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Saturday, December 10, 2005

2008 Shaping Up

We haven't really started the 2006 mid term elections, and already the challengers for the Democratic nomination for Prez in 2008 are starting to line up. My guess on the line up of major players is small Hillary Clinton and Mark Warner of Virginia. (linked to Eleanor Clift's Newsweek article)

The mid-level folks are probably going to be Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, John Kerry, because he's still bitter about '04, and possibly Howard Dean, if he's ousted or steps down as Chairman of the DNC. Dean and Kerry probably both think they belong in the upper group, but they are seriously damaged goods, and don't.

Al Sharpton, and the other bit players will jump into the game again, to make noise for their particular interest groups.

What will define the shape of the field is the 2006 elections. If the anti-war left candidates do well, and the Dem's take back the House or Senate, guys like Feingold, who has always been against the war, will benefit and get more headlines, as will Dean, who can claim it was his DNC leadership that lead to victory.

Feingold also comes out ahead if the mixed message of the party allows it to pick up seats, but not regain control, as long as more "progressive" candidates win out. He'll run on his anti-Iraq stance and his opposition to the Patriot Act. (Follow the link to letters in a bottle, he has a nice piece on RF's possible filibuster of the Patriot Act renewal)

If however, the GOP maintains control easily, or worse (for the Democrats) gains seats, then Russ, and Howard can hang up their aspirations of becoming President, it will show how far out of touch that end of the party is.

Regardless, Feingold has no chance of becoming President, what he will do is increase his visibility and credibility for a major cabinet post if the cards play right.

Dean and Kerry are in the same boat, though with even less to play for. Howard won't last as DNC chairman, and will become the symbol in the party of the "radical left", much like Pat Buchannon and the GOP. Kerry, we hope, will be like Al Gore and just go away.

Hillary is still the front runner, but I believe that she's going to take some hits, though small in the New York Senate race this year. Her opponent in that race though, can help by beating on her for a definitive answer about serving her whole six year term if she wins.

She also has to deal with the legacy of her husband, who if everyone remembers, never won 50% of the vote to become President. (He still sends Perot thank you cards for running twice). She made some stupid political statements as First Lady, and those are all recorded for other elections.

Warner is going to run as a moderate, and point to Virginia's growth as the reason he should be elected. However, he's got a record as a tax lover here in VA. With a billion dollar surplus he was still trying to pass tax increases, which will show up in commercials. Harder to dispute is the growth in Virginia, though much of it is related to post 9/11 government jobs, and the fact that Maryland is a tax hell, so companies opened shop in Virginia instead.

The guy is nice, but big stages supposedly screw him up, so seeing how he deals with the biggest one of all will be interesting. Steve at Dvalin Darkdale has a very good write up on Warner and what he's accomplished in Va.

So folks, who am I missing in this? And what do you think of the field?
(editors note, this is updated, as I goofed and hit publish instead of save as draft).


Blogger asacan said...

Why can't the most colorful personalities in the Democratic Party run? I mean, Al Sharpton is out there, but he's never actually been elected to...anything. But how come it isn't people like Maxine Waters, Carol Brown or Cynthia McKinney?

12:27 PM  
Blogger Steven Tucker said...

Yes, Mark Warner is a fan of Taxes, but he has proven that he can work well with businesses, schools and conservatives. Also, if you've been watching Warner over the last few years, he is quietly moving to the left, as hillary moves the right. Warner really is an old school democrat (I'm thinking JFK).

I'm a conservative libertarian and I would happily vote for Warner even though we differ politically. Money talks in DC, so I would rather have a good leader... a man of common sense and character than anything else.

3:03 PM  
Blogger shoprat said...

It's still awfully early in the game to start guessing. I remember in '86 how everyone knew it was going to Bush and Lee Iacoca running against each other in '88 and everyone knew that was going to be the match up. They were only half-right.We still need to watch a bit longer before we are really sure.

At the moment, I would give Madam Hillary the best odds but we still have a long ways to go. I am more concerned about '06 than '08.

3:58 PM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

Ascan, the colorful one's will show up, make a splash for a couple of weeks with over the top sound bite, then (hopefully) go away. Kucinich from Ohio comes to mind.

Steve, Thanks for stopping by, I tracked back to your excellent post on Warner. My guess is if he gets the nod the GOP is going to beat him over the head with his stand on taxes, but we'll have to see where he goes on other issues.

SR, you are correct, it is pretty early, but look at the current air traffic into Iowa and New Hampshire. These folks are already gearing up for '08, and like I said, the group may grow or thin after the next election.

4:57 PM  
Blogger Steven Tucker said...

The only problem with Hillary is that she will rally the conservative base against her. It doesn't matter what she says or what she does... Everyone will show up on election day to vote against her.

6:54 PM  
Blogger shoprat said...

"Everyone will show up on election day to vote against her."

And I hope it's enough

7:08 PM  
Blogger Little Miss Chatterbox said...

Very good rundown of Democratic politics for 2008. Unfortunately because money speaks and Hillary's crew is like the mafia I think she will secure the nomination barring unforeseen events between now & then (which is always possible). I love this line that you said: "He still sends Perot thank you cards for running twice." Isn't that the truth.

8:36 PM  
Blogger Crazy Politico said...

I too think Hillary will be their nominee, and that it will be a mistake if the GOP runs anyone who isn't named Bush.

Shoprat- The base of support in the GOP outnumbers Democrats by 3:2 margin. Put Hillary on the ticket and you can be sure that everyone of the folk on the GOP side will be out.

11:15 PM  

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