

Posted by: SteveinVa | January 26, 2007 1:32 PM | Report abuse

Sorry Drindl, but Bush's health insurance plan takes from the rich and gives to the poor. You're quoting of Democratic sound bites is disturbing. Read noted liberal columnist Steven Pearlstein's Washington Post article from 1/24 called, Bipartisan Cooperation on Health Care Is Dead on Arrival. He correctly describes the Bush proposal and chastises the hypocritical Democrats who immediately came out against it with numerous false statements. How courageous was that of Pearlstein? He has my respect. I suppose if President Kerry or Gore had come up with it they'd be geniuses and champions of the people. Partisan tunnelvision is destroying America.

Posted by: IndyWasDem | January 26, 2007 1:28 PM | Report abuse

From the article on Clinton's candidacy:

"I like her because she's a Democrat and a woman, and it's time for a female president," said Rene Davis, 23, of Gloucester, N.J . Hard to argue with that "logic". Perhaps a logical follow up would have been a question on specific positions Hillary holds on issues that appeal to this voter.

"If I have a daughter, I want to know that she can run for president." Of course she can, provided she is obscenely wealthy and born with a thick skin.

Posted by: FL | January 26, 2007 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Obama has no substance, and no ideas, and is terified of taking a stand on ANYTHING!

I can't imagine him doing well in a debate under any circumstances.

Hillary is a good speaker, and smart. She will do OK. She actually has ideas. Edwards was destroyed by Cheney in 2004, but on the other hand, he has run before, and has some experience. But I still don't see him performing well against HRC.

Obama will be a disaster in a debate and come across as inexperienced, insincere, and naive.

Richardson would probably do VERY well in a debate and in the debate, he will be Hillary's biggest concern, I believe.

I think Vilsack will come across as dry, and Biden will be rambling on and on, as the audience goes "huh?"


In a GOP debate, McCain has the most to lose. He has a command of the issues, but he absolutely cannot afford to look weary, worn out and old. He fell asleep during Bush's SOTU and his appearance on Meet the Press was pathetic.

McCain will benefit from having Romney and Guliani in the race since it will be them who are questioned the most over their liberal past, and not him.

Guiliani never struck me as the overly charismatic type, and he has very little experience on foreign policy. His main claim to fame is 9/11 and people are interested in more than 1 issue, especially since McCain is strong on national security.

I have never seen Romney speak so I cant comment.

Gingrich would blow ANYONE, Dem or GOP, away in a debate, but his main disadvantage is his baggage.

Brownback is not considered charismatic, but since everyone has low expectations for him, if he does well, that will be a huge plus.

Posted by: William | January 26, 2007 1:22 PM | Report abuse

I think Richardson is going to shock people.

He's charasmatic, has the best resume, and (probably most importantly) he's an executive.

Posted by: ohthehugemanatee | January 26, 2007 1:14 PM | Report abuse

Bredesen is probably the only VP for Hillary (MAYBE Bayh too), who could actually put southern states in play, especially if ROmney or Guiliani is the Repub nominee.Bredesen is a very conservative Dem, and would almost certainly take Tennessee, even as VP. He won reelection with 66% of the vote in 2006, and took every single county in TN.

Posted by: William | January 26, 2007 1:12 PM | Report abuse

Powell and Rice have the same problem - they both are in love with the myth of their personas - neither candidate could come out of an election without losing their place in history as positive trail blazers for the African American community - this is why neither will ever subject themselves to the type public scrutiny which comes with a presidential election.

Clark could still be pushed into second place if he acts before the first CNN debates and places well during the debates - I am convinced that if HRC does not come out of the debates as strong and stately - her campaign will be dead.

These incredibly early debates will change the face of the primary season and make Iowa less important

Richardson has the most to gain and HRC has the most to lose - Edwards is just going to look out of place - along with Obama

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes
www.balancingtheissues.com

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | January 26, 2007 1:11 PM | Report abuse

I'll play the game.

For the nominee, I will only use poeple who are candidates or considered potential candidates.

GOP:

Likely nominee: McCain
Preferred nominee:Tom Tancredo
Likely ticket: McCain/Pawlenty or McCain/Sanford
Preferred ticket: Tancredo/Gilmore

I still think McCain will manage to get the nomination, at least for now. If he has health problems, if Iraq gets worse, if there is a high-profile crime by an illegal, etc then he may collapse, and the winner would be Huckabee, Brownback or possibly Romney. Pawlenty as VP would put the blue midwest in play.

Democrats:

likely nominee: Hillary Clinton
preferred nominee: Evan Bayh
likely ticket: Hillary/Bayh or, possibly, Hillary/Warner or Hillary/Bredesen.
preferred ticket: Bayh/Warner or Bayh/Feingold.

Unless she does a George Allen, I see Hillary as pretty much unstoppable. THere is no way other candidates, even Obama, will be able to match her fundraising, and Obama will look like a hypocrite if he declines public funds. Hillary may be electable, but Bayh would have been a shoo in, and Feingold on the ticket would excite the liberal base.

Posted by: William | January 26, 2007 1:09 PM | Report abuse

Likely Dem nominee: Obama
Preferred Dem nominee: Obama
Likely Dem ticket: Obama/Clark
Preferred Dem ticket: Obama/Clark
Dark Horse: Gore

Likely Repub nominee: McCain
Preferred Repub nominee: Huckabee
Likely Repub ticket: McCain/Huckabee
Preferred Repub ticket: Huckabee/(heavyweight)

Most likely winner: Obama

I think Obama will, as an above poster put it, wear well with the public. I don't think the madrassa smear is going to stick outside of the hard 25-30% republican base.
I'm not too concerned about how enthusiastic blacks are about Obama. I really only care about likely primary voters, and there Obama is doing quite well. If he wins the primary, blacks certainly won't abandon him for McCain because he's not black enough. I hope his candidacy will inspire the black community to have a vigorous debate over whether they want someone like Al Sharpton as their spokesman anyway.

I think democrats will worry about Clinton's viability, and select someone who is able to put forward a more progressive platform to boot. Edwards won't pick up enough voters unless Obama stumbles, although he can make some noise in early states with big labor. He'll have to perform well in the debates.

On the republican side, I think McCain has become the establishment candidate and all of the other republicans have serious flaws that turn off the base almost as much. In the general, McCain's war support, temper, and advanced age will sink him.

