“2008 Roundup – The Democrats,” by Scott Shields, MyDD, 26 July 2005, http://www.mydd.com/story/2005/7/26/215835/108.
The MyDD post, with my commentary:
Hillary Clinton. Say what you will about Hillary, she’s put herself at the top of everyone’s list merely by keeping her name out there. She’s lately engaged in all sorts of high profile activities that seem pretty calculated to get the voting public to reconsider their preconceived notions of her. Rather than running it all down, I’ll trust that you’ve been following the news..
Comment: Hillary Clinton will be very strong. She is running to the right on values and to the center on health care. A natural and strong politician.
Guest-blogger Aaron has told me she can’t win because she is a woman.
John Kerry. Kerry writes a ton of e-mail. But I probably don’t need to tell you that since we’re all on the same lists. As the 2004 nominee, Kerry automatically earns some respect in the race, and some instant support. While he does hold the claim to winning the second highest popular vote total in history, he was a less-than-ideal candidate running what was pretty widely recognized as a bad campaign. I don’t see him winning the nomination again in 2008..
Comment: Kerry’s latest email criticized Sandra Day O’Connor, putting him out of step with “go-along” Democrats like Clinton. Being the first Democrat since Dukakis to lose to an majority-elected candidate can’t help. Nor can losing to Bush, to all those Democrats who think Bush is an idiot.
Josh and Mark might remind of his fine and politically “interesting” wife, Terehhhhhza…
John Edwards. Like Kerry, Edwards earns an automatic spot on the list. That said, I don’t think his chances are very good. He’s now a former one-term Senator who had the second spot on a losing ticket. But he’s staying active and staying public. Edwards was never supposed to get as far as he did in 2004, so he can’t be immediately discounted. Then again,.
Comment: Like Kerry, Edwards sends out email. Pretty boring ones, mostly, except for those that pine for strong unions.
Kos thinks Kerry is a spineless ass.
Wesley Clark. Coming out on top of recent straw polls here and at dKos, Clark has emerged as the netroots candidate. Somewhat oddly, he recently joined Fox News as a military/foreign affairs analyst. This shouldn’t have any impact on him in the primaries, but if he manages to endear himself to a few Fox viewers, that’ll pay dividends in the general election..
Comment: General Clark made the mistake of letting Michael Moore endorse him. I have little idea what he really believes, as he entered the Democratic ’04 primary as a pro-Iraq-War Republican (literally!).
Mark Warner. As Chris wrote earlier, voters in Virginia would rather see Warner, their current chief executive in the White House than George Allen, their former Governor and current Senator, by a 55-to-47% margin. However, Warner may want to challenge Allen for his Senate seat next year. The same poll finds Warner with 47-to-42% support to take over Allen’s position.
Warner was another one of the Democrats to speak at the recent blogosphere-boiling DLC conference in Ohio, so he’s definitely running for something. My guess is that he’s still trying to figure it out himself..
Comment: Who knows? Who cares?
Bill Richardson. Here’s a name that came up time and time again in the lead up to 2004. Lately? Not so much. But still, many consider Richardson a deadly serious contender. He’s a heavyweight in the areas of international relations and energy policy. He’s a Western Democrat. He’s Hispanic. And he’s a Governor. It’s an extremely attractive profile for a Presidential candidate..
Comment: Is Wen Ho Lee enough to stop him?
Tom Vilsack. Last year, it seemed to me that Vilsack was secretly running for Vice President. Now it seems that he’s learned that sitting back and waiting for a phone call isn’t enough. He’s now the Chairman of the (in some circles dreaded) Democratic Leadership Council. And according to Political Wire, he’s set to launch a website for his Heartland PAC, which seeks to “close the ideas gap” and generally promote activism among Democratic moderates.
Now, I take exception to the idea that there is an “ideas gap” between the parties. And I know I’m not alone. We’re told day in and day out that Democrats don’t have any new ideas, that we don’t stand for anything but “no.” Vilsack is essentially making his pitch by saying that this premise is accurate and that he’s out to fix it. That’s hardly a winning strategy for winning over primary voters, grassroots Democrats who, day in and day out, live and breathe the very ideas that Vilsack says are lacking in our party. Then again, if my theory is correct, he doesn’t have to win over primary voters. He just has to win over the person who does win over the primary voters..
Comment: When I taught in an Iowa community college, Vilsack gave us a day off of work (or something like that). You have to like a man who knows how to manipulate state employees.
Evan Bayh. A few short weeks ago, Bayh was the DLC candidate. Now, in the aftermath of the meeting in Ohio, Bayh has clearly been pushed back in that pack by Hillary. I never took Bayh all that seriously as one needs far more than good looks and the backing of From and Reed to win the nomination..
Joe Biden. Biden’s been running since about November 3, 2004. If he could have started running any earlier without looking unseemly, he would have. His new PAC website, Unite Our States, is quite impressive and shows the general tone and feel a Biden Presidential campaign would take on..
Comment: Biden’s site is very impressive. As is his blog. A nice, unoffensive cult-of-personality. But no Senator has become President since JFK.
There are two big obstacles in Biden’s way. During the primaries, he’ll have to somehow explain his support for the bankruptcy bill — something many Democrats have pledged not to forget. And then in the general election, he’ll repeatedly run into the plagiarism scandal from his 1988 Presidential run. Neither will be an easy task.
Russ Feingold. Though Feingold telegraphed early his interest in running, many saw the announcement of his divorce as a de facto end to his chances at winning the nomination. I’d tend to agree if he indicated that he was no longer in the running. The combined stress of a divorce and a brutal campaign seem too daunting for anyone to overcome. But he’s still out there, still campaigning. Don’t count Russ out yet..
Comment: For the Presidential nomination, maybe not. But it is safe to count Russ out from winning.
South Dakota is the birthplace of McGovern and Humphrey (think Walter Mondale without the charisma). We’re used to losers. Russ looks familiar.
Barack Obama. People keep talking about him, but he’s not running. “I am not running for president in 2008.” It doesn’t get any clearer than that..
Comment: He would wrap up the American expats in Indonesia community
Brian Schweitzer. Again, lots of talk from the grassroots, but he’s not running either. When Schweitzer was asked about all of the people trying to make it happen, he called them “kooky.” I’m sure he meant that in the nicest way possible.
Comment: The Montana Governor won his seat by having a Republican as Lieutenant Governor.
Only one question remains: What about Daschle?
Update: In its “2008 Election Preview,” Right Wing News demonstrates how not to campaign against Hillary.