Open Thread: Pure Speculation and Conjecture

I have a friend who instist upon swearing that Governor Jeb Bush of Florida will be the next Republican nominee for President of the United States. I then hear rumors that Senator Saxby Chambliss (R – Ga) may accompany one former New York City Mayor Rudolph Guliani on the ticket.

On the Democratic side, even Senator Zell Miller (D – Ga) is convinced, based on statements he made at a fundraiser earlier this year, that Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton (D – NY) will be the Democratic nominee.

I’ve even heard Senator John McCain (R – Arizona) may run yet again.

I’d like to ask everyone to engage with me in some speculation on who the respective candidates will be. Why do you think they’ll run? Will they make a good candidate? Who is your candidate of choice?

In my humble opinion, we need some good, combative discussion on a topic other than Ralph Reed and Casey Cagle, so be prepared to defend your position. Hopefully, we’ll have some good comments on this topic.


  1. GOPGrassroots says:

    (D) – Hillary will run away with the primary. Kerry will try again, along with Edwards, Bayh, etc… The Clintons still are the top dogs in the Democratic Party.

    (R) – Frist, McCain, etc… all the usual hopefuls will be in. My pick right now is George Allen. Jeb could be a contender if he were to jump in. My guess is that he will not.

    Hillary will be a force in 2008. We are all underestimating her potential. She moved into NY and won the Senate seat, has solid approval ratings there, and is steadily trending toward the middle with her rhetoric. Big Bubba still has a lot of moderate fans who he’ll mobilize on her behalf.

  2. Silence says:

    Why George Allen? What advantages does he present on a nationwide scale? Who would you pair him with?

    If there was a contest between Jeb and Allen, what would be the outcome?

    What reasoning points to Jeb staying out? (I happen to agree with that, BTW)

  3. smm says:

    on a recent sports package “Top 25 Sports Personalities” Lance Armstrong was mentioned as possible candidate. He has expressed interest in national politics and a couple of journalists already have bets on his presidential run.

  4. GAWire says:

    It WILL BE George Allen! Southern, conservative, good voting record, good background, State Executive experience and most imporantly, A LOT OF FRIENDS and EARLY SUPPORT IN DC!

    Jeb will test the waters, but will eventually figure out that voters won’t get into enough for another Bush – at least not enough to defeat Hillary, that will only continue to make herself appear appealing to moderate voters. Personally, I like Jeb and would be all for another 8 years of Bushes in the WH, but if you thought the liberal attack machine against the “Bush legacy conspiracy” was bad in ’04, wait ’til they get a chance to go after Jeb.

    Hillary will be the D nominee, plain and simple; however, the Party (GOP that is) is going to force her to spend a lot of her money and of course time in her re-election bid, that will cut into her ’08 campaigning significantly. It won’t matter, though, b/c she will never win the WH (but that is another story entirely)!

  5. GAWire says:

    Oh yeah, Frist and McCain won’t go anywhere in that race. The Party won’t get behind McCain, b/c he has just pissed off too many people by his wishy-washy-jumping-over-the-center-aisle voting record. He is fine in the Senate, but that is where he should stay.

    Frist doesn’t have what it takes. I’m sorry to dissappoint all of you Tenn folks, but that is just a fact. The WSJ had a really good (and long) article a few weeks ago on Frist’s career, record and potential future, and after reading that, even Republicans are starting realize that he wouldn’t be the right candidate to win the General.

  6. GAWire says:

    >>”””on a recent sports package “Top 25 Sports Personalitiesâ€? Lance Armstrong was mentioned as possible candidate. He has expressed interest in national politics and a couple of journalists already have bets on his presidential run.”””

    Now you’re just trying to make me spill my coffee, so the cleaning bills just keep racking up!

    What’s the IM shorthand again for, “LAUGHING UNCONTROLLABLY TO THE POINT WHERE I AM SPILLING COFFEE ALL OVER MY NEWLY CLEANED BROOKS BROTHERS SUIT” (or if there isn’t one, then perhaps we should make one up)!?!

  7. buzzbrockway says:

    I don’t think the GOP nominee will be a Senator. Furthermore, I don’t think the next President will be a Senator, which means I think that while Hillary will likely win the Dem. nomination, I don’t think she can win the Presidency.

    History is against Senators as the last Senator to be elected President was Kennedy a long time ago. Part of the problem all Senators have is the “clubby” exclusive nature of the Senate – they all tend to appear elitist, which doesn’t play well out here in the real world. Watch you average Senator on your favorite talking head show and eventually that Senator will talk about how important the integrity of the Senate is. Who cares? Just pass good legislation and approve Bush’s Judges.

    I think the next GOP nominee will be a Governor, but I doubt it will be Jeb Bush. I would keep an eye on Governors like Bill Owens of Colorado and Haley(sp?) Barbour of Mississippi.

    A Democrat Governor who scares me is Bill Richardson of New Mexico. He’s a tax cutter and he’s not from the moonbat wing of the Dem. Party. If he could get the nomination, he would be a formidable foe.