Posted by: Nissl | January 26, 2007 1:03 PM | Report abuse

Tina & Jackson Rip Holmes,

Hagel has not so much as started an exploratory committee while Condi Rice has expressed zero interest in running for political office of any kind. We could all come up with a list of fantasy candidates but at this point, serious analysis and discussion of the race has to be focused on people who are actually indicating that they wish to be candidates. The race has already started. Saying that we all should change our odds and our lists based on Hagel or Rice makes about as much sense at this point as speculating on GHW Bush making a comeback or drafting Colin Powell. Chris was right to leave them out just as he left out Al Gore and Brian Schweitzer.

Potential running mates are a different story, so have at it there.

With regard to Wesley Clark, he's not actiing like a serious candidate any more. He's just sat there and neither said nor done anything as his supporters have moved over to John Edwards. He's not raising money for himself and not making the rounds with local committee chairs and opinion makers the way that the real candidates, formally declared or otherwise, are right now.

I like Clark a lot and think that he could have made a top tier candidate had he made the effort. The window of time in which he can hope to have a place in the field is rapidly closing. You still might see him as a VP and in fact I think that the only reason why he continues to dither is so that he won't be forgetten when that time comes.

Posted by: Jackson Landers | January 26, 2007 1:00 PM | Report abuse

Tina, I understand that you really like Condi, but give up already! She is NOT electable either in the GOP primaries OR the general! The South and West (the main GOP dominated areas) will vote for Edwards or maybe even Hillary before they vote for an African-American. That's just the cold hard truth.

If that wasn't bad enough, WHY should we nominate someone who was the principal architect of the Iraq fiasco, and who was a terrible Sec State? The country has rejected the Bush administration and its policies, as we saw in 2006, and even most conservatives are angry at Bush, who's ratings are in the mid 20s. According to Gallup, only 12 percent support the surge.

Condi would be Bush Reloaded and would be a terrible president.

Honestly, give it up!

She has said multiple times she will NOT run, and if she changed her mind now, she will look like a liar.

There are thousands of dollars which have been spent already on TV and radio in Iowa, New Hampshire, Florida, and Tennessee promoting Condi for 2008.

"There are thousands of dollars which have been spent already on TV and radio in Iowa, New Hampshire, Florida, and Tennessee promoting Condi for 2008."


Yeah right.

Posted by: William | January 26, 2007 12:51 PM | Report abuse

Well folks I think lylepink is on to something. I believe that that the democratic nominee will be known by March 15, 2008. While the media don't want to admit it, the second tier canidates simply cannot compete all over the country, they therefore will get axed out by the rush to front loading.

As I have indicated before here, it takes money, organization, institutional memeory, and maybe a former president to get to the top. There is only two democrats that fit that bill, and one of them seems to not want to run again.

While I was not a fan of HRC in the past, I cannot help but smile at her quiet, calculated march thru the process.

Posted by: james b | January 26, 2007 12:39 PM | Report abuse

55 weeks ago I declared Al Gore the dark horse of the DEMS - he remains so.

The GOP will also witness a dark horse come from out of nowhere - still not visible today.

Neither party's top four candidates will last the stretch.

Posted by: Peter L. | January 26, 2007 12:31 PM | Report abuse

Dems block gay health benefits. Who are these REPugs and DEMons? Just when you think you know them something like this happens. A prominent Senate Democrat this week took steps to block an amendment to the minimum wage bill that would provide tax deductions for employer-generated health benefits for domestic partners. Sen. Max Baucus D-Mont., chair of the Senate Finance Committee, threatened to invoke a parliamentary rule to stop Sen. Gordon Smith R-Ore. from introducing the domestic partner amendment. The head of the national gay group Log Cabin Republicans called on Democratic leaders to overrule Baucus and to allow the domestic partner measure to be considered as an amendment to the minimum wage bill. "LGBT Democrats gave a lot of money and support to their party last November," said Log Cabin President Patrick Sammon. "Now Senate Democrats better not block the first piece of pro-gay legislation in the 110th Congress," he said. "Majority Leader Harry Reid D-Nev. should stop Senator Baucus from obstructing this amendment and allow a vote by the full Senate," Sammon said. Smith's gay Republican supporters point to Smith's past support for other gay rights legislation, including the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, or ENDA, which would ban employment discrimination based on sexual orientation and a hate crimes prevention bill that includes protection for gays and transgender persons. "Non-traditional families are part of the fabric of our society and deserve fair treatment," Smith R-Ore. said in a statement this week."

Posted by: Demasker | January 26, 2007 12:27 PM | Report abuse

couldn't have said it better myself:

"As you consider her career this past 15 years or so in the public spotlight, it is impossible not to be struck, and even impressed, by the sheer ruthless, unapologetic, unshameable way in which she has pursued this ambition, and confirmed that there is literally nothing she will not do, say, think or feel to achieve it. Here, finally, is someone who has taken the black arts of the politician's trade, the dissembling, the trimming, the pandering, all the way to their logical conclusion.

All politicians, sadly, lie. We can often forgive the lies as the necessary price paid to win popularity for a noble cause. But the Clinton candidacy is a Grand Deceit, an entirely artificial construct built around a person who, stripped bare of the cynicism, manipulation and calculation, is nothing more than an enormous, overpowering and rather terrifying ego"


http://www.timesonline.co.uk/article/0,,6-2566485,00.html

I guess if that's what you like......

I saw richard III last night at shakespeare theater. It was outstanding. Politics is not for amatuers. this article likens Hillary to Lady McaBeth but I think Richard is more apt. especially smothering the children for their own good. will there be children in every one of her public appearances?

Posted by: kingofzouk | January 26, 2007 12:26 PM | Report abuse

I think the Republican field is wide open despite the apparent leads for McCain and Giuliani. I sense that McCain's support in the party is a mile wide and an inch deep. He is deeply distrusted by the party's base. Much of his support is based on his supposed electability. Should he not immdediately take control of the primary field, that image of invincibility will dissipate. I don't think Giuliani could survive as a viable candidate as his social issue and gun control views become more widely known, not to mention his marital escapades. He would however drain a lot of support from McCain. I cannot see Romney succeeding well enough in his efforts to woo the religious right primarily because they will doubt his sincerity based on his past statements during Massachussetts elections. His religion will also be something of a drawback with that constituency, especially in the South. I cannot see Brownback winning the nomination although he does give the religious conservatives considering Romney a more comfortable alternative. The most hardline social conservative never seems to win the Republican nomination anyway - witness Robertson, Buchanon, Bauer, for example. Gingrich might gain some traction since he has appeal to all constituents in the Republican base. Republican primaries award delegates on a winner-take-all basis so a candidate who wins a series of primaries with something like 35% of the vote could end up with the nomination. Should that candidate be Giuliani, I am convinced that there will be a right wing third party challenger - perhaps Gary Bauer. I also wonder how the NRA would react to a prominent gun control advocate as the Republican presidential candidate. I think that this scenario does provide hope for some of the dark horse candidates like Hagel, Huckabee and Gilmore.

