Don't Hate, Time for '08

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Yes, yes it is insanely early for such stuff but the National Journal does a nice job of surveying the presidential field, touching base with various insiders on both (sic) sides of the political spectrum to come to the conclusion it is basically Hillary and everybody else.

Along the way we get some interesting tidbits, such as John Kerry may be a space alien:

"My sense is, beyond the Boston crowd, I don't think he's going to have a lot of support," said a former senior operative on Kerry's presidential bid. "I think he's going to be rudely surprised, but the vast majority of money and energy that went into that campaign was anti-Bush. It's going to be a vastly different dynamic in 2008."

Surely the man does not have to have this explained to him.

For the record, my way-early Demo ticket is Hillary and Virginia Gov. Mark Warner. For the GOP, I have no earthly idea—they all seem like space aliens to me.

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  1. Yeah, its hard to see anyone beating Hillary for the Dem slot, but a lot can happen between now and then. I keep hearing about various money people associated with her Senate campaign getting hauled into grand juries, for example, and God only knows what Bill’s psychodynamics are around all this, but I wouldn’t put it past him to unconsciously sabotage her campaign.

  2. It’s funny to watch people write off John Kerry.

    Almost as funny as then they did it three months before the Iowa caucuses.

  3. Who’s John Kerry, and why was he written off?

  4. hmmmm, I am an ardent Democrat. i think Bill Clinton was the best President of my lifetime [Nixon was the first], and I can’t imagine Hillary getting the nomination. Wouldn’t Johnny-boy Edwards or Wesley Clark be more obvious front runners, or, say, Mark Warner, or any other Southern Dem governor (are there any left?).
    I cannot think of a Republican I would vote for over Hillary, with the possbile exception of Jeffords, but I would not be pleased with her being the nominee, unless of course she stated outright that she would just be a figurehead, and the Bill would be running things.

  5. I feel certain the Republican ticket is going to turn out to be a national unity ticket of one Democrat (Zell Miller) and one Republican (James Dobson). Secretary of State will be the Church Lady or Mullah Omar.

  6. In all seriousness, I believe John McCain may very well mount an independent candidacy and cruise to victory.

  7. I dunno who the Republicans are going to run. Anybody see the video Frist did for that Justice Sunday hoedown thing? Creepy. Not happening. Maybe there’s some empty suit smilin’ front man out there we’re not even thinking about they can run, like Dubs was in 2000.

    John Kerry? Eh. The Democrats need to stop running guys with the charisma of pressed cardboard sweepings. Charisma is really important. People vote personality, and vibe, and hairdos, and not policy or resumes.

    I think Hillary’s too polarizing . . . but, what with the 90s looking like a Golden Age compared to this decade, maybe just the name Clinton will have a certain luster.

  8. …and I went back and actually followed the link, and this is more along with what I was thinking:

    If Clinton ends up capturing the Democratic nomination, her success will mark the first time since Adlai Stevenson in 1956 that a Democratic front-runner who was neither an incumbent president nor an incumbent vice president has won after being identified as the leader of the pack in Gallup’s first post-election poll of the cycle. Unlike the Republicans, who’re in the habit of nominating their early front-runner, Democrats frequently reject theirs.

  9. Whatever happened to the rumor that Gary Johnson was going to run? I guess it was too good to be true…

  10. Kerry can’t win because the candidate needs to have charisma. Therefore, it will be Hillary Rodham Clinton.

    That doesn’t make any sense at all.

  11. I have to agree with joe on that. HRC radiates all the warmth of flash-frozen sashimi.

  12. two words: Jesse Ventura

    And if Ron Paul could be convinced to take the veep slot, it would be the most exciting libertarian/independent campaign since Perot.

  13. The Dems were retards for not running Edwards. Edwards would have blown Bush off the map.

    I think in ’08 he’d blow any prospective GOP candidate off the map. He’s Clinton II. He’s southern. He can out-regular-guy any populist or hate monger the GOP could invent.

    Yet… they won’t run him. The Powers That Be seem determined to let the GOP plow onward. I believe the fix was in early; the Dems just didn’t want to win. Maybe they thought it was better to let the GOP wallow in the mess they’d made instead of inheriting it and being criticized for not fixing it within four years. I don’t know.

    I do know this: anybody thought Kerry had a better chance than Edwards to beat Bush is either blind or stupid. I’ll stand by that till i’m in my grave.

