Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Early thoughts on decision '08

It’s almost February which means that in one year the first votes for the next US President will be cast. Indeed, the campaign season is gearing up. So I figured it would be fitting for this site to do an early assessment of the leading candidates and throw in my proverbial 2 cents worth. Some have already announced their intention to run, some haven’t and very well may not, but they still deserve mentioning.

Hillary Clinton – Right now, she is the leading Dem candidate. Yes, I know Obama will challenge, but Hillary is a ruthless campaigner. Bill came out of nowhere in ’92. He wasn’t given even the slightest chance to win, yet he did…twice. That was no accident. Her tactics are effective, although questionable from a moral standpoint. She slings mud from behind closed doors while putting on an "above the dirty tricks" persona in public. In short, she’s good at what she does. See my previous post for another example. She can dodge a pertinent question and still leave the audience feeling "impressed" with her as a candidate. I’ve said many times before, and I’ll say it again…she will be the next President. She is the Tom Brady of politics. She finds a way to win. As for her position on the issues…who knows? I can’t comment on where she stands because she’s not very up front about it. I do know that she is adamant about global government funded health care which would bankrupt the federal gov’t without substantial Carter-like tax hikes.

Barak Obama – A decent man. Somewhere between moderate and far left, unlike Hillary who bounces all over the political spectrum. I don’t agree with much of what he says, but he is clearly fresh to politics, which to me is a plus. I intend to read his book. I want to know more. I don’t see myself voting for him because I think he has the whole war on terror thing wrong and he puts WAY too much trust in the government from healthcare to corporate oversight. The Hollywood-Soros-elite Left media love him, which is a red flag to me. But, I’d rather see him in than Hillary. He seems to be genuine in his desire to serve and seems to want to do the right thing for the people, not himself. I question him using his office as a means to promote his book (remember Gingrich getting slammed for this?) but that may be simple inexperience. But make no mistake, he is in for a nasty campaign. There are already reports of his "Muslim" heritage circulating…those were not by accident, they have Hillary’s fingerprints all over them. In the end, I don’t see America going for him. The campaign will portray him as a man with a Muslim family background who may tend to sympathize too much. He will be raked through the mud by Clinton’s campaign. However, he will be a hot topic for running mates and wouldn’t be surprise if Clinton adds him to her ticket. He’d have an instant "in" for 2016.

John Edwards – Probably the wealthiest of all the candidates, and ultra-Left. But with all that money (which he made with medical malpractice lawsuits) one has to wonder why the Left voters trust him? I thought they hated people with money? This guy is far left on just about everything and, to be honest, is someone I would never turn my back on. There’s just something about him that tells me he may lift my wallet if I’m not looking. He doesn’t have a chance. If he even looks to challenge Hillary, she’ll drub him. If he stays down in the polls, she’ll leave him alone – no sense in attacking someone who isn’t a threat. My bet is he drops out after the first three weeks.

Those are the main Dem candidates. There will be the nutty Kucinich and I’m sure Sharpton will run again – that guy just loves the media attention too much not to run. Bill Richardson may challenge, and as a fairly moderate "bluedog" he may not be a bad choice, but Hillary will be too much for them. She wins the nomination hands down. And now, the GOP.

Mitt Romney – He has a lot of good ideas and seems to stand strong on his principles. He won the Governorship in Mass., which to me shows that he can appeal to moderate Dems as well. I think he would be a good leader, and would keep up the fight against the Islamo-fascists. He would also likely do something sound about the Mexican border. The problem is his religious background. He is Mormon. Not a problem for me, anyone who acknowledges Christ as their savior is a Christian brother in my book, but many will not see it that way, especially in the Bible belt GOP stronghold. Because of this alone, I don’t see him getting the nomination. That would be a shame, but I truly feel that would be the reality. Too bad, I think he’d do a good job.