Posted by: JimD in FL | January 26, 2007 12:24 PM | Report abuse

Drindl,

I am sure you see the obvious paradox in your first two posts. On the one hand you seem to be saying that people should not have control over their own money and to choose to decide to invest it as they wish. On the other hand you are decrying the perils of big government with regard to issues of reproductive rights. While I don't doubt that you would hold one right more dearly than the other I would submit that economic freedom is equally important.

Posted by: TG | January 26, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse

The Rev. Al Sharpton yesterday threatened to again seek the Democratic presidential nomination unless current contenders, including four senators he visited on Capitol Hill, commit to focusing attention on civil rights issues.

Posted by: theonlyALtorunin08 | January 26, 2007 12:23 PM | Report abuse

Back to the game:

Likely Dem nominee: Hillary Clinton
Preferred Dem nominee: Barack Obama
Likely Dem ticket: Hillary/Richardson
Preferred Dem ticket: Obama/Clark

Likely Repub nominee: McCain
Preferred Repub nominee: McCain
Likely Repub ticket: McCain/Romney
Preferred Repub ticket: McCain/Hagel

Most likely winner: McCain
Preferred pick overall: Colin Powell
Utopick : Jed Bartlet

Posted by: Anonymous | January 26, 2007 12:22 PM | Report abuse

The latest poll reported by Julie Chen on CBS on January 23 stated:
Would you vote for a qualifed woman as president?
82% of Democrats YES
77% of Republicans YES

The polls which have listed Secretary of State Condi Rice clearly show support for her to run. (Marist November 2006 asked Who do you WANT to run in 2008?
45% said Condi Rice

Gallup asked people if she was acceptable as a presidential nominee and 68% said YES.

She has high job approval ratings and high Name ID.

My only question is why would Political Derby make a statement about Gov Mark Sanford of S Carolina as "draftable".
Has Cillizza heard about a movement in support of Gov Sanford? Where are the polls on his support?

Anyway, if Newt can be seen as a viable choice who can enter the race after Labor Day (early September 2007), then why not agree that Secretary Rice could enter later as well? In fact, the drafting movement means collecting signatures on petitions and raising money to organize.
The effort to promote Secretary Rice started back in November 2004 and it was not by me. There are over 20 websites dedicated to Condi Rice in 2008, and I am not with them. I am just a woman who is inpsired by her, and would love to see her on the ticket. The polls likewise show that the people across the nation also want her to run and would support her as a presidential contender.
That is just a fact. So Hillary is not the ONLY woman being considered for 2008, and Obama is not the only African-American.
Perhaps a few ads have to be placed in the Washington Post in order to show this is serious?
In the coming months, that might happen and that might be proof for Cillizza?
There are thousands of dollars which have been spent already on TV and radio in Iowa, New Hampshire, Florida, and Tennessee promoting Condi for 2008.
Again, that is just a fact.

Posted by: Tina | January 26, 2007 12:14 PM | Report abuse

Playing the game:

Likely Dem nominee: John Edwards
Preferred Dem nominee: Wesley Clark
Likely Dem ticket: Edwards/Richardson
Preferred Dem ticket: Edwards/Clark

Likely Repub nominee: Huckabee
Preferred Repub nominee: Brownback
Likely Repub ticket: Huckabee/Hagel
Preferred Repub ticket: Brownback/Gingrich

Actually, I have no real feeling for the Rethuglicans; if they were sane, they would choose Huckabee (or someone to distance them from the Bush/Iraq mess), but thankfully, I'm pretty sure they aren't. I just have a feeling it's not going to be McCain. I also have that feeling about Clinton on the Democratic side, but the feeling is less strong. She might pull it out with all the $$. Right now, I think Edwards is ahead in the early primaries and barring a terrible gaff by him or the entry of Gore or Clark into the race, I think he can take it. And he's the current best choice. I suspect he'll be pressured into DLCer Richardson for veep dor party unity, though Clark or Webb would be better for electibility.

Posted by: Sagacity | January 26, 2007 12:10 PM | Report abuse

Lylepink,
So basically you are argueing that because Hillary has tons of cash and universal name recognition she doesn't have to win any of the first four primaries. And that she is more popular nationwide so that once we get past those four she picks up steam and crushes whomever comes out of the early four.
This MIGHT be the case if three different people win in those four races (say Edwards in Iowa and SC, Richardson in Nevada, and Obama in NH) and Senator clinton comes in say second or third in all. Then she wins Florida and Cali and shuts the rest of the group out with her financial edge.

However, I think that there is one main problem with that scenario. Hillary is Expected to WIN in a walk. I know her team is trying to 'lower expectations' but it won't work. Most of America thinks that this is a done deal. If anyone shows a hint of life with a win in Iowa then they will get TONS and TONS of media attention. And all you will hear about Hillary is that she now has to rescue her campaign. Then folks will figure she is done and try and coalesce behind the frontrunner.

Can Hillary win Iowa, Nevada, or NH? Sure but she has to win one of those before an Edwards or Obama picks up too much steam. Think if we get to Super Tuesday and it is between Edwards and Hillary. I think Edwards takes it, Just my opinion.

Posted by: Andy R | January 26, 2007 12:06 PM | Report abuse

A quick google of Chuck Hagel's voting record confirms he basically is what you figure he is: anti-abortion, pro-ag & business, low on enviro list like LCV, high on so-called anti-tax lists (but low on budget / Concord Coalition), high on Christian Coalition. Good for quote so media likes him (one link likens him to Curt Schilling). Sounds a lot like McCain's profile in 2000. Was the principal author of the mid-90s Senate resolution against Kyoto. My guess is the reason he looks bad to the conservative base is the same reason McCain did. A threat to one of their financial stakes. For McCain, they did not like finance reform. For Hagel, it is the business interest in Iraq.

