Confessions of a Hoosier Democrat

Blogging Indiana Politics and the 2008 Presidential Race.

Monday, March 06, 2006

Two Items from the National Journal

First off... they have their first rankings of the potential '08 candidates... They do have a place were you can rank them yourself so I encourage to go and show your support...

1 Clinton - Her fundraising advantage is going to be unprecedented and will likely keep some very good Democrats from running (particularly if she has $50 million in the bank by January 2007). What we’re trying to figure out is whether the latest round of GOP "attacks" on her are simply attempts by Republicans to rally their own base, or if it’s some Machivellian effort to rally Democrats to Clinton so the party really does nominate her (because Republican attacks on Hillary actually improved her poll standing this month). If the strategy is that latter, the GOP should beware: Democrats were ecstatic in ’80 when the Republicans nominated someone widely thought to be "too conservative" – Ronald Reagan.

2 Warner - The now- former Virginia governor is still basking in the afterglow of Tim Kaine's victory. But as a congressional staffer reminds us, Kaine isn’t on the ballot every month between now and ’08 nomination day. Of the four categories we’re using to evaluate the contenders, Warner is arguably scoring higher on "buzz" than even Hillary right now. For the "all we want to do is win" Democrats, Warner is the candidate, despite his not having to take any major positions yet or go through any real scrutiny. In fact, Warner’s probably been through less scrutiny than any of the major contenders on either side. The biggest problem for Warner right now? Getting too much attention.

3 Edwards - Surprised that we have the '04 VP nominee ranked so high? Well, there’s probably no one traveling the country more than Edwards, and his travels have a purpose. He wants to be the labor candidate without the labor baggage. He's very aggressively helping recruit members for the hotel workers union, and he's trumpeting various minimum wage initiatives whenever possible. Toss in his ability to once again tap into trial lawyer money and his already decent poll numbers and his national experience, and it's clear Edwards has the stuff to hang with Hillary. He’s not "new" anymore, so he's down in "buzz," but he's also the only major candidate who seems comfortable going to Hillary's left.

4 BAYH! - Watching Bayh go through the motions reminds us of the early Bill Bradley days (and we’re not just writing that because of Anita Dunn’s involvement in both candidacies). Bayh is being very methodical; he doesn’t spend one day in Iowa, he spends three. He doesn’t just raise PAC money or hard money, he does both. While we’ll admit we have a hard time figuring out where Bayh fits in should the field include the above three, plus a couple of others (after all, how many "I'm electable" campaigns can the Dem primary take?), being methodical always gets rewarded at some point in this process.

5 Richardson - Too high? Don't count on it. There’s just something about Richardson’s resume and drive that has us believing he’s going to be for real. The big question we have is over money. But given his constant travels around the country on behalf of the DGA, Richardson should be able to put himself in front of the right people to fix any financial woes. Yet, we almost didn’t rank him in our top tier due to the recent Diageo/Hotline poll, which showed less than a third of Americans believed the country was "ready" for a Hispanic president. Has the immigration issue created a temporary glass ceiling for Hispanics with national ambitions?

Secondly... they've released their review of which Senators are liberal/conservative... I couldn't find it on their website but the IndyStar did their traditional biased review of it... What the article did say was that Bayh was more conservative than 30 of the other 43 Senate Democrats and the closest to the center of the 5 Senators believed to be running in '08.


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