  8. GAWire says:

    We have been talking about that historical statistic that no Senator has won the WH in since Kennedy, but many people are predicting that that trend is set to break soon, and many believe that ’08 will be the year to do it.

    Bill Owens is cool but won’t have the name ID and electing a GOP Pres nominee from Colorado will not be easy. Also, we all like Haley, but he won’t be President. Both of those fellas are being considered closely for VP candidates, though.

    A lot of folks are talking about an Allen-Owens ticket, that will kind of balance the numbers a little, kind of like a Bush-Cheney ticket did. Allen pulling Southerners, conservatives and typical Republican red-state votes, and Owens pulling some more western-style GOP votes coming from areas and states that are a little more lighter red. Both are good fiscal conservatives, and balance each other out on social issues.

  9. Tommy_a2b says:

    I agree w/ GAWire. The stat on Senators is ready to break. I think Allen is the one to break it, being he was Gov not long ago (’98.) I also like an Allen-Owens ticket. I look forward to the ’08 race b/c I think Hillary will save us here in the GOP. The USA is not ready for a female President especially not one as scary as Hillary. I do think our US Congress better start helping our cause or we may have more trouble than needed. WE NEED TO MAKE THE TAX CUTS PERM, ESPECIALLY THE DEATH TAX. Congress also needs to start spending a little less, maybe alot less.

  10. anotherhack says:

    Say Clinton gets the Dem nod. She’s going to want to further dilute her popular image as a vehement liberal and find someone with even bigger cred dealing with health care woes. And how do you solve the senator vs. governor issue? Grab a state exec.

    And maybe she’ll need a southernor. Yeah, she’ll reckon, that’ll help: A popular Democratic governor from the South with heaps of experience dealing with spiraling costs of health care. And what makes a better running mate than a guy with less personality than a crouton (or Al Gore, even)?

    So she goes with Tennessee Gov. Phil Bredesen. He’s caught a lot of stink lately for his TennCare work, but it’s keeping the state in the black and Dem voters won’t hold it against him long. He’s low profile otherwise, which isn’t so bad for a veep pick, and he picked up quite a bit of GOP support in his ’02 race against a conservative Republican Congressman.

    That would surely make the Dem ticket more appealing to swing voters, assuming there are any left these days.

  11. GAWire says:

    >>”””And how do you solve the senator vs. governor issue?”””

    Answer: Exactly what Tommy and I pointed out previously . . . get someone that has had experience in BOTH areas. Allen was Governor (and would have served longer if VA restrictions on elected office weren’t there) and with experience in the Senate, he has a proven track-record of being able to serve well in the Executive. Folks like Frist and McCain don’t have that, and guys like Owens and Barbour won’t be able to rally full Party support that we need.

    On another note, if Hil selects Bredeson, that won’t increase her chances any. He doesn’t have a great record in the South, and won’t pull any GOP support away. Also has little name ID outside Tenn. Moreover, Tenn Dems have issues to work out (i.e. the Ford family fiasco, Tenn Dem Party, etc). There is too much baggage there.

    Bill RIchardson DOES have his eye on the WH – even if it would be as VP. He is popular in the West and can pull hispanic support. Also, Joe Biden is on that list of potential Hil-mates. If he doesn’t go for VP, he will for sure pursue SecState in a Hil admin. He is already putting his son, Beau in place to takeover his seat (Beau is running for AG in Delaware – most believe that is just to get ready to takeover pops’ Senate seat).

    Hillary teamed up with someone like Richardson or Biden could rally Dems and put some opposition in place for us. It would create a fundraising machine that would blow Kerry-Edwards ’04 out of the water.

  12. kspencer says:

    I’m an odd duck. See, I agree that if Hillary wants the nomination, she’ll get it. It’s just that I think when push comes to shove she’s not going to go for it – that instead she’ll stay Senator Clinton (D-NY) for as long as she can keep it together. Which at present appears to be as long as she wants to be New York’s senator.

    That doesn’t mean Hillary will have no impact. No, I’m expecting instead to see a “kingmaker” session, with the final Dem candidate being one that is supported by both Hillary and Howard. I don’t know who that will be – I’ll make my short list in a moment – but I do believe that with the nominal posterchildren of the Dem Left and Dem Right mutually backing one candidate, internal cohesion will not be a problem.

    My short list is obviously not definitive – heck, I’m already an odd duck for doubting Hillary. But I’ll still present it for consideration in no particular order.

    First the only non-governor: Clark. Yep, he was in many ways a laughing stock in 2004. On the other hand, his performance improved significantly as the season wore on – had he started with the skills and techniques he learned throughout the trail, he might well have been a threat. He’s picked an interesting way to keep himself at least nominally in the public eye by presenting on FoxNews. Major baggage is Bosnia.

