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Potential Democratic Candidates for 2008

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In my article yesterday, entitled “John Kerry for 2008?”, I discussed the possibility of Kerry running for President in 2008. It was my opinion that he couldn’t win, or at the very least, he’d have a very hard fight on his hands. I also discussed the possibility of three Republican candidates, plus Hillary Clinton and Howard Dean for the Democrats.

Now I’m going to take a look at several possible Democratic candidates. I tried to find four candidates that could win the Democratic nomination, though not necessarily the Presidency.

The first is General Wesley Clark. Clark ran an unsuccessful bid for the Democratic nomination in the 2004 campaign. Clark was unsuccessful for several reasons. One, he started late. He was the last candidate to announce his intention to run for the nomination. This left him straggling on policy issues, although he later made up for this. Secondly, and probably more damaging, Clark seemed inexperienced with the media. He just couldn’t use the media effectively, and this, his supporters claimed, was the reason that he seemed indecisive about war issues. General Clark has had plenty of time to learn how to utilize the media since then. Still, I believe the impression of being indecisive about the war will haunt him. He will be fighting an uphill battle.

The second potential candidate is Barack Obama (junior Senator, Illinois). While he’s popular with Democrats, Obama is seen as too liberal by many Republicans, including moderate Republicans. And, as one commenter to my earlier article so clearly stated: “he’s only a Junior Senator.” (Thanks uao, whoever you are.) He needs to prove himself. He has the potential to take the nomination at a later date, but I just don’t think he’s ready now.

The third possible candidate is Michael Easley (Governor, North Carolina). While Easley has been plagued by fiscal problems throughout his administration, it is telling that he was elected governor by a large margin in a state that otherwise voted Republican. He definitely has bipartisan appeal. In the national scheme of things, he’s a relative unknown, which might work to his benefit rather than be a detriment. His major problem would be fund-raising, and without a significant war-chest to make him a household name, he would have difficult acquiring the nomination, but it is possible.

Finally, there’s Mark Warner (Governor, Virginia). Warner seems to be the best choice for the Democrats in 2008. He’s certainly one of the most popular governors Virginia has ever had, with approval ratings near 75%, and this is in a state that is primarily Republican. He has broad appeal, and is popular with Independents and moderate Republicans. Like Easley, he isn’t well known at the national level, but he is known by Democratic political insiders, thus making it possible for him to raise a substantial amount of money to support a campaign. He has been criticized for being too low-key, but this is simply a result of him choosing his battles carefully.

And so, as 2008 slowly approaches, here is a potential map for the Democrats: nominate Warner and throw every dollar available into his campaign. He may very well be the best candidate for the Democratic Party, and for the nation.

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  • Baronius

    Don’t forget Al Gore. We know he wants the job, and has attained a folk-hero status in some parts of the party. It would be difficult for Gore or Kerry to win the nomination if they both entered, as they would draw attention only for being previous losers.

    Gore would also cause problems for Lieberman, who could easily decide to run. Joe appeals to centrist Democrats and independents, which aren’t great providers of primary money. But he’s got name recognition, experience, and a good personal reputation.

    I don’t think Dean would try again. It’d look suspicious if he were still party head. He’s got all those skeletons in his closet. Obama couldn’t win the nomination, and would look like a gimmick in the number two slot. There’s no better resume in the Democratic Party than Richardson’s, so don’t rule him out.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Warner is actually a pretty decent guy. We have a local morning show with two maniacs on it and Warner used to call in and talk to them all the time. They actually put out a CD every year to raise money for a Christmas wish fund and Warner is on it debating with one of the shows made up characters. It’s pretty funny too!

  • http://trinimansblog.blogspot.com/ Triniman

    You said “Clark seemed inexperienced with the media.” Interesting that it turned out that way, since he was part of the media, as a commentator on CNN.

  • http://musical-guru.blogspot.com Michael J. West

    Obama? No chance. I frankly think he is exactly what the next generation of Democrats should aspire to be…but the party knows, no matter how good a man he is, that a black man still cannot win a presidential election in this country.

    I’d love to see Russ Feingold on the ballot. Unfortunately that’ll never happen either; he’s too much of a maverick for the DNC to put their weight and money behind him.

