Tuesday, November 16, 2004
Probably because I've got a bad feeling about how things are starting out in the second Bush term, I've been thinking ahead, politically. I already posted something about 2006. What about 2008?
There's a good post at PoliPundit that rounds up the usual suspects. Some of his usual suspects I hadn't thought about - Judd Gregg, for instance, or Ernie Fletcher; I don't know much about them. I agree with many of McClure's points; I think Pataki is hopeless and awful, Hagel is a hairdo candidate, and Owens is a fading star.
I think McCain is going to sit it out, unless Giuliani actually goes for it, in which case he will campaign actively and heavily for Rudy. *If* that happens, then a lot of the early jockeying in 2007 will be about who represents the "Republican wing of the Republican Party" to knock Rudy out of contention, and the field could narrow earlier than I think. But I think, personally, that there's a very good chance Rudy doesn't run for President. Frankly, I think he knows he wouldn't get the nomination as things stand. But we're a long way out, so we'll see.
I do not think Condoleeza Rice is a serious prospect, but I'm surprised she doesn't even merit being dismissed from consideration. Ditto Elizabeth Dole; don't you think she's going to try again?
I like Mark Sanford alot, and I think he has the potential to be President some day, but probably not in 2008. He's still young, and would be an attractive VP choice to a candidate with less-than-perfect conservative credentials - much more attractive, electorally, than a lightning rod like Rick Santorum. I also like what I've seen so far of Bob Ehrlich, but he's unlikely for a lot of reasons. Also an interesting VP choice, though.
Bill Frist is presumed to be the front-runner, but I'm skeptical. I don't know if it's personality, the Senator thing, the Majority Leader thing, or what, but something about him doesn't say "future President" to me.
I agree with McClure that Kyl is an interesting prospect not often mentioned, and someone to watch. Along with Kyl, of the names that I know something about, George Allen, Tim Pawlenty and, to a lesser extent, Norm Coleman and Mark Sanford seem to me to be the undervalued properties in the 2008 market right now.
What's most striking about the list is how much longer it is than usual (remind me: how many serious candidates for President were there in 1996? In 2000?), and how much longer than the comparable Democratic list. Of course, the Democrats always throw up a bunch of nobodies and sometimes they pick one. But looking out at the field, there's Hillary Clinton, Bill Richardson (more likely VP), John Edwards (in his dreams), Evan Bayh (too conservative), maybe Joe Biden, maybe Tom Vilsack. Who else? Al Gore? John Kerry? Howard Dean? Earth to pundits: Democrats don't renominate losers. Barack Obama is way to young and inexperienced; I'd be surprised if he got the VP nod, forget about the Presidential nomination. (Then again, I said that about Edwards . . .) I'm out of ideas. It's a very weak bench.
And one of them will probably be the next President, odds are.