  14. Joe is right about Hillary. When this thing’s done shaking out, the idea that it was ever “hard to see anybody beating Hillary” for the nom will be a joke. She’s going nowhere. She’s got no political skill and negative charisma, Dean wants revenge for the Clinton/McAuliffe mob’s screwing him out of the ’04 nomination, and she’s from the Senate. We need governors, people, governors. It’ll be Jeb vs. Bill “Perez” Richardson in ’08.

  15. Hillary and Mark Warner? No, bad idea. Warner is too young, and has spent little time in elected office. He’ll get the same backlash that John Edwards (somewhat deservedly) got: good-looking but inexperienced.

    A smarter choice would be Bill Richardson. A heavyweight who knows the ropes.

    Chuck Hagel is probably the best choice for the GOP. He’s the one I’d vote for, anyway.

  16. I have better things to do than vote for anyone mentioned so far. You gotta do better.

  17. I agree with Tim, as history has shown governors are the much safer bet to actually get someone in office. While I think Bill Richardson may be an attractive candidate, I don’t think that he is as far left as the Dean run DNC and groups like MoveOn will back. The Clintons are very shrewd and it wouldn’t surprise me to see Hillary come away with the nom, after doing her typical press tour (has she given an interview with anyone that would actually ask a difficult question?). As for Jeb Bush, it’s said that you never say never; BUT I’M SAYING NEVER!! I think there are far too many people within the Republican Party that have had their fill of the Bushes. Plus, I don’t think anyone wants to go thru the whole ordeal of hearing the re-writing and contradictory descriptions of what happened in Florida in 2000. I don’t know who the Republican nom will be, other than someone I will be disappointed with. Nightmare scenario for me: Hillary vs. McCain. I just can’t stand that self-righteous, fake, whiny, media-darling bitch?-and I have serious issues with Hillary too.

  18. Whatever happened to the rumor that Gary Johnson was going to run? I guess it was too good to be true…

    .. we’re trying to get him to run for Senate but he’s still pushing back .. he’s still the only politician that I’ve ever backed 100% ..

    .. someone else mentioned Bill Richardson for veep ..seems likely to me but then, being from New Mexico, I’m a bit biased ..

  19. The Dems were retards for not running Edwards. Edwards would have blown Bush off the map

    Dude, Edwards didn’t even bring enough to the table to carry his own state for the Kerry/Edwards ticket. I suspect that an Edwards/?? ticket would have won pretty much the same states that Kerry/Edwards did.

    That said, had The Liberal Media not decided to torpedo Howard Dean by playing that selectively-mic’ed scream over and over, he very well might have gone on to win some primaries, and I think I could even have voted for him had he won the nomination.

  20. That’s funny, I can’t think of any better showdown than McCain-Clinton. I mean, in this imperfect world, we’re going to have a Dem v. Rep., and one will win the Presidency. But what better way to draw away conservatives from a man they hate (the divorce would be final, at long last) and romance the thoughtful Left? Two moderates means that both of the ideological wings could be a libertarian playground.

  21. Edwards underachieved in a huge way as a VP candidate, why would anyone expect him to be a strong candidate in the primaries?

  22. Ayn_Randian-
    “Two moderates means that both of the ideological wings could be a libertarian playground.”

    I like your theory. I would contribute to both the Hillary and McCain campaigns and actively work for them in hope of chiseling off those who might favor more libertarian ideas. I am just too damn cynical to believe that such a thing would work.

  23. They shunted Edwards to VP and told him to put a lid on it. They stupidly thought that his MERELY being southern would win them NC, and maybe another state or two.

    So since they couldn’t have him outshining Kerry, which he was doing by miles before Kerry was anointed, he had to just stand there and take it, watching this plodding pile of human sludge desparately trying to simulate human behavior racing toward an inevitable loss.

    Edwards was not allowed to unleash any of his significant charisma or populist appeal; in much the same way that Cheney isn’t allowed to show off his vastly superior intelligence and vastly superior knowledge of… everything, to avoid making Bush look like even more of a doofus.

    Had Edwards been the front man and Kerry in the back, there is no question he’d have had greater impact on the ticket.

    We can’t undo it now.

    FYI — I’m not even saying Edwards was a great guy to have as Prez, mind you. I AM saying he’d have won. He’s the only one who would have won out of that group. They were right to torpedo Dean. He was a nobody. For the life of me I can’t figure out what he did to generate optimism, other than being “not Bush.”

  24. For the GOP, I have no earthly idea — they all seem like space aliens to me.

    Dirk Kempthorne from Idaho, of course.