Posted by: jon | January 26, 2007 11:57 AM | Report abuse

A quick google of Chuck hagel's voting record confirms he basically is what you figure he is: anti-abortion, pro-ag & business, low on enviro list like LCV, high on so-called anti-tax lists (but low on Concord Coalition), high on Christian Coalition. Good for quote so media likes him (one link likens to Curt Schilling). Sounds a lot like McCain's profile in 2000. Was the principal author of the mid-90s Senate resolution against Kyoto. My guess is the reason he looks bad to the conservative base is the same reason McCain did. A threat to one of their financial stakes. For McCain, they did not like finance reform. For Hagel, it is the business interest in Iraq.

Posted by: jon | January 26, 2007 11:55 AM | Report abuse

You're posting your full name, phone number, and address? Are you going to post your credit card and Social Security numbers next?

You must be really new to the Internet.

Posted by: Blarg | January 26, 2007 11:53 AM | Report abuse

I SURE HOPE WE HAVE A CHOICE OTHER THAN THOSE TWO. I can't see myself nor anyone in my family ot friends, voting for either of them.

Posted by: Mikeb | January 26, 2007 11:53 AM | Report abuse

Regarding Vilsack. Yes you mentioned that he is the former two term Governor of Iowa, but you forgot to mention that he is running third in the polls in his home state, with non Iowan number four close on his heels. That seems pretty damning to me. Nothing like losing your home state in the first 2008 contest to give someone momentum for the nomination.

Posted by: Tom Rinaldo | January 26, 2007 11:52 AM | Report abuse

Dear Mr. Cillizza:

Thank you for your tireless, refreshing, and extremely informative columns and news reporting! Great job!

I will take all bets that John McCain, unless he reverses himself on the Iraq war, will not be elected President! Any takers?

Therefore, enter Senator Chuck Hagel of Nebraska. Why isn't he in your Top Five Republican Presidential list?!!!

Sincerely,

Jackson Rip Holmes
5101 Collins Avenue, # 7 K
Miami Beach, Florida 33140
Phone: 305-338-5000/305-866-1690
Fax: 305-866-1628
E-Mail: Holmesrip2@aol.com

Posted by: Jackson Rip Holmes | January 26, 2007 11:48 AM | Report abuse

'Advocates of the new policy -- some of whom are in the NSC, the vice president's office, the Pentagon and the State Department -- said that only direct and aggressive efforts can shatter Iran's growing influence. A less confident Iran, with fewer cards, may be more willing to cut the kind of deal the Bush administration is hoping for on its nuclear program. "The Iranians respond to the international community only when they are under pressure, not when they are feeling strong," one official said.

It's a policy with a long list of potential consequences, especially "if Iran responds with escalation," putting "U.S. citizens and national interests at greater risk in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere."

But perhaps that's the point?

A senior intelligence officer was more wary of the ambitions of the strategy.

"This has little to do with Iraq. It's all about pushing Iran's buttons. It is purely political," the official said. The official expressed similar views about other new efforts aimed at Iran, suggesting that the United States is escalating toward an unnecessary conflict to shift attention away from Iraq and to blame Iran for the United States' increasing inability to stanch the violence there.'

You see the same old administration strategy? Find someone to blame for their failures. Get into an unwinnable fight with Iran to take people's minds off how bad it looks in Iraq. Course in a few months will look even worse in Iran, a country 4 times bigger.

Every day they push Iran harder, trying to get them to start something, so they can have their war.

Posted by: drndl | January 26, 2007 11:43 AM | Report abuse

All bets are off for now - CNN is going to start the debates early - this is important because if HRC, Edwards, Obama, Richardson or whomever bombs there will still be time for money to shift.

Predicting the future until after the first debate is silly -

has anyone heard officially what is happening with Clark? - I think if he can make the first debate he will be the only one to stand out as stately and could cause a shift in money.

Bobby Wightman-Cervantes
www.balancingtheissues.com

Posted by: Bobby Wightman-Cervantes | January 26, 2007 11:38 AM | Report abuse

I'd be interested to see what Gingrich has in organization (if any). I think he may be a bigger force in the Republican primary than we currently give him credit.

Posted by: Greg-G | January 26, 2007 11:37 AM | Report abuse

Indywasdem: The 'health plan' is a gimmick for drawing the young and healthy into cheaper plans and leave employers with only older and sicker people and higher premiums. It's simply a stealth privatization intended to destroy the employer provided insurance paradigm.

Like everything else they propse, it will siimply make it more expensive for the middle class. Everything they do is desiged to benefit corporations and wealthy and stick it to the middle class. It's not policy, it's Gilded Age ideology.

Posted by: drindl | January 26, 2007 11:36 AM | Report abuse

Learn the FACTS about Mitt Romney:

http://www.mittreport.com

www dot mittreport dot com

Posted by: Mitt Report | January 26, 2007 11:35 AM | Report abuse

I can't see any scenario where Hagel would get the Republican nomination. Without support from the party's conservative base, he'd have a very hard time getting through the primaries. Other big Republican candidates (McCain and Giuliani) also aren't trusted by conservatives, but I'm sure they'd have more support than Hagel.

He'd probably do pretty well in a 3-way race, especially if the party nominees are very ideological and he could take the middle. But our electoral system really doesn't allow for that sort of thing. And any third-party candidate has a big disadvantage due to lack of money and pre-existing organization. So, basically, I don't think Hagel has a chance.

Posted by: Blarg | January 26, 2007 11:19 AM | Report abuse

Here's the R's who voted yesterday not to increase, but to eliminate the minimum wage altogether. Among them were those progressives Brownback [no suprise, his 'christian' support for the poor ends at his coroporate contributor's doorstep] and McCain, that 'rebel'.

http://bobgeiger.blogspot.com/2007/01/who-wanted-to-eliminate-federal-minimum.html

Posted by: drindl | January 26, 2007 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Sacandaga,

Obama won't be anyone's pick for a running mate. In fact, none of the contenders for the top of the ticket would help any of the others as a running mate. All of these major candidates for the Democratic nomination have zero credentials on national security and defense. So that is what the eventual nominee will be looking to add to the bottom of the ticket.