    Warner is absolutely the best candidate. But he’s an outgoing governor in the midterm…can he find a way to stay relevant until 2008?

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    If a black man wants to win the white house he needs to run as a Republican – he’d get more party support and enthusiasm than you can imagine. The democratic party would never do something so empowering for african americans as to nominate one of them for the presidency. That would start giving their dependent, ethnic constituents the idea that they actually have some power without the liberal elite giving them handouts with one hand while holding them down in poverty with the other.

    As for this proposed slate of ‘candidates’, it looks like a fine starting point if you want to make sure Republicans get another 8 years, but the sad thing is that I don’t think the democrats can come up with anything better – though I do think Al Gore could outperform all of the ones you propose.

    Dave

  • Nancy

    I’d like to see Powell run simply because he’s a fine, upstanding, honest & honorable leader, so totally different from the scumbags currently inhabiting the Hill & the WH. His color/race have nothing to do with it. However, I don’t think he ever will, because a) his wife won’t let him, & b) being an honest & honorable man, he would probably be eaten alive (again) by all the political rats, just like he was as Sec. of State. It’s a pity that in order to survive in Washington, a person has to sink to the lowest levels of political filth with the rest of the scum.

    Dave, your comments on Democrat motives regarding minority candidates is a clear projection of GOP values (or lack thereof) onto other parties, and not the truth or the facts.

    Oh, & BTW – Happy New Year, all.

  • http://www.hauntedink.com Michael Heumann

    What about Bill Richardson?

  • http://leftistjoe.blogspot.com Joseph Johaneman

    What about Bill Richardson?

    I decided to stick to only four candidates for the article, but if I had gone to five, Bill Richardson would have been in there. I almost bumped Obama to put Richardson in, but changed my mind at the last minute. He has expressed interest in running. Somehow, though, I see him more as a vice-presidential candidate rather than a presidential one. I could be wrong, here, though. We’ve still got quite a ways to go until 2008.

  • http://leftistjoe.blogspot.com Joseph Johaneman

    You said “Clark seemed inexperienced with the media.” Interesting that it turned out that way, since he was part of the media, as a commentator on CNN.

    Yeah, it is interesting. He just couldn’t get a handle on the whole “soundbite” thing. The media doesn’t want long winded explanations. They want a 30 second summary that they can plug into the six o’clock news. I never saw him on CNN, but I imagine that he probably was given a bunch of time as a commentator. Unfortunately, candidates don’t have that luxury. Kind of a sad indictment of American media in general.

  • http://counter-point.blogspot.com Scott

    I think Obama could be a candidate in 2012, if a Repub wins in ’08 or if a Democrat wins and doesn’t run for re-election, or 2016 if a Democrat or Republican is elected to two terms. As of now, he’s just still too new and young to drop a Senate seat he’s only had for one year and make a run for Pres. He’ll be a force to contend with later on.

    Out of all the Democrats on this list, Warner looks to be in the best shape thus far. Pair him with Evan Bayh and you have a strong centrist/moderate ticket with ties into the south and midwest. It changes the whole electoral landscape.

    Of course, it’s all contingent on the Republican nominee. Right now, that looks to be McCain.

  • Jai

    I wouldn’t put money on Warner. He is a one term governor, albeit a competent one, but with no other experience in public office and no background in foreign policy or national defense. And before you jump on me with the argument that Bush had none when he took office, remember what a low bar you’re setting, that the nation wasn’t at war in 2000, and that the GOP trump card for the last 40 years has been that branding of all Democrats as weak on defense and unable to handle the threats to our nation. They’re stoking that fire even now, with their “white flag” attack ads and “defeat and retreat” rhetoric.

    But Warner’s biggest problem will be that he weasels away from holding accountable Bush and the Repubs in Congress who rubber-stamp everything he does. He’s a “can’t we all just get along” DLC Democrat. That won’t sit well with Democratic primary voters, and it really won’t mean much of anything in the general election–may even invite a third party challenge from the left, if the GOP machine doesn’t eat him alive first.

    Warner’s best hope is making a big enough splash to get somebody’s VP nod, much as Edwards did last time around.

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    I for one like Warner as the Aught Eight candidate. Jai, good point about him not having foreign policy experience (I’ll take your word for it) but all he has to do is take a page out of the Bush book and surround himself in people who know about it.