John McCain – Like Obama, I feel he is genuine. This guy is in politics to serve his constituents, not himself. He gave one of the best political speeches I’ve ever heard at the GOP convention in 2000. He would be fairly tough on defense, but his objections to Gitmo bother me. He has the knack for building cross-party coalitions, which would help in the White House. But he is not "right" enough to win the nomination. In short, conservatives don’t trust him. They see him as someone who would give in to the Dems on too many issues, and that bothers the base. He would probably give Hillary a great challenge in a straight up election, but I don’t think he could win the GOP nomination. He just doesn’t have the support of the base.

Rudy Guiliani – Like McCain, he is a strong leader, but simply not conservative enough. He is pro gun control and pro gay marriage, and that won’t fly with the base. He also could challenge Hillary as "America’s mayor" but his problem will be getting the nomination to do so. I don’t see it happening.

Condi Rice – A classy, intelligent, strong person. She has had a few slip-ups as Sec of State, but overall I think she’s done a good job. She will fight the war on terror and will not likely deviate from his moral foundation. She strikes me as someone who can argue her point in a diplomatic manner, but isn’t afraid to roll up her sleeves and kick someone’s ass when the time came. That’s probably why Bush likes her. She would brutalize Hillary in a head-to-head debate. Some may say that she couldn’t win the southern states, but I disagree. I’m from the South, and I guarantee the people there would more likely vote for her than McCain or Guiliani. But it likely won’t matter because I don’t think she’ll run. She doesn’t seem to have the stomach for the nastiness and bitterness of politics, much like Colin Powell.

Then there are the moderates like Hagel and Brownback, who don’t stand a chance at getting the nomination. They’d do better switching parties and running as Democrats. But then, there is the wild card, and my personal favorite:

Newt Gingrich – He has said he’s not running, but Newt sure is making a lot of public appearances lately. I’ve seen more of him in the past year than in the years since he left Congress. I think he will run, and if he does the GOP nomination is his to lose. I can’t think of anyone who would be more suited at rallying the conservative base as they were rallied in ’04. People will flock to him, and he would probably even get a few moderate Dems as well. Not only that, but he has sound policy both domestic and foreign. He led the balanced budget measure in the ‘90s that Clinton took credit for, he led the welfare reform that was so badly needed (and has worked brilliantly for America’s poor) and he has it right when it comes to immigration, foreign oil and the war on terror (the 3 most important issues we face today). Newt would be the only candidate who could secure the GOP nomination AND challenge Hillary head-to-head for the White House. That is, if he runs. I’m sure Hillary would welcome the challenge, but the other GOP candidates would certainly be deflated. It will be interesting to see what happens.


Dan Trabue said...

Interesting assessment, with which I mostly agree. Do you think, as I do, that this election is the Dems to lose?

In my world, it sure seems that the Republicans have an uphill battle to win the presidency in '08, for many of the reasons you listed. The current Republican candidates all have some baggage to overcome.

I think, of the Republicans you listed, McCain is the most likely to be electable in a general election, but it's not likely he'll survive the primaries.

From where I sit, as things stand now, I can't see the Dems losing unless they run Hillary. She's hated by the Right AND Left, or at least great segments of the Left and, as such, would have a hard time rallying support to her candidacy.

You think?

John The Patriot said...

Oh yeah, the '08 election is the Dems to lose. No doubt about it. Like last year, all they have to do is NOT screw it up. Just run a basic campaign and they've got it.

But I disagree with your thoughts about Hillary. From what I've read about her, she is ruthless and brilliant when it comes to campaigning. Nothing is off the table with her. Right now, her popularity may not be too high, but this time next year she'll have the entire party rallied around her.

Personally, I'd like to see Richardson get the nomination, but it'll never happen, he's way too moderate for that party.

Anonymous said...

I could be wrong - Hillary has money and she has that magic Clinton name. But mark my words: IF the dems run with her, she'll be attacked by the Left and the Right. She most certainly will NOT have the entire Dem party and certainly not the Left wing behind her.