There are only 2 obvious options right now that would provide instant credibility in the way of national defense. Wesley Clark (who now appears not to be mounting a serious campaign for President and has lost his supporters to Edwards) and Jim Webb. Both are highly experienced and effective military men who eloquently oppose the war in Iraq and add instant gravity to a ticket. Barring some terrible gaffes or scandals involving each of these guys between now and '08, either Clark or Webb will be asked by the nominee to run for Vice President.

Webb has actually proven that he can win a very tough, uphill race and has been vetted in probably the nastiest race of 2006 while Clark is pretty thin on actual political experience. So I would probably give the edge to Jim Webb.

If I had to make a prediction for what this ticket will turn out to be, I would call it Edwards/Webb.

Posted by: Jackson Landers | January 26, 2007 11:17 AM | Report abuse

Hillary's got many problems, but the two that are getting little attention now, but that opponents know can have a big impact on swing voters are:

The Dynasty Issue:
Bush-Clinton-Bush-Clinton (GWB making it look less appetizing every day)

The Who's in Charge (or Loose Cannon) Issue:
Ex-Prez Bill back in the White House with nothing to do will make many more people uncomfortable, for many more reasons, than the "2 for 1 Bill/Hillary deal" that Repubs effectively attacked in '92. Any attempt by Hillary to respond to that by giving him a prospective job (Ambassador to Australia?), or announcing that he'll stay in Chappaqua, will just cause more trouble.

Posted by: Sacandaga | January 26, 2007 11:09 AM | Report abuse

Hillary will never have more than a plurality throughout the primary campaign. This makes her look big and strong early on but her dirty little secret is that there's no room for her to grow. As soon as this becomes a 2-way race when large numbers of voters have really tuned into the election, Hillary will be stuck at around 40%, tops.

Obama is going to be destroyed eventually by this thing about having attended a foreign Islamic school for several years as a child. Whether it happens in the primary or after getting the nomination, I couldn't say. But it doesn't really matter whether the school was a 'madrassa' or not. A vigorous attack campaign against Obama on this basis will utterly destroy him. You think the 'swiftboating' was bad? That wasn't even based in fact. This thing is - facts which Obama has acknowledged in his book. America will not elect a Commander in Chief who admits to having been educated in a foreign Islamic school. Like it or not, anyone who has spent some time following American politics closely must know perfectly well that this is the truth.

The best thing for the Democratic party is for Obama's campaign to fail in the primary rather than risk his getting the nomination and collapsing in the face of serious attacks on the Islamic school thing. This is a candidate who has never been vetted in a serious, competetive race before. The sooner he drops and makes it a 2-way fight between Edwards and Hillary, the better the Democrats' '08 chances will be.

Posted by: Jackson Landers | January 26, 2007 11:04 AM | Report abuse

JD & Andy R: I think the answer to both of you is in the "Hidden Vote" realm, if you will. The early states will not have the influence they usually have for so many others are stepping up earlier and earlier. Calif. and Fla. can be expected to follow and the Super Tuesday has to be figured in also. Many of us have seen these early polls and can't ignore them, but be careful for they could change in a matter of days. Hillary will be in Iowa this weekend and someone from Iowa could give us an idea of how soon the "trash" adds started as soon as it was announced. These "trash" adds will give you some idea if you can figure out who the folks behind them are, and I think the repubs will be involved for Hillary is the one they fear most.

Posted by: lylepink | January 26, 2007 11:03 AM | Report abuse

Al Gore!!! Please don't abandon us. In a wet dream he would announce he is running at the Oscar ceremony when accepting his award, then we would have peace in the republic.

Posted by: MxWPFan | January 26, 2007 11:02 AM | Report abuse

From Jeff for Progress;
"Also its rumored that she has been heavy-handed in restricting her supporters to giving to her and that she has a hand in moving up the big state primaries...
...All of this smacks of putting personal ambition over democracy, something that may come back to eventually haunt her, particularly among party activists..."

Here Jeff has posted one of the most important points made in a long time on this blog.

Would most Hillary wafflers like myself be inclined to agree that, if this "rumor" is true, this represents the type of behind-the-scenes win-at-any-cost manipulation that makes me not want to support her?

I always thought the image Travolta and that Scienceallofus movie "Primary Colors" was hard on Hill and Bill, but if Hillary is one of the pro-active movers and shakers advocating and manipulating these early-voting schedule changes, it suggests she fits the fiction character more than I imagined.

We don't need these kinds of changes, YET, we have too much at stake right now to manipulate the foundation of a cracked structure, that needs repair first, not reconstruction.

Changing the early-voting system right now would only prove there is more ambition than integrity in Washington DC attached Democrats.

Posted by: JEP | January 26, 2007 11:01 AM | Report abuse

Napoleon Dynamite -- Howie Kurtz is an idiot. If Bush wants to tax the rich to provide health insurance for the poor. Hurrah, way to go W! He's seen the light. Only a far, far left Democrat would find fault with that plan. The plans's great but because it's from W it's not acceptable? Take the health insurance money and run. Gold-plated health plans generally belong to government workers (federal, state, county), businesses with strong union contracts, teachers (public schools and universities), and large corporations like Google, Microsoft, and others like them. We recently had teachers threathening to strike because the schools wanted to adjust their benefit that paid 100% of all healthcare costs. What the teachers didn't count on was that the public didn't know they were getting 100% coverage. When they found out there was a backlash from normal workers paying thousands of dollars out of their paychecks each year for coverage. There's hundreds of thousands if not millions of workers with what would qualify as gold-plated health plans.

Posted by: IndyWasDem | January 26, 2007 10:58 AM | Report abuse

Drindl - Don't know who Hagel's base would be. I'm trying to figure that question out.

It probably wouldn't be me, because I have this suspicion that his "maverick" qualities only extend as far as Iraq (but that kind of info is what I'm trying to learn). It was a horrible mistake to get into Iraq and kudos to Hagel for saying so early on and against the tide, but a one-issue anti-Iraq platform just is not sufficient to make someone POTUS.

Posted by: Golgi | January 26, 2007 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Playing the game:

Likely Dem nominee: John Edwards
Preferred Dem nominee: Tom Vilsack
Likely Dem ticket: Edwards/Obama
Preferred Dem ticket: Vilsack/Biden

Likely Repub nominee: McCain
Preferred Repub nominee: Newt (for laughs)
Likely Repub ticket: McCain/Gilmore
Preferred Repub ticket: Newt/Brownback

Most likely winner: McCain (all Dems are flawed and vulnerable; McCain is old, but terrorist flareups will turn independents toward McCain)

Preferred pick overall: Colin Powell as an independent.