  • Bing

    Why is everyone wasting thier breath. We all know it’s going to be that evil, commie, [Unnecessary expletive deleted by Comments Editor] Hillary for the Dems in 2008. She will win the Dem nomination and then lose to whoever the GOP runs unless she is assissanted first.

    Either way I’m not losing any sleep.

  • http://counter-point.blogspot.com Scott

    He’s already proven he can raise money with ease and reach across the aisle to try and work out a deal. If it ain’t Clinton (the Hillary one) that gets the nom, my money’s on Warner.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    Jai – Warner was a one term governor because VA law says the gov can only hold office for one term!

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Dave, your comments on Democrat motives regarding minority candidates is a clear projection of GOP values (or lack thereof) onto other parties, and not the truth or the facts.

    Come again? The Democratic party maintains its power base by keeping a whole segment of society poor and uneducated and dependent on the government and then promising them government handouts and increased benefits if they vote for democrats. The GOP does nothing of the kind.

    Dave

  • Nancy

    You’ve been drinking again, haven’t you? You’ve got to stop inhaling GOP propaganda whole & unquestioned.

  • Jai

    Oh yeah, Matthew. That worked so well for Bush. His much-vaunted foreign policy team really kept him out of trouble. Not.

    Look, I have no doubts Warner would put together a better complement of advisors. But when push comes to shove, the President is the commander-in-chief. Moreover, he’s the one who has to see thru the often-backstabbing in-fighting (as EVERY president experiences) among his cabinet members and call the shots.

    I also don’t doubt that Warner wouldn’t do a better job of sorting out the conflict than Bush has too. But it would be helpful if he had a handle on the federal bureaucracy and the competing interests of the different agencies, not to mention the issues involved.

    None of which has much to do with the main point I was making above. I was talking about electability, since that seemed to be the main Warner virtue extolled in the original blog.

    In our post-9/11 world, a nominee has got to be able to convince American voters that he (or she) can keep them safe. Thanks to a whole lot of factors going back to Vietnam, Democrats start out with a severe confidence deficit in national security. Repubs are suffering on that front too, but we don’t get to run against Bush/Cheney, and if we can’t show we offer something better, the advantage will be temporary. Given the way the media gets manipulated, I see no reason to think it won’t continue to be real hard for any of our potential candidates, with the probable exception of Clark if he can counter the inevitable swiftboating, to manage. I fear a young, aw-shucks-likable but grossly inexperienced and not particularly agressive governor won’t be able to cut it. Especially if the Repubs run a tough old dog like McCain, Giuliani or Gingrich.

    The other question about Warner is whether he can win our nomination at all. Our activist base that turns out big in primaries may end up dead-set against him. They can’t necessarily get their guy in (see Dean and Kucinich), but they can make big problems for whomever they don’t like (see Lieberman, the clear leader this early in the last cycle). I’m pretty much a moderate myself, but we need someone who can unite our factions, and I don’t see a champion of DLC “traditional” politics as being the man who can keep us together. Which has a whole ‘nother set of implications in the GE–we could be looking at a third-party candidate from the left, or a bunch of folks who just stay home. The GOP could run a pig and they’d probably still be able to get their base to turn out–their marketing and use of fear is that good.

  • Jai

    Andy, it doesn’t matter why Warner is a one-term governor. It only matters that he is. And like Edwards in ’04, he has NO prior government service to back it up.

    Warner is young. Let him be a VP or senior cabinet member for a term or two. Or second choice, he could wait a turn and be governor again after Kaine, who will also only serve 4 years. I grew up in GA where there were term limits too and it wasn’t uncommon at all for two Democrats to serve in tandem that way.

    He could run for the Senate, of course, but that might kill his long-term potential for the Oval Office. Maybe one term wouldn’t hurt too bad. Or maybe head a public foundation–he has the money and the corporate contacts to do some real good.

    I like Warner, for what it’s worth. I think he has a future and a lot to offer. But he ain’t ready for prime-time now.

  • Bing

    Nancy what Dave said about the Democrats maintaining thier power base is the truth. They play the victim card………if there are no longer any victims the dems lose thier appeal.

    Sad but true.

