Oh you 2008 election. You're so far away, yet everyone has decided to run for you already. Sometimes I wish we had a political system where people at least waited until a few months before the election to declare, but seeing that raising money is fun and you get your ego stroked by the media for the next 20 months (or something like that), why not throw your hat into the ring a good year before anyone in Iowa can do a straw poll?!?!?!
But hey, we're half way done with the Regine of Incompetence and Bush is officially a Lame Duck... even his good ideas will die a slow "social security reform" death (remember when Bush was going to reform social security? Nice call Georgie! At least no one died with that blunder.) Where was I, oh, so yeah this is a weird election since Bush has not successor (in other wordsCondi and Chaney aren't running) so both parties have a wide open primary season to go though (of course that's a year away, but WHATEVERS!).
Let me say this, and this is a fact (trust me):
The Nominees from Both Parties Will both be against the war in Iraq and that person will probably have moved their support away from the war before anyone else. This gives individuals likeObama, Edwards, Al Gore, and Hagel (and a few others) a leg up on everyone else. Now this isn't a guarantee on the Republican side, I guess there is an outside chance that a pro-war nominee can get the nod. But I doubt it. Things being what they are, the further a person is on Iraq and at the earlier date, has the best chance of getting elected. I know, there will be other issues at hand, and the GOP has to be careful in who they nominate. A pro-war candidate like McCain will have trouble beating an anti-war or reformed-war candidate on the Democratic side.
is the only person on this list that can get away with being a bit 'further out' on the political Also, the Democrats have another advantage going into 2008... they're probably going to choose someone who is closer to the 'middle' than they have in the past. Obama can be a bit 'further out' on the spectrum because he's got the natural talent and people like him (he's two parts JFK and one part Bill Clinton). Everyone else will be best served by moving to the middle. Hillary has already done this... and this is not a or by mistake. The American public is sick of the crap that's been going on inside the Beltway the last 12, and especially six, years. The fighting about litterly nothing does not go over well outside of the Beltway and maybe 2% of the population in the rest of the country. I'm sure 99% of Americans could careless if Bush said Democrat Congress instead of Democratic Congress... but the Beltway types freak out over this shit. Don't ask me why. Anyway back to the idea of moving to the middle, compassionate conservatism was a farce in retrospect... but this 'phrase' helped Bush get elected (and a shitty ballot in Florida). I'm not sure 'uniter' talk will go as far this time around, but someone who seems level headed and willing to listen will get a lot of support and go a long way. People are tired of the Beltway and would much rather it be a place to visit rather than a place where talking heads heads explode on MSNBC or FoxNews.
Four years ago it appeared that the Dems were the party that was fighting among themselves, but they got their act together and absolutely destroyed the GOP last November. And since taking 'power' on the Hill they've been extremely uncontroversial. This is not a mistake. This is with 2008 in mind. They know that if they pass laws that most Americans like and don't ruffle any feathers, it only makes it easier for them to take back the White House in 2008.
And right now, is there anyone on the GOP ticket that really excites anyone? And please don't say John McCain. He's old and depending on who you talk too notconservative enough... or too conservative. He's this election's John Kerry.
Let's break this down like we did last year around this time:
People Who Were On the List Last Year but aren't running:
- George Allen (unemployed) - Has a political career died faster than Allen's? Wow... a year ago he was running for President. Today he's out of office. As RayKinsella's wife said, "America, I love ya!"
-Jeb Bush (unemployed) - To be fair, he was never really going to run and he can't run because his brother ran eight years ago and pretty much blew any chance he ever had. What's the lesson learned? If growing up you're considered the smart, ambitious kid of the family, make sure you're brother isn't a fake Texan.
- Bill Frist (unemployed, but may be practicing medicine in Tennessee) - He stepped down from the Senate and then decided not to run for President. Probably a good choice and now can live a quite life where ever he is these days. Doesn't seem like that bad of a guy in retrospect.