Posted by: Sacandaga | January 26, 2007 10:53 AM | Report abuse

The Base still has a big problem with Hillary. If she wins, it will be because she has bribed everyone with that massive War Chest of hers.

Obama has been listening to The Serious People in Georgetown too much (as Edwards did in 04) .. he should have held his fire. Edwards is tied to John Kerry, and no matter how much the Unions love him, he's going to stumble.

Richardson is one smart fellow. He's hanging back and letting these fools soak up the early limelight and let their egos run wild..

Waiting for someone to fall on their arse.

Not to mention the American People's strong distaste for sitting Congresscritters running for President. Big Bill is going to make serious ground because he actually lives outside of Washington... outside of JFK, Congress hasn't sent anyone to the Executive Branch in the last half of the 20th Century and doesn't look like its about to anytime soon.

Sam Brownback as the Republican nominee would be my wet dream - because he will lose big in a general. I kind of want to send him money already..

Richardson is on his way, daddyo.

V

Posted by: Vincente | January 26, 2007 10:47 AM | Report abuse

Let me play Devil's Advocate for Newt Gingrich.
If we assume that the situation in Iraq fails to improve, damaging McCain's prospects; and
Guiliani's positions on social issues damages his prospects with Republican conservatives; and
Romney's religious faith is a serious detriment; and
Brownback and Huckabee don't catch fire;
Ol' Newt could look pretty good to most conservative Republican voters just about the time decisions need to be made.

Posted by: Mouse | January 26, 2007 10:43 AM | Report abuse

"We hear more negative rumors about Edwards than we do about all of the other Democrats combined."

By "We," CC, do you mean the circle of "top pundits" you drink pitchers with? Is Matthews in that gaggle?

If there isn't already an appropriate old addage, there SHOULD be one that says "frontrunners wear bullseyes on their backsides."

Its easy to take a shot at the leader of the pack, from outside looking in or from the rear looking forward. So if Edwards gets the lion's share of sniping, it suggests he's already the man to beat.

Posted by: JEP | January 26, 2007 10:43 AM | Report abuse

I love Chuck Hagel. At least on the war. Nobody has more crediblity, nobody has more courage. He is defying everyone in his own party and tackling the subject honestly, which is making the republican base despise him.

On that alone, because I feel he that he understands what's going on and what to do about it better than anyone, I could vote for him.

But I don't really know where he stands on other issues. However, I might give on certain things if I felt I wasn't going to just get screwed and decieved, the way I have felt about every other republican politician in the last 20 years.

That's the thing, Golgi, who would his base be?

Posted by: drindl | January 26, 2007 10:39 AM | Report abuse

Chuck Hagel was pulling no punches, urging his colleagues to "take a stand after four years of acquiscence."

"What do you believe? What are you willing to support? What do you think? Why were you elected?" he asked. If you wanted a safe job, go sell shoes."

'The liberal bias,'? Rosslyn? Are you one of those FOX nuts?

Posted by: Anonymous | January 26, 2007 10:33 AM | Report abuse

JEP,
I agree that Brownback and Richardson both did well by announcing the same time. Mainly because their announcements were second page news to begin with, but when Hillary announced they jumped to frontpage because they were carried in the same story as Hillary. Also people who wouldn't have read or watched about either of those two, now have because they were already paying attention to HRC.
Not to mention the fact that the media doesn't want to look biased so they tried (and failed) to cover all equally.

Posted by: Andy R | January 26, 2007 10:32 AM | Report abuse

I don't know if gold plated plans still exist, but 5 years ago I knew of a local law firm that had a gold plated medical plan with no deductibles or co-pays. The premiums then were roughly double what the going rate for a more normal plan was, but the decision makers apparently felt that it was worthwhile.

Posted by: Mousytongue | January 26, 2007 10:31 AM | Report abuse

1. Al Gore. He is more popular with the wealthy Hollywood crowd and the netroots. He is less polarizing than Hillary and does not have the gender problem that Hillary has with males. He is also best prepared of any in the field Democrat or Republican to assume the office of president.

2. Barack Obama. I am reassured to note that Obama has put together such a competent staff. I think he is less ability to be competitive in fundraising as Gore is to Hillary. I think he will wear well with both blacks and whites as time goes on.

3. Al Gore and Barack Obama. The best blend of Reason, Vision, and Experience of any potential ticket, IMO.

4. John Edwards. Funding and the moving up of big state primaries may blunt any momentum he gets out of Iowa and Nevada. He is ahead of the others in proposing greater citizen involvement in democracy. He also has a good intellectual learning curve which appeals to ordinary people and smart political activists necessary to win the nomination. If Gore doesn't enter into the contest and Obama doesn't wear well-- something I don't believe will happen-- Edward looks to me to be the UnHillary. I think the idea about him not being likeable are absurd and are a sign of his being a credible candidate.

5. Hillary Clinton. I think that Hillary can defeat Hillary. Already polls show there is a big gender gap in recent polls, 41 percent to 28 percent in one national polls. In NYC Obama is virtually tied with her among males. This is a big fat red flashing warning sign for anyone, but a Hillary loyalist. Also its rumored that she has been heavy-handed in restricting her supporters to giving to her and that she has a hand in moving up the big state primaries. All of this smacks of putting personal ambition over democracy, something that may come back to eventually haunt her, particularly among party activists.

Richardson and Vilsack strike me as potential VP running mates. Richardson might make a strong second to tickets headed by Obama or Clinton. Gore should stick to Obama. Vilsack as VP seems solid and might bring some regional diversity to a Hillary run, but I think they would make an unexciting team.

Posted by: Jeff-for-progress | January 26, 2007 10:29 AM | Report abuse

Could all the candidates for President be running, because, it allows them to collect money that they can use for some oher purpose (distribute it to other candidates; take the family on an inspection of the Paris subways; use the money for the campaign for their current office or another office etc, etc, etc.