  • Southern-born Dem 06

    There’s been a lot of speculation about Mark Warner. I’ve often found it quite funny myself.

    Obviously those people who think (or hope) that Warner might win the general election in 08 either 1) don’t live in a red state or 2) would rather live in 1992.

    Warner is a stock red state Dem. There are frankly better representatives of ‘winning against the odds’ and persuading red state voters to vote across party lines than Warner.

    His lack of experience on foreign policy or national security issues makes him VP material, not presidential material. There’s no way you can crib enough credentials from your VP running mate to overcome a fundamental lack of personal knowledge and experience (well, unless you subscribe to the Bush/Cheney model of government–and we all know how well THAT’s turned out).

    I’m tired of formulaic Democrats — Warner’s one of those.

  • Bing

    Southern born, you said there are better choices for the Dems to get Repubs and red staters to cross party lines at the polls.

    I was just curious who you were thinking of. I’m a Northern Born Repub and the only Dem I could ever see myself voting for for president would be Joe Lieberman and that’s only if my own party were running sopmeone like Jack Abramoff.

  • http://counter-point.blogspot.com Scott

    “The Democratic party maintains its power base by keeping a whole segment of society poor and uneducated”

    Yeah, and all the Republicans do is rail against abortion, gay marriage, no prayer in public school, evolution, stem cell research and all good and decent things to rally their base. Gosh, what a bunch of decent folks.

    “The GOP does nothing of the kind.”

    Heartless bastards. Then again, why should they care about the poor? They’re all rich, fat and happy so I’m sure they could give two shits about people in poverty as long as their mutual funds perform well.

  • zingzing

    The Republican party maintains its power base by keeping a whole segment of society poor and uneducated.

    at least the democrats try to help. even if it doesn’t have the effect it should, at least it’s an attempt. the question of poverty and equal education has plagued this country through both democratic and republican leaderships.

    but you know what? it’s POLITICIANS that maintain their power base by keeping whole segments of society poor and uneducated. if we were all educated people with money, we’d have figured out that a two-party system just leads to infighting, and we would have figured out how to change it. it sounds so simple, yet how do you get it done?

  • Bing

    The poor and minorities have been voting Democrat for the past 40 years.

    Where has it gotten them?

  • zingzing

    nowhere. admitted. as i stated above, they haven’t gotten anywhere under anyone, regardless of party. it’s been a problem forever, probably will remain that way forever. at least the democrats give them lip-service… still, nothing is born out of a blowjob. sorry.

  • Nancy

    Sometimes I have to think that the poor are poor because they’re too damned stupid to think for themselves, and only respond to fearmongering politicians & marketers. Consider: there are a helluva lot more of ‘us’ poor than there are of them rich bastards, and if we all rose up & demanded (or refused) specific actions, we could literally drown the Opposition at the polls. But we don’t. Why? Because poor people respond (if they respond at all) only to the last sound bite they heard on the TV or radio, put together by some lying, slick politician (pick a party, any party) whose only REAL allegiance is to his fellow billionaires.

  • Bing

    MMMMM class warfare……

    Never heard that from a lib before Nancy

  • http://adamash.blogspot.com adam

    It’s going to be Clinton/Warner as the Dem ticket vs. McCain/Schwarzenegger as the GOP ticket. (Question: as a born foreigner, Arnold can’t be Prez, but he can be VP, can’t he?)

    Either of these two tickets will be a welcome relief after the disaster of Bush/Cheney.

    Clinton would be best at restoring our international reputation. McCain would be best at restoring the GOP’s reputation. It’s time for the grand old party to get back to what they used to be, before the toxic gangs of Radical Right Evangelicals and Corrupt Corporate Slimeballs hijacked them.

  • http://leftistjoe.blogspot.com Joseph Johaneman

    (Question: as a born foreigner, Arnold can’t be Prez, but he can be VP, can’t he?)

    Nope. 12th Amendment, last sentence:

    But no person constitutionally ineligible to the office of President shall be eligible to that of Vice-President of the United States.

  • http://w6daily.winn.com/ Phillip Winn

    He would have to be elected to Congress and be made Speaker of the House, and then both Pres and Veep would have to die. The Constitution doesn’t bar that. :-)

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    zingzing says nothing is born out of a blowjob…

    come on now…every time I get one a smile is born!!!

