Tuesday, July 03, 2007

Race for the Exits 2008: The Democrats (revisited)

A few months back I took a look at the field (and boy is it wide) of the people who want to be President in 2008. Here is an update.

Hillary Clinton:
Can anything stop the junior senator from New York? Obama may be fundraising but Clinton is kicking butt in the polls. It's a long time between now and January and even longer till November 2008 but Clinton has to be happy with where she is right now. To me, her campaign stinks of insincerity. Everything seems concocted and forced. Bill has the common touch, Hillary not so much. She should stop trying it, she comes off as condescending. There are still major electability questions. This applies not only to the presidency but her impact on down ballot races in the south and west where the Democrats are looking to win house and senate seats. She has tons of money, tons of institutional support and tons of name recognition. She could and probably should (given her current position) win, I just have this feeling that she won't. No logic behind it.

Barack Obama
: The money reports coming out today are good news for a campaign that seems to be stuck in neutral. The biggest problem for Obama seems to be that he lacks any concrete ideas. Nobody's really sure what he stands for and this plays into his lack of experience. There's no voting record to show where he stands on the issues so critics and supporters are left waiting for ideas from the Obama campaign. He will be one of many Dems looking to be the centre of an anti-Hillary movement. The junior senator from Illinois certainly has the charisma and charm to win the nomination if not the presidency. Now it's time for Obama to demonstrate that he is more than one great speech and a pretty face.

John Edwards: The former senator from North Carolina is the other main contender in the anyone but Hillary camp. Edwards' run in 2004 has provided him with a great ground game in early primary states, particularly in Iowa. Edwards is looking to win the caucuses and work from there. I question how much Edwards' two Americas speech will resonate outside of the Democratic base. People want to believe that they are middle class and have the chance to get rich. They don't want to be told that the system is working against them. Concerns about his wife's health may distract Edwards in the short term.

Bill Richardson
: My choice for the nomination is stuck in park. He is by far the most qualified candidate having served as 1. Secretary of Energy 2. Ambassador to the United Nations and currently 3. Governor of New Mexico. A governor with international experience? I don't know how the Dems are not drooling over this guy. His Hispanics roots give the Democrats a major head start at tapping into the Latino community. He needs money, a charisma injection, institutional support and an issue to separate himself from the pack. However if the Dems end up looking for a safe pick, this might be it.

Chris Dodd: Chris Dodd is a very competent senator from Connecticut. This does not mean he should be President. There isn't much chance of it either. Dodd is white bread with the crust cut off boring. No one really knows why he is running. Who wants to place bets on a drop out date?

Joe Biden
: Twenty years ago a plagiarism scandal forced Joe Biden out of the race for the Democratic nomination. In retrospect he probably wouldn't have done worse than Michael Dukakis. However, that is not an endorsement. The senator from Delaware is, like Dodd, a good senator but once again this does not mean he should be President. He should get quite a bit of that famous Joementum that worked so well for Lieberman in 2004.

Dennis Kucinich: The NDP would love Kucinich. However, that means he's about as electable as a Lesbian, pot-smoking, Muslim in the United States. Kucinich is nothing if not entertaining so I really don't mind him making the debates a little more interesting. If the congressman doesn't care about his snowball in hell chances nor do I.

Mike Gravel: If you are not from the state of Alaska and you know who Mike Gravel is you are in the minority. How this leftie ever got elected to the Senate from conservative Alaska I do not know. However, now after years out of the senate, he's decided to run for President with no money, no name recognition and no hope. I hope he has fun. Jon Stewart did a great piece on one of his campaign ads. Here's the ad. Like Gravel it's not exactly mainstream.

Non-candidates:

Al Gore: If he wants the nomination he can probably have it. He could probably even win the election (again) but there is no indication that Gore wants the job. He seems content to work against climate change from outside. How much of that is the desire not to campaign against the Clinton's only Gore knows.

Wesley Clark
: Clark has the military credentials some Dems crave during war-time. However, the retired supreme NATO commander proved an ineffective campaigner in 2004 after getting into the race late. I would have thought that if Clark still wanted the job he would have not made the mistake he made in 2004 and get in early. Apparently not. There is no indication he is running and I really don't see that changing.

3 comments:

Anonymous said...

Would Hillary seem more sincere to you if she were a man??? I don't know how many times I have heard this criticism of women in politics. I think you need to examine where this view of yours might be coming from.

aginsberg said...

Putting on a southern drawl looks fake on a man or a woman. Female candidates can be completely sincere. Compare Hillary to Martha Hall Findlay. She looks like Al Gore did in 2000: completely manufactured. I couldn't care less that she's a woman.

Anonymous said...

Chris Dodd is funny, articulate and charming. Saying he's boring makes it obvious that you've never met him or heard him speak.

His ideas for America are innovative and his 26 years experience as a Senator allow him the experience necessary to pull America out of the toilet that Bush and his idiot administration are about to flush us down.

Seriously, stick to Canada 'casue your views on America are way off.

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