- Condoleezza Rice (Security of State) - She may have had a worse year than George Bush, which is saying something. Her "handling" or involvement in the Middle East mess this summer only reinforced those who said that she was a "lap dog" more than anything else. As the Economist pointed out, this is odd since she had such an outstanding career in academia. Might be time to go back to what you're good atCondi.
- John Kerry (Senator Massachusetts) - BUT I GOT MORE VOTES THAN ANY OTHER DEMOCRATIC CANDIDATE EVER!
- Evan Bayh (Senator Indiana) - More like Evan Blah (ZING!).
- Mark Warner (Unemployed) - He started running in like Dec. of 2004. Now he's not. And I was right! He was too cute of a choice to be considered seriously for the Democrats.
- Russ Feingold (Senator from Wisconsin) - Oh well.
People that I would never vote for and if for some reason the GOP and Dems picked these people to face off against each other I would end up moving to Europe or somewhere else cool instead…
- John McCain (R) (Senator from Arizona) - Just go away. I'm sick of him. He had his shot to go after Bush, to really make a statement and stand up to the President. Instead he choose to get into bed with the man that spread lies about his past (oh I'm sorry, implied bullshit). The man is a fraud, and while his straight talking is popular with the average voter right now, he's a bigger flip-flopper than John Kerry. Plus he's pro-Iraq something no one talks about. And he's much more conservative on social issues than everyone realizes.
- Christopher Dodd (D) (Senator from Connecticut) - He's been Senator as long as I've been alive. Amazing. Anyway, there's much better out there.
- Sam Brownback (R) (Senator from Kansas) - I don't think Sam's that bad of a guy, I'm just not going to be voting for him anytime soon. We don't see eye to eye on much of anything. I think he's a Royals fan too (okay, just made that up).
- Mike Gravel (D) (Senator from Alaska) - Not to be all, Old People suck, but the guy is going to be 78 in 2008. I'm sorry, but I can't really envision a 82 year old President doing anything sort of Presidential.
- John Cox (R) (some guy from Illinois, a CPA in fact) - Yeah... right... stop wasting every one's time.
- Hillary Clinton (D) (ex-wife of Bill... oh sorry, Senator from New York) - Blah. See McCain and just change a few words around. And she's a Cubs fan turned Yankee fan. Why do people let her get away with that? But seriously, I think she has a better chance of winning than everyone thinks she does. Sure the far right doesn't like her... but they are never going to vote for her anyway. Who cares if they hate her. What matters is what the independent voters think, and I don't think she's as disliked as people believe she is.
- Duncan Hunter (R) (Rep. from California) - Anti-immigration, anti-my vote.
- Al Sharpton (D) (Reverend) - We sort of liked seeing Al on TV four years ago... we don't like seeing Al on TV any more even if we agree with him about 60% of the time.
- Rudy Giuliani (R) (former mayor of New York City) - I don't get what's so great about this guy. I mean, didn't everyone hate him in August of 2001? He was pretty great during 9/11 and following where he stepped to the plate and was more of a leader than Bush (who went into hiding, awesome leadership!) but come on... does that make him out to be President? Plus his policing tactics have been called into question seeing that it seems likeNYPD shoot a lot of innocent people. And don't forget about Bernie Kerik.
- Mitt Romney (R) (former governor of Massachusetts) - Another flipflopper. He confuses me more than anything else, and while I'm a fan of his heath care plan that requires all citizens of Massachusetts to have health care and makes it accessible to them, something about him rubs me the wrong way. But if he loses at least he's got the whole "I'll be a God of some universe some where else when I die" thing going for him... you know cus he's a Mormon and all (NOTE: I don't think it's true, but it's a rumor that Mormons believe this... google it more if you'd like).
- Newt Gingrich (R) (unemployed) - This guy damaged American politics more than anyone else in the post-Watergate world. He's partisan, kill all Democratic ruling style hurt this country more than anything he ever got passed in the House. He's not an asshole like TomDeLay, but he's not much better.