    Next, Governor Warner of Virginia. He’s very strong in Virginia, and the things he did would translate well nationally. However, his term ends in 2006, and he cannot run again. To keep his name and rep alive he’s got to do something, and his best bet appears to be running for Senator (against Allen). The downside is that he’ll probably have to tell his state constituents he’ll not run for Pres/VP to get elected, and going back on his word (or weaseling) would hurt his chances.

    Then there’s governor Richardson. At first blush a lovely candidate – made major turnarounds in New Mexico, experienced in the Federal government, nominated three (or was it four) times for a Nobel Peace prize, and he’s hispanic. It’s the deeper things that hurt him. He’s picked up a reputation in New Mexico of acting at least slightly above the law – multiple speeding tickets in his large gas-guzzler vehicles being just one example. But the killer is his term as head of D of Energy when the China Spies came to the public knowledge.

    Governor Sweitzer appears golden. He’d offend the “hoity-toity” with his mannerisms, though he proved while working for Department of Agriculture he could hold his own when among that class. In addition to a so-far solid performance not only in fixing Montana’s problems but in keeping his promises, he’d also be very enticing to many RINO voters with his mannerisms. As but one example I invite readers to search the incident of his restoration of the M&M Cigar Store’s liquor license. Oh, heck with it: He cut the chain with a bolt cutter, marched in, ordered a shot of scotch, tossed it back and declared, “May she never close.” To the bad, he’s said repeatedly he has no interest in the White House.

    The dark horse of my short list of candidates is Janet Napolitano, governor of Arizona. Think Richardson without the baggage. Her problem is that she’s a woman, and there is a significant proportion of this nation in BOTH parties who will not vote for a woman president regardless of any other issues on the plate. For that reason I actually consider her an outstanding candidate for VP for any of the others. If you include Hillary I have to correct that, however – I cannot see a successful platform by the Dems with two women on the ticket. (I’d say the same for Rice as a candidate, and especially if teamed with another woman. There are just too many gender-biased voters.)

    Notice that there are no senators. No Biden, no Bayh. Not even Obama. Unlike others on this list I do not see a Senator of either party being elected in the near future. Not because there aren’t some great people. No, it’s because the nature of the job is such that doing it well works against making a good resume for president.

    A Senator has to work cooperatively. He or she can lead committees, but the final decision is still that of the committee. Introduce legislation all you want, it’s still going to get tweaked and nicked before it gets to the public, and everybody who voted in favor will have their chunk of it as well. It’s a job that rewards aggressive compromise more than it does leadership. At best, a Senator is a chief of staff, more likely a staff member other staff members respect, at worst ‘one of the staff’. And we want leaders, not chiefs of staff. Add in the inevitable compromises on issues, and the cases where of four similar bills the senator only votes “for” one and against the other three, and senators are starting with significant handicaps.

    And I just don’t see a Senator in office today who is capable of overcoming that handicap.

    But that’s my two cents, and I’ve been known to be wrong before.

  13. Erick says:

    GAWire and I see eye to eye on this one. If the nominee is from the Senate, it will be Allen. McCain is toast. He has failed to connect with the grassroots and has generally pissed them off. Frist has blown it because of his poor leadership style, not to mention his recent split on the stem cell issue.

    Allen has issues to overcome, particularly the abortion issue. But, from the ranks of the Senate, Allen does best.

    Romney is no good because he is from Massachusetts and frankly he has the problem of being a mormon, which many in the grassroots won’t connect with.

    Huckabee is now trying, but I think that the GOP is tired of dealing with governors from Arkansas. That leaves Sandford from South Carolina, Jeb Bush from Florida, and Haley Barbour from Mississippi.

    I think Jeb would have the best chance and is the most solidly conservative of the group. Barbour has too much baggage from his days as a lobbyist. That leaves Sandford.

    Governors have a better shot than Senators. But, a Senator who has been a Governor, like Allen, and who is from the South, like Allen, has a phenomenal shot. My money is on him for now.

    One hang up on Allen — he’s of late a poor public speaker. He needs more focus. He gave a tremendously boring speech at CPAC in February and hasn’t improved that much. Also, Allen’s wife is from New Hampshire — an added bonus for him. I’m hoping to volunteer for him unless Jeb gets in.

  14. GAWire says:

    I didn’t want to say it, but you are right about Barbour and his baggage from previous days as a lobbyist. I said this about RR and the same goes for Haley: become a lobbyist AFTER you run, serve and retire from office. Doing it the other way around can make things difficult.

    EE is also correct about Allen’s skills with the public as of late. Inside the Beltway, they are already coordinating staff and one of the main things they have been working on is boosting Allen’s public persona to make him better connect with voters. GWB already had that from the start and so did WJC (that’s Billy Clinton, btw), but that is something that Allen will have to work on, so we don’t have a dull nominee.

    It is interesting you brought up Huckabee. Has anyone seen those commercials with Mike H. asking folks on the street if they knew that AR has the most major corporate headquarters? Interested, though, he would only be a VP possibility and a far-fetched one at that. You are right that people are tired of AR candidates.

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