  • http://www.diablog.us Dave Nalle

    Interesting question, Adam. Article II of the Constitution seems to make it clear that the same qualifications that apply to the president also apply to the VP. And the qualifications are for holding the office, not for running. So even if elected as VP, Arnold could not serve in the job or take over as president.

    And same for the Speaker, Philip. Still can’t serve as president or VP.

    Dave

  • http://www.futonreport.net/ Matthew T. Sussman

    Andy Marsh wins the discussion based on Comment 32.

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    thank you, thank you…I’ll be here all week!

  • Phoebe

    Clark seemed inexperienced with the media. He just couldn’t use the media effectively, and this, his supporters claimed, was the reason that he seemed indecisive about war issues. General Clark has had plenty of time to learn how to utilize the media since then. Still, I believe the impression of being indecisive about the war will haunt him.

    Clark was a victim of the media last time around because he’d worked with them, not against them until he entered the race. (late, as you say.)

    The media made him appear indecisive about the war — which is an indictment of the US media and an example of the gullibility of the US public. The man had written and published a book (“Winning Modern Wars”) which outlined in minute detail his thoughts on the Iraq War. No-one could’ve been more firmly against it, or more accurate in predicting how it would unfold.

    The fact that he bobbled one question from one reporter on day one of his campaign and it’s has been mythologised into “indecisive about the war” is sheer craziness.

    But, you know what? I don’t think the average voter paid that much attention at the time and by the time 2008 comes around that’s going to seem a trivial inconsistency compared to how far other Dems are going to have to backtrack.

    And, regarding his ability to deal with the media, since being ambushed a few times in 2003/4 Clark’s gone into the lion’s den — taken a job working on Fox so he will be well equipt to deal with the most hostile of media next time around.

    Meantime, dissatisfied Repubs, who probably paid no attention to him last time around, are now used to seeing him billed as an expert on military and foreign policy matters — and talking sense.

  • troll

    fuck ’08

    HASTERT FOR PRESIDENT IN ’06

    troll

  • http://theugliestamerican.blogspot.com Andy Marsh

    can they impeach the prez and the vp in a year? wouldn’t it be a little more realistic to go for ’07 troll?

  • troll

    Andy – realism is not my forte

    troll

  • http://adamash.blogspot.com adam

    I don’t know about Wesley Clark. He always comes off a little lightweight — maybe because he’s so handsome in a pretty-boy Trevor Howard way. He’s just not butch enough. Like John Edwards ain’t butch enough. Clint Eastwood could run for president, but not Brad Pitt or Leonardo DiCaprio.

    You got to be major butch to become a US president. Which is why I think Hillary stands a much stronger chance than Republicans think. Hillary vs. McCain — who’s more butch? It’s a wash. In fact, I’d give her the edge. She’s got that inner butch steeliness in her, down to the bone. That Margaret Thatcher/Indira Gandhi thing. She ain’t no powderpuff.

    That’s why so many Republicans hate her — she just isn’t Laura Bush-femmy enough for their macho tastes. They can’t stand it that she never took a back seat to her husband, or did the supportive stand-by-your-man smile-obediently bake-cookies thing.

    With her steeliness, she makes any swaggering male blusterer look lame. Like Giuliani. He has a womanly hysteria in him, which you guys who didn’t know him as NYC mayor don’t know about yet. And McCain is too grandfatherly.

    In the butch stakes, Hillary wins. That’s why she’s going to do it, because she out-butches not only everyone in the Dem field, but all the Republicans as well.

    Vote for the real man in the race. Vote for Hillary.

  • troll

    hellishly accurate

    stunningly satirical

    read it here on BC

    troll

  • Reader

    Joe, I think that national security and international expertise will be sorely needed after the tumultous Bush administration. We’ve seen what happens when you have an southern governor with no foreign policy experience, relying on his VP Cheney and handpicked partisans for foreign policy advice — you end up invading Iraq which has no WMD, instead of finishing the job in Afghanistan and finding Osama Bin Laden.

    So, no, I don’t think Warner, in the model of the Bush presidency, where the president has no foreign policy experience, will work. We’ve seen that the PRESIDENT needs to have real foreign policy experience in guiding the world’s only superpower, not his VP and cabinet.