  25. Of course, you could always spend some time and effort between now and then to help build and mold the Libertarian Party into an effective force you could be proud to support, and help them recruit some top-o-ticket candidates that can get attention and respect, as well as garner some votes. That path, I think, would lead to success more surely than waiting for the Demos or GOP to do anything encouraging, or for an independent, Perot-like “savior” to come along. Rather than tear down the party in 2008, build it up as you like it now.

    Without the kind of active engagement and participation NOW of all of those so-called libertarians who will find it so hip and fashionable to trash the LP in 2008, I think the best the LP will be able to do then is run a high-profile informational/educational campaign. If that’s true, then my nomination goes to the ticket of Penn Jilette and John Stossel.

    Speak of the devil! I no sooner typed those words, then Penn and Teller appeared on my TV screen! It must be an omen from Gohhhd-uh!

  26. For the GOP, I have no earthly idea — they all seem like space aliens to me.

    “Vote for me, Kang — I mean, BOB DOLE!”

    I’ve never voted for a Republican or Democrat, and I ain’t about to start now, dadgummit!

  27. Tim: Hillary has been underrated before–remember the polls saying the 2000 Senate race with Lazio was “too close to call”? (Yes, that was New York, and yes, Gore did have coattails there. But plenty of blue states have elected Republican senators, even in presidential years, and Hillary did surprisingly well in some upstate counties…)

  28. In all seriousness, why is it incomprehensible that the LP would pull their shit together before 08? From what I can tell, libertarians are a bright bunch, and some of them have lots and lots of money… Also, a number of well-respected corporate types are libertarians (I’m thinking “tax freedom day” at Whole Foods). So why couldn’t we do some actual educational/promotional work? After I explain to most of my college-age friends that libertarians aren’t “the party that wants prostitutes and to let poor people die on the streets,” most of them are relatively enthusiastic about the ideas, if only because they are consistent and generally devoid of the silly religious/pc taboos of the right and left. I think it’s arrogant to assume that “most people aren’t smart enough to be libertarians” or “everyone else are just sheep,” which is a vibe I pick up here sometimes. Sorry for the rambling, but I would like to live in a freer nation by the time I’m 35 rather than by the time I’m 90, or never. Nothing will change by “giving the major parties enough rope to hang themselves.” Both parties have hung themselves multiple times over the past century, only to be resurrected again and again because of the vacuum of legitimate ideas. So let’s do something about it! yay! that’s my motiviational speech for the day.

  29. Not sure if he’s even planning to run, but my choice would be Bill Richardson.

    My guess is Hillary vs Frist.

  30. RAndolf Carter,
    Try the Free State Project (www.freeme.org)

  31. worm, you may be right about the “outshining” strategy.

    Any time you libertoids want to start rounding up the established DC Democrat campaign consultant corps for deportation, you’ll have no trouble finding Democrats to fill out your ranks.

  32. For all I know, the Democrats might just be dysfunctional enough to nominate Hillary. I don’t think it’s the most likely scenario, but I can’t rule it out. But I cannot possibly see her winning the general election.

    If you want to see a true 3-way race, have the Dems and GOP nominate Hillary and Condi. No way will the South vote for either of them. A third party will emerge in the mold of 1948 and 1968.

  33. I would like to see Hilary vs. Giuliani. That was the slugfest I was hoping for before Giuliani dropped out of the Senate race. It would be tough to call. The religious Right would either have to stay home in droves, or hold their noses while pulling the Giuliani lever.

  34. Interesting read. I think the Dems best bet would be Mark Warner. He’d be a tough nut for the Republicans to crack, unless they run Rudy or McCain. Richardson is the most qualified, but America will never elect a President who looks like an aging version of Horatio Sanz. If the Dems nominate Hillary, then I think the Republicans can nominate whomever they want and coast to the victory, even that lard ass Haley Barbour. I’d like to see Jessie V run as an independent. I think 2008 may be a good year for an Independent to run. For the Libertarians, I’m backing Russo (assuming his health is up to it).

  35. The religious Right would either have to stay home in droves, or hold their noses while pulling the Giuliani lever.

    Which is exactly why he wouldn’t be the nominee in the first place.

  36. RE: Whatever happened to the rumor that Gary Johnson was going to run? I guess it was too good to be true…

    As a recent NM resident I can say Johnson as prez would be awesome. While he was guv for eight years NM wasted little money and not alot got done in Santa Fe it was great. However, he has stated in in a few interviews that he is out of politics unless he thinks he can win.

    My best guess would be the current NM GOV Bill Richardson as Prez or possibly VP. He has a better appeal than most of the other Dems being not from NE or the west coast and he plays the political game well.