- Ralph Nader (G) (Who Cares) - Who cares.
People who I can stand, enjoy watching on TV, and even if everything worked out for them I could maybe vote for:
- Joe Biden (D) (Senator from Delaware) - I like watching Joe on TV. That's why he's here. The guy has been running for President for like five years too.
- John Gilmore (R) (former governor of Virgina) - I have no clue who this guy is or what he stands for so I'll put him in the maybe.
- John Edwards (D) (unemployed) - I like what he says. Of course, he's some what hypocritical. And he's probably not mean enough. And he just built a house the size of Rhode Island, so much for Two Americas.
- Ron Paul (R) (Rep. from Texas) - He's a libertarian and voted against the War in Iraq. He's got a better shot than you think and may raise a few eyebrows as the next 13 months fall out.
- Bill Richardson (D) (Governor from New Mexico) - He may end up in the 'guy I could vote for' section in a years time. But right now this seems like a good place to put him. Why don't they call itNeuva Mexico?
- George Pataki (R) (former governor of New York) - I'd like to hear more from him.
- General Wesley Clark (D) (Retired) - For one second forget about the letter next to his name... doesn't he seem like the most electable person in this country? And his CV is more impressive than anyone else on this list. I like Clark because he seems like he'd be a good President since being a good President comes down to make just and prudent decisions. Clark seems like a just and prudent guy. Generals are usually okay Presidents (Grant excluded, but that wasn't entirely his fault).
Okay, now, if the election was held tomorrow, and I could vote for anyone:
- Dennis Kucinich (D) (Rep from Ohio) - He's against Iraq. He's against the Patriot Act. In other words he actually loves freedom. Oh an he loves peace (so much that he wants to create a Department of Peace in the government... now that's a good idea; I mean we've got a Department of War, err, Defense (how attacking Iraq is defense is beyond my intellectual capabilities, but hey)). Anyway, he belief and desire for peace is a fantastic thing and something that we should all strive for.
- Chuck Hagel (R) (Senator from Nebraska) - An old fashion conservative from the Midwest... he's reasonable, he's against the war, and he's got his head out of his ass. These are all positives in elections, but negatives inside the Beltway. This is why I like him a lot. And let's not forget that he hit on an ex-girlfriend (btw, this might be one of our favorite things we've ever written on this blog... Best of Life On a Bench anyone? ZINGING MYSELF!).
- Barrack Obama (D) (Senator from Illinois) - People just like him. And I like him. I first heard and saw Obama in the summer of 1999 when Obama had decided to run against Bobby Rush for the 1st District House seat in Illinois. He was likable. He had a sense of humor. He seemed like he was at ease, he smiled, he was normal. He didn't come across as a politician then... and he doesn't today (well okay as much as one who's running for President cannot come across as a politician). Obama has major flaws: a checky past (which I don't think will hurt him) and lack of a stance on just about everything (where's the beef?). But Obama has IT.
- Al Gore (D) (Academy Award Nominee) - As I said last year, I'm just happy Al Gore didn't kill himself a few years ago. I can't imagine what it's like to be Al Gore. You received more votes that George Bush in 2000... if it wasn't for a bad ballot in one county in Florida, you would have received more votes than George Bush and won the state and thus have become President. He was President... of course, he isn't because Bush did get more votes... but man... can you imagine what that's like to wake up every morning and go "I was a normal ballot away from being President of the United States of America". (I also realize that Gore ran and absolutely horrible campaign and that's the 'main' reason why the election was so close). But back to what I was saying... if you came that close, wouldn't you run for President again? Espically after the last 18 months we've see a 'rebirth' of sorts of Gore. Doesn't he seem like a cool guy now? And after all those years of hammering away about theenviorment... looks like he man have finally found an audience. And as we said about a year ago... he's got a great chance to pull a Nixon.