    This isn’t 1992. 9/11 and Bush’s bungled Iraq makes sure of it.

    Joe, if you’ve looked at the polls, you’ll see that Democrats consistently do better than Republicans in domestic areas like social security, healthcare, etc. The one area where Republicans kick Democratic ass is in National Security. There needs to be a Democratic Candidate who can negate this dichotomy, overcome the weak on national security image and thus play up the positives in the domestic areas without fear of being raked over the coals on National Security.

    It looks like the only ones who have the potential are Wes Clark, Joe Biden, and Richardson. However, Biden has the plagarism problem on videotape. Richardson has the Wen Ho Lee scandal. That leaves Clark.

    I agree with you, Joe, that it will be an uphill battle, and the test will be on how much Clark has learned from his last foray. Seeing as how he’s entered the lions’ den of Fox news to spar with them and learn their verbal tactics, as well as considerable experience campaigning for local democrats, I think he will handle the media much better.

    But we can’t get on the Warner bandwagon and run as the new and improved Bush/Cheney model. We’ve seen the model fail — the president HAS to have foreign policy experience in the wake of the mess that Bush will leave. And the Democrats will never win the Whitehouse in the current climate if they can’t overcome the “weak on national security” stigma in the current world climate.

  • http://adamash.blogspot.com adam

    Dear Reader,
    You fail to mention Hillary as a candidate. Via her husband, she has more foreign policy experience than any Dem or Republican.
    All she has to do is make Bill her Secretary of State, and we’ll be handling the world with the competence Bush/Cheney so conspicuously lack.

  • Reader

    Adam, I believe your assertion misses the mark. There is no such thing as foreign policy experience by proxy, as proven in my description of the failures of the Bush/Cheney model. The PRESIDENT needs to have the experience, not the VP or First Spouse. All the advisors in the world won’t compare to real experience.

  • http://www.warnerwatch.com Daniel D

    When you Warner detractors criticize him for not having “foreign policy or national security issues” you seem to forget Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter were in the same boat. Sorry folks, Joe Biden is never going to be elected President.

    Plus Warner is the only Democrat in the field who CREATED an international Fortune 500 company, Nextel. I’d take an entrepreneur over a verbose Senator any day. Here is a guy who grew up middle class in public schools who made it big. Now that is the American dream.

  • Wasabi Kev

    Here’s the one good thing I see in the coming election: The field is wide open on both sides. It hasn’t been that way in a LONG time. My personal worst nightmare- Jeb Bush jumps into the race and runs a Bush/Rice ticket against a Dem Clinton/Obama one.

    An observation to any GOP’ers out there: Your party should be ashamed of the political assasination of John McCain in 2000. Your party leaders smeared a decent man who might have really led this country thru 9/11 and would have had more sense then to lead us into a BS moral crusade to oust Saddam. The GOP says Dem’s would have left the tyrant in power? Maybe, but we would be able to deal with Iran right now AND THEY REALLY ARE TRYING TO BUILD NUKES!!!

    I live in Virginia. Warner is the most respected politician to come out of this state in a LONG time. Could he really use some foreign policy experience? YES. Good news for him is he has 2.5 years till the election- Unlike Bush, he will be ready to answer questions and have positions.

    But- I do not think the Dem’s will win in ’08. Warner would do best to find something else to do til 2012. Get himself established somehow on the National scene. Beef up his Foreign Policy credibility, then run as an opposition candidate.

    Who do I think will in ’08? McCain. But the GOP is going to lose seats in congress next year. There is a political storm brewing in this country and we are going to see some change.

  • Reader

    Daniel D, we most certainly have not forgotten about Clinton or Carter. If you’ll read my previous comments as well as those of others, you’ll note that I believe this is not 1992. September 11th and the Iraq War debacle change the landscape. National Security/foreign policy credentials are a must.

    Clinton was elected during a time when the cold war had just ended, and people wanted a scaling back of the military budget to fix deficits because we “had won”. I don’t see this “war on terror” ending any time soon. Also, Clinton’s victory happened because Perot siphoned off enough of the Republican votes for Clinton to win with less than 50%. Do you see a significant 3rd party challenge from the right that will do the same thing again? Besides which, do you really want to gamble on winning with less than 50% of the vote like Clinton (1992)?