Posted by: Jack | January 26, 2007 10:28 AM | Report abuse

"It's hard to imagine how the timing of Brownback's announcement could have been any worse, coming as it did on the same day that Clinton established a presidential exploratory committee."

au contraire, my pundificating pals, doesn't this, at least inadvertantly, make Brownback positioned as the R's anti-Clinton? Seems like a stroke of good fortune for Brownback, if it wasn't smart it was lucky.

Posted by: JEP | January 26, 2007 10:27 AM | Report abuse

Andy R, I agree that Richardson shall not be underestimated and I wonder why his numbers are that low. I think it's gonna be hard for him to win. I agree that he doesn't have the profile to be Barrack's running mate but he could be a perfect Hillary's VP. He's a latino governor from West, which, I think, match perfectly with Clinton's East Coast Female Senator profile.

Posted by: Pierre | January 26, 2007 10:25 AM | Report abuse

Chris, please cut out the liberal bias and report fairly. Thank you.

Posted by: rossyln | January 26, 2007 10:24 AM | Report abuse

'Bush wants to tax (I thought he was allergic to that word) better-paid workers with gold-plated health plans and use the money to subsidize insurance for the less affluent.'

From Howie Kurtz. What exactly IS a 'gold-plated' health plan? Have you ever met anyone who had one? Have you ever met anyone who didn't have co-pays and out of pockets and partial this and partial that and exclusions?

Does this even exist?

Posted by: lark | January 26, 2007 10:21 AM | Report abuse

Mazerunner,

Interesting comment. Of course, there ARE some black politicians who do not work on behalf of their black constituency and who are very popular with white voters. So there is some real common sense for black voters to be initially suspicious of any black candidate popular among white voters.

As I understand Obama's stances on various issues, he actually is committed to working on behalf of his black constituency. He's also a good communicator and much of his presidential candidacy is based on his communication skills.

So, if he can't communicate to black voters that he really is looking out for them, he wouldn't deserve to win because he would have failed to pass a basic communication test.

But my guess is that he will be able to communicate this, and we will see the polling results among likely black voters reverse as the election approaches.

Posted by: Golgi | January 26, 2007 10:10 AM | Report abuse

For uncensored news please bookmark:

otherside123.blogspot.com
www.wsws.org
www.onlinejournal.com
http://takingaimradio.com/

http://onlinejournal.com/artman/publish/article_1665.shtml

Bi-partisan unity on "reforming" Social Security?

By Seth Sandronsky
Online Journal Contributing Writer
Jan 23, 2007, 00:51

The Washington Post reported on January 12 that Senate Budget Committee Chairman Kent Conrad (D-N.D.) is pressing to form a bi-partisan panel to address Social Security. Joining him is Judd Gregg (R-N.H.), whom Conrad succeeded.

It is reasonable to conclude they assume the program paying one American in six needs to be fixed. The two men plan to make their case to members of the House, Senate and Bush White House.

Conrad and Gregg's goal is to create a panel to address the costs of Social Security and other programs such as Medicare, according to the Post. Later, the panel would work to have Congress vote on a reform bill.

Presumably, Conrad is not the proverbially loose cannon in the new Democratic majority. Surely, Harry Reid (D-NV), the Senate majority leader, is aware of what Conrad is doing.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, (D-CA), vowed to "preserve" Social Security about a month ago. Taking her vow for preservation of Social Security with skepticism is warranted with the Post's report on the policy path of Conrad and his GOP ally.

The fact of the matter is their drive to fix Social Security is flawed, as was President George W. Bush's. Social Security is financially sound for the next 33 years (according to the trust fund's trustees) to 40 years (according to the non-partisan Congressional Budget Office), with no fixes required, thank you very much.

Recall the Democratic majority in both houses of Congress has garnered much publicity for its call to increase the federal minimum wage and decrease interest rates for college-student loans. Apparently, the party's economic policy also includes fixing Social Security, long the wet dream of Wall Street, the financial center of the U.S.

The strategic context for Conrad and Gregg is the failure of President Bush's plan to reform Social Security. It seems that the current posse of bi-partisan reformers has learned a bit from the openness of his presidential bid for a major domestic policy initiative.

Thus we see a stealth Social Security campaign emerging. Conrad and Gregg are admitting, then, that the details of their plan would lack popular appeal in the light of day.

Think of an insect that scurries when the light goes on. Hint: it has an oval body and is one of the world's oldest insects.

As the Post reported, "Conrad declined to provide many details of the panel, saying too much information" could render it stillborn. God forbid he informs the U.S. public!

Of course proponents of Social Security reform do not lack funds, with Conrad a case in point. He has raised $2,273,947 from the finance/insurance/real estate sector, or 21 percent of his total campaign contributions of $10,786,295 since 1989, says the Center for Responsive Politics.

FIRE donors have deep pockets to fund bi-partisanship for Washington's backdoor politics against the public interest. Main Street has different numbers, also known as many concerned people.

Together, they have the potential to shape the course of future events to meet human needs over Wall Street's greed. The class struggle continues.

Seth Sandronsky is a member of Sacramento Area Peace Action and a co-editor of Because People Matter, Sacramento's progressive paper. He can be reached at: bpmnews@nicetechnology.com.

Posted by: che | January 26, 2007 10:08 AM | Report abuse

Chris:
As an early suporter of Tom Vilsack in his 1998 campaign for governor of Iowa I can attest to his determination and his talent. I agree with your assessment that we have 3 front runners on the Democratic side at this time, John Edwards, Barack Obama and Hilary Clinton. I predict that for the first time in decades there is a good chance the Democratic nominee will be selected in Denver at the convention, and not after the early caucuses and primaries (a la Tipping Point). Effective use of the internet does not require as many millions as effective use of TV. Caucus attendees in Iowa and early primary voters will be paying attention to policy and personna and perceived electibility. Voters have unique ways of using their own magic method in selection of their candidate.This makes it tough for pollsters. I think Tom Vilsack will do just fine as ordinary Americans get to know him as I do.

Posted by: bobo | January 26, 2007 10:04 AM | Report abuse

The Washington Post had a front-page article today just on the notion that Hagel is thinking about running. It starts off "His Republican colleagues regard him warily. The White House barely speaks to him. He is reviled by his party's conservative base. Looks as though Sen. Chuck Hagel is on a roll."

Any comments on why Hagel is reviled by the conservative base? The article mostly talked about Iraq. How about moral issues? Social policies? Business ties? Who's worse from the base's point of view, McCain or Hagel?