  37. my dream race is condi versus hillary. though i don’t think either will ever be nominated.

    but could you imagine? ZOMG!

  38. Please God- no HRC. She will lose everywhere except the coasts- and thus lose. She is freakin radioactive to people. Anyone but HRC.
    Obama?

  39. joe,

    Edwards underachieved in a huge way as a VP candidate, why would anyone expect him to be a strong candidate in the primaries?

    Kerry underachieved as the Pres candidate, but he was strong in the primaries. My guess is that primaries tend to tip toward the more ideologically practical candidate for the party, but come general election time it’s charisma that becomes the swing factor. So perhaps there’s little correlation between party primary-vote success and general vote success (and vice versa).

  40. Yeah, why is it that the LP can’t “pull their shit together” and not be an invisible party? Who’s underachieving now?

    Will Penn run? He’s got name recognition already.

  41. So perhaps there’s little correlation between party primary-vote success and general vote success (and vice versa).

    The Democrats could overcome some of that by scheduling early primaries in Ohio and Florida. Of course, the New Hampshires of the nation love their 15 minutes of fame and won’t give it up without a fight.

  42. Which is exactly why he wouldn’t be the nominee in the first place.

    Oh I agree, he won’t be. But if they were smart he (or another moderate) would be. The Dems seem to want to move toward the center. The Repubs would have a better chance against that with a moderate than a fringe (or fringe-pandering like GWB) candidate. I think I would vote for any Democrat over the likes of Brownback, Santorum and Frist.

  43. Hmm. I’d say think more Western. The Dems have a better chance picking off western states than southern states. NOT Southwestern, but honest to goodness western. ID, ND, SD, NV, WY, MT, KS, NE, etc. It’s the overwhelming hand-offishness of this part of the country on issues of personal rights and religion that makes it viable. They just tend to be NRA voters as opposed to “Christ” voters or Neo-cons or Fiscal conservatives. Anybody got a decent Anti-gun control, small government Democrat in mind? Someone that can reach out to the breadbasket of libertarianism?

  44. I’m surprised that the National Journal article doesn’t mention Gov. Phil Bredesen (D-TN) at all. Is he dead in the water already?

  45. 1. McCain is too old. He’s older than Reagan was when Reagan was first elected.

    2. If Edwards couldn’t beat Kerry, how was he going to beat Bush? I know the transitive property doesn’t apply literally (Bush > Kerry, Kerry > Edwards, therefore Bush > Edwards), but Edwards just wasn’t that strong a candidate. Edwards’ problem, among other things, was that he just seemed way too young and lightweight. He wasn’t that young, but he seemed it. He needs to get a little gray in his hair if he wants to run.

    3. Always bet against a sitting senator. They rarely win the nomination, and virtually never win the presidency.

    4. I still can’t fathom why Kerry chose Edwards rather than Richardson last time. I was sure he was going to pick Richardson, and I was sure this would make him a very tough fight for Bush, as it could have strongly helped in the Southwest, and maybe Florida.

    4b. I can’t fathom why, after Kerry chose Edwards, he shunted him to the background — Edwards disappeared through much of the campaign. (I mean, I _can_ fathom why: because of the fear that Edwards would have outshone Kerry, making JFK look even drabber than he was. But then, why pick him?)

    5. Hillary, like Bill, is a lot better as a politician than people realize. She seems uncharismatic, but don’t underestimate her. (But see rule 3, above.)

    6. Randolph may be right that “libertarians are a bright bunch,” but there’s little connection between that statement and the LP.

    7. Bill Frist keeps being touted for the GOP, but (a) see rule 3, and (b) Ugh.

  46. Which is exactly why [Giuliani] wouldn’t be the nominee in the first place.

    I wouldn’t be too sure that the religious right would hesitate to vote for Giuliani. Think how well a “before and after” picture of Times Square would play. He wouldn’t even have to invent a past as a “culture warrior”, because he WAS one — he did everything he could to harass adult-entertainment businesses out of the city. Sure, he’s probably too liberal on abortion and a few other social issues, but I think he can move to the right on those and get away with it. His positions there aren’t well known — what he’s known for cleaning up New York, which most red-staters had viewed as the epitome of a lost-cause northeastern city.

    Remember, Ronald Reagan was a twice-married Hollywood actor who had actually signed legalized abortion into law in the state of California. Religious conservatives still lined up behind him. If he could manage that, I don’t think Giuliani has anything to worry about.

  47. His positions there aren’t well known

    Maybe, but after the deluge of hit-job ads from his primary opponents, I’m sure they’ll be tatooed on his forehead.