    Carter won in the wake of Watergate and Nixon’s resignation. I don’t see Bush resigning anytime soon. Nor do I see the Republican Congress critters turning on Bush and impeaching him the way they tried to do with Nixon.

    Foreign Policy/National Security is the one edge where Republicans beat Democrats currently. The key is to negate your opponent’s Foreign policy strength so that you can bolster your own domestic policy strengths. That way it’s a win-win. We know Dems can win on Domestics, if we also have Foreign policy covered, than we can draw from a wider spectrum and compete everywhere — Red AND Blue, instead of running away for fear of being painted “unpatriotic”/swiftboated or trying to be more Republican than Republicans.

    Strengthen the area’s you are weak in (Foreign policy/National Sec for Dems) and shore up the areas you’re strong in (Domestics). Not ignore/run away from your vulnerabilities and hope /pray that you only need to compete in areas you already win anyway. We need to break the whole Mommy party/Daddy party problem with someone who can change the stereotype.

    You’ll always lose a current war, if you’re always trying to fight the last war, using outdated tactics and mindsets. You’ll lose the next campaign if you’re trying to fight the last one. This isn’t 1992. You can’t ignore Foreign Policy/National Security in the wake of 9/11, the continuing “War on Terror”, and the disasterous fallout from Iraq, Iran’s hegemoic ambitions, North Korea, and whatever other bunglings Bush gives us. No matter how much of this mindset is media fostered or based in reality, these concerns exist in the minds of voters and need to be addressed if you intend to win.

    Looking to Clinton and Carter for the roadmap for 2008 is as foolish as looking to any of the other 40-odd presidents of the past. You have to look at the situation of today. And if you don’t want to lose the Whitehouse, you need to be damn sure your candidate has the chops to negate the Dem party’s weakness on National Security/Foreign policy in the minds of the voters.

    It’s not about running on foreing policy only — it’s really about being able to run on ANYTHING from domestic (which Dems already win on, regardless of candidate) to foreing policy/national security. Breaking stereotypes is the only way to expand a party’s appeal.

    The Republicans have the opposite side of the the mommy/daddy problem. They were strong on National Security but weak on Domestic Areas in the minds of voters. So they broke that stereotype using “compassionate conservatism” to say Bush wasn’t weak on Domestic policy and cared about the people. Just as Reagan did the same thing with “Morning in America.”

    Whatever your party, you need to be able to break the stereotype (weak pansy assed unpatriotic draft-dodging swiftboated liberals or hardnosed insensitive uncaring screw-the-workers warmongering conservatives). To do that, Dems need National Security/Foreign policy creds.

    There are a number of possibilities. I think Wes Clark is going to be one to watch. I’m interested in how he will do when given a full race, instead of starting his campaign a yr behind everyone (though he still did respectably for a campaign that lasted a total of 4months and behind by a year).

  • Mike Baker

    Your article was very interesting, but why did you leave Hilary Clinton off of the list for Democratic nominations for the Presidency? I’d really like your opinion on this. Thanks.

  • Steve

    Interesting discussion, folks, I know in the last Democratic Primary, I was rooting for Lieberman, Clark or Edwards. Would be happy with any of those this time, though Edwards doesn’t look the part really. Richardson might have a shot at it. Re. Hilary, she just seems too power hungry to be trusted with the reins of govt. Kerry or Gore would lose the presidential election, guaranteed. Too early for Obama I think. Don’t know enough about Warner to say really, though his lack of experience doesn’t help.

    As far as the Reps. go, although I like McCain, I think he is too old for the job, given his rough past in the Service etc. (he’s pushing 70 isn’t he?). Yes, there was Reagan, who was older but there were questions about his ability during his second term.

    I’m not that impressed with Guiliani, to be honest, seems a bit of a lightweight policy wise.

    And Rice is never gonna run.

    As a Canadian, I really don’t know enough to know about other potential candidates to say really, but I can’t help feeling the Reps. need a fresh face (nationally) but with experience in foreign policy. Tough to find lol.

  • Vicki

    I am sexy and all of you people are old and all of the people that are running for president are OLD