I recall a boatload of "draft Hagel" comments from this board awhile ago; they seem to have died down. But there must be some people around who can explain the guy...

If I recall correctly, the biggest "No Hagel" argument from other posters was that he looks good on paper but isn't realistic (????)

Anyway please refresh our memories...

Posted by: Golgi | January 26, 2007 10:00 AM | Report abuse

Blacks have an interesting psychology regarding Black candidates.

Among a large segment of the Black population, if there is a Black candidate that receives a lot of White support, they begin to wonder "Wait, is this guy really looking out for US?" In other words, they may view Obama with suspicion because he's TOO popular among Whites.

It's an unfortunate way of thinking, but it is quite pervasive and could do far more to submarine his nomination than any lingering racism or mistrust among Whites.

Posted by: Mazerunner | January 26, 2007 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Pierre, I wasn't sure either, but then I watched him on This Week and on Hardball and he is a really good interview. If he can raise the money then he might be the real Dark Horse in this race.

Also If Obama or Clinton win the nomination then I don't think you will see a minority on the bottom of the ticket. I would assume that Clinton has already gotten Bayh on board (see their recent trip to Iraq and him dropping out of the race). Senator Obama I could see with Wes Clark, or Biden as his running mate. Somebody with LOTS of foreign policy cred but definitly White.

Posted by: Andy R | January 26, 2007 9:57 AM | Report abuse

Lylepink, I know you are big supporter of Senator Clinton so I have an honest question for you. What early state do you think she can win?
My take is that
Edwards has the edge in Iowa and South Carolina due to the work he has done with the Unions, and the fact that he was born in South Cak.
Obama has to be the favorite in New Hampshire at this point.
Nevada is a toss-up but I think that the early nod goes to Richardson (Latino vote) and Edwards (Unions again).

I think she HAS to win one of those four to remain viable no matter how much money she has.

Posted by: Andy R | January 26, 2007 9:45 AM | Report abuse

"Also Watch out for Richardson to make up some ground in the next few months."

I'm not sure he can really get the nomination but he can be on the ticket.

Posted by: Pierre | January 26, 2007 9:44 AM | Report abuse

Pretty much in line with the Power Rankings:

http://politicalderby.com/powerrankings

Posted by: PoliticalDerby | January 26, 2007 9:39 AM | Report abuse

Not a bad list IMO. I think you got all the players right, except for Gingrich. I would put Hagle or Huckabee in that slot. By the way Huckabee's interview on the Daily Show was impressive.

I will say though that Romney's so called 'Bolstering of his foriegn policy credentials' is a joke. He went to a conference in Isreal and said that Iran is bad. WOW, that sure is experience. If Hagle gets a hold of him in a debate it will be a bloodletting.
Also totally agree about McCain's appearance on MTP. He looked old and hagered. As opposed to Ted Kennedy, who came after McCain, and was vibrant and animated.

Also Watch out for Richardson to make up some ground in the next few months. I could see him making a strong push with the Boston intellectual crowd due to his ties in Massachusetts (Tufts grad and his wife is from here), and his work in Darfur. That means money, and lots of it.

Edwards will be fine if the next poll out of Iowa STILL has him in the lead. If that happens the money will follow.

Posted by: Andy R | January 26, 2007 9:39 AM | Report abuse

'abrtionist eating fetuses' -- I guess Brownback is the National Enquirer candidate.

McCain's support among independents [his natural base] is tanking. Mitt's a flipflopping cipher. Guiliiani's got skeletons. Brownback's an outright nut and Gingrich is a devious womanizer and war wh**e.

Got anybody else?

Posted by: Anonymous | January 26, 2007 9:38 AM | Report abuse

lylepink-- those statistics were from registered voters, not likely voters. I would expect Obama to do better with likely voters, because they are the more liberal, enthusiastic party members. So the 40% that Clinton received may be deceiving-- much of that 40% will not be voting in the primaries.

Posted by: JD | January 26, 2007 9:34 AM | Report abuse

"For a presidential candidate trying to appeal to the broad American electorate, parts of the Blog for Life event would have been awkward. A speaker before Brownback displayed an article titled "Abortionist Accused of Eating Fetuses." Another participant distributed cards saying "Birth Control Is Harmful."

" Roe v. Wade is going to be overturned," he told the cheering crowd. Brownback predicted that would happen "a few years from now," and abortion will be illegal unless a mother's life is at risk, he said.

Isajiw of the Catholic Medical Association rose to argue that even an exception to protect a mother's life is unnecessary. "That's a good point," Brownback responded. "Well said."

Why don't we all just give up and join the Taliban? Because that is what this guy represents. Do married couples want birth control to be a crime? Do women want to die giving birth to a grossly deformed fetus, just like the good old days?

Whatever you think of Hillary or Obama, the fact that they can even be considered possibly electable is a measure of how far we've come as a nation.

The fact tht Brownback can be considered seriously is a measure of how precarious our hold on that progress is, and how there are those in this country who work unceasingly to drag us back to the Dark Ages.

It's a wake up call to all of us of just how intrusive Big Government can be. Remember it was not that long ago when the church and the government controlled women's bodies entirely and used them merely as vessels to create more taxpayers, church members and cannon fodder. It can happen again.

Posted by: drindl | January 26, 2007 9:30 AM | Report abuse

The thing that sticks out is the 40% lead Hillary has over Obama in the black community. I really suspect it is higher because of the "Hidden Vote" that I have mentioned several times. The black folk do not vote for anyone simply because they are black as has been asserted by some.

Posted by: lylepink | January 26, 2007 9:25 AM | Report abuse

'Gingrich's American Solutions for Winning the Future reported to the Internal Revenue Service that it collected a $1 million check from Las Vegas Sands Corp. Chairman Sheldon G. Adelson'

Now here's a man with ideas! Here's how he'll 'save' Social Security: Instead of a check, seniors will, once a month, get a bus ride to Las Vegas and a bag of quarters and be told to make up the difference by 'playing wisely.'

Not much different than bush's plan, but has the added bonus of giving the old folks something to do!

Posted by: drindl | January 26, 2007 9:15 AM | Report abuse

OK. Now, let's have a game. Answer the following four questions : among all the candidates, or likely candidates, who would you vote for? who's gonna get the democratic nomination? who's gonna get the republican nomination? who's gonna be president?

Posted by: Pierre | January 26, 2007 9:05 AM | Report abuse

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