  48. Remember, Ronald Reagan was a twice-married Hollywood actor who had actually signed legalized abortion into law in the state of California. Religious conservatives still lined up behind him. If he could manage that, I don’t think Giuliani has anything to worry about.

    But Reagan did it in a era of less media scrutiny. You’ve have to be an idiot to be in a primary as a GOPer and not hammer on Giuliani’s abortion views constantly. God I hope he wins the GOP nomination. You’ll see Dobson on TV telling people that they are going to hell if they don’t vote for Roy Moore.

  49. I’m sure they *will* hammer on Giuliani’s abortion views constantly. I just don’t think it will be effective. Giuliani has too many real accomplishments in areas that cultural conservatives care about.

  50. Dan,
    Rudy’s gay rights stances would make him toxic to values voters. If Monica was bad for Clinton, how will Rudy living with his freakin mistress look? Not to mention the gay roommates. Hell, I’d vote for him, but my voting tastes and that of the religious right has very little overlap.

  51. Senator Vinick (R-CA, libertarian former surgeon)? Governor Baker (D-PA, moderate former shoe salesman)? Why don’t we have REAL candidates like these?

  52. It’d be nice if the libertarian party could get it together and run a third party candidate that got attention Ross Perot style, but I don’t see that happening.

    As for the Dems running Hillary: Hillary is a very, very good politician. She is shrewd and I wouldn’t want to cross her. But she’s polarizing; probably safer to run her as VP candidate. Edwards-Hillary 08′ anybody?

  53. The GOP will never nominate Rudy G. – the Karl Rove-inspired overreach is in full effect. The theory is that all the GOP needs is for the Jesus freaks to turn out in droves with inspirational shots of Terri Shiavo. Well, that, and call whomever the opponent is a “soft, out-of-touch liberal”, and that’s it, who needs the moderates? Ralph Reed will show up damning everybody to hell (but not until they send him a check) and they’ll put up a hyper-conservative candidate and let the mud fly.

    The Dems will make a play for moderation, then proceed to pander their way to oblivion with peons to the ridiculous left. They’ll flirt with HRC, but she’ll be deemed “unelectable.” Just as they begin to appear okay, Barbara Steisand and Michael Moore will release a jointly produced documentary. Then they’ll end up with some bearded, crazed Al Gore, “Indymedia” version. Rather than give a passionate kiss at the convention. A Al-Tipper sex video will be ‘leaked’ to the internet(s).

    The majority in the middle will be left once again holding the bag with yet another duo of shitty, shitty candidates duking it out with bizzre insults, handshakes with grandmas everywhere, mangled malaprops, and the usual shameless pandering.

    Things never change. Sorry.

  54. Re: Edwards
    “He wasn’t that young, but he seemed it. He needs to get a little gray in his hair if he wants to run.”

    I was thinking he should get his friends to give him a “The 25th Hour” treatment.

  55. “A Al-Tipper sex video will be ‘leaked’ to the internet(s).”

    Stenographer, strike that last line from the record… and my mind!

  56. Condi-Giuliani: No matter what order you put them in, it’s the one ticket guaranteed to lose in the South.

  57. If Monica was bad for Clinton, how will Rudy living with his freakin mistress look?

    I think most values voters (and most Americans in general) consider repeatedly cheating on your wife to be *far* worse than shacking up when you’re single. Rudy’s morals problem is that he cheated on his wife, not that he’s living with his mistress. He’ll probably want to get married before running for office, though.

    But yes, his gay-rights and pro-abortion positions will make a lot of religious conservatives not want to vote for him. But less than half of Republicans are religious conservatives. He doesn’t need to win all of them, or anything close to all of them, in order to get the nomination (especially when you factor in the crossover voters in open-primaries states).

  58. Russ D, I’m not sure “Kerry underperformed in the general election” is an accurate statement. He was weak in certain areas, but in others (the debates, day-to-day rapid response, keeping on top of the news cycle), Kerry cleaned up. If he “underperformed,” why was everybody predicting a Bush rout? Go back to old comment threads, and people were breezily asserting a Bush landslide until about October.

    thoreau, the defining characteristic of the religious right voter is obedience. If the preachers in sun belt maga-churches tell their congregations that Jesus wants his people to vote for Rice/Guiliani, then that’s exactly what they’ll do, in large numbers. And the modern Republican Party has learned to make those preachers dance to their tune.

    Something no one has mentioned yet – the Republicans are going to have to nominate someone who doesn’t have the stink of the Iraq War on them. Seen the recent polling on “good idea to invade?” and “was Bush truthful?”

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