Democratic Presidential Candidates 2008

Since Bull Moose started the discussion on Republican Presidential candidates, I thought i’d continue it by leading the discussion on Democratic candidates.

I’m liking Evan Bayh and Hillary Clinton.

Evan Bayh because he’s a centrist who I don’t believe can be painted as a “wild-eyed liberal that’s out of touch with mainstream America” and he was re-elected to the U.S. Senate in 2004 in a state that went for Bush.

Hillary Clinton…well, she’s a Clinton and you can never ever count a Clinton out of an election. Plus, I believe she’s also a centrist. Her record in the Senate shows that she can reach out across the aisle and work with the other party.

John Kerry had his chance in ’04 and unless Democrats want to suffer the same fate that we did when we nominated Adlai Stevenson in succeeding presidential elections (’52 and ’56), then we’d better not nominate Kerry again. John Edwards…I don’t know. I like his “build one America for all of us” platform and he might be able to perform well in the South. Tom Vilsack…he’ll only win Iowa and that’s it. Barack Obama…he won’t run. Joe Biden…Good foreign policy credentials, but can he separate himself from that plagiarism incident that derailed his first presidential campaign.

Overall, I think there’ll be about nine or ten Democrats seeking the nomination which should make for interesting times on our side of the aisle.


  1. mercergirl says:

    I have to say… I like Obama. He’s a good motivational speaker and has worked very hard in life. I may not agree with everything he says but that guy can spark people- he’s got charisma. You have to admire that in someone.

  2. SevenHillsDem says:

    Evan Bayh looks great on paper: two-term former Governor and two-term Senator from a conservative state, moderate DLC politics. Here’s his problem: listening to him speak in public is about as engaging as watching paint dry.

    If he could get some pizzazz, he’d be fantastic. I agree with you that Obama might not run, but if he an Edwards forged a ticket together, it’d be quite formidable. The obvious accusation that they have little experience between them won’t be a problem in 2008 when I’ll bet the American people will be sick of “experienced politicians.” Tom Vilsack is smart, but like Bayh, he’s a bit dense.

    Joe Biden would make a terrific VP candidate to Edwards or Obama or Clinton due to his foreign policy credibility and tough-talking demeanor.

    The verdict is still out on HRC. She’s smart, savvy, and a fundraising machine. She would turn out women in droves. The question is if the public still has a visceral reaction to the divisive personality that conservatives have (effectively) applied to her.

  3. John Konop says:

    The Queen of WalMart?

    Hillary Clinton and Wal-Mart: A Love Story
    by Jonathan Tasini

    Even Wal-Mart, the largest and arguably most powerful corporation in the country, is no match for the triangulation, pandering and obfuscation of Hillary Clinton. With Wal-Mart rating as public enemy number one among many liberals, progressives and just regular voters, Clinton is finding her past ties to Wal-Mart too hot to handle so, presto, over the side the Beast of Bentonville must go.

    For those not in the know, Clinton served on Wal-Mart’s board for six years prior to her husband’s run for the presidency. She recently received $5,000 from Wal-Mart. I’ve raised the Wal-Mart relationship repeatedly in my current race against Clinton and it causes deep unease among voters. I believe it speaks to the incumbent’s close ties to abusive corporate power: her large corporate financial contributions, her support for so-called “free trade

  4. ugadog says:

    Clinton would be a horrible pick for Georgia Dems. We have to have someone who can play well in the South. Edwards is the only option.

  5. drjay says:

    much like on the gop side there is hand ringing over whether a, shhhh–moron–could be the nominee–i really wonderr how many americans when they are alone in the voting booth will pull the lever for a president named “obama”–having an irish catholic was scandolous enough for many a mere generation ago…

  6. Bull Moose says:

    Obama needs to season a little and if offered VP needs to take it…

    It’s Hillary’s to lose. Hillary – Obama would be strong. So too would be Hillary – Biden.

    If anything, Dems have one hell of a Secretary of State waiting in the wings in Joe Biden.

    The pure political side of me would like to see the Dems bring back some players like Roy Barnes, Sam Nunn, etc.. to the ticket… Use 2008 as a way to build back the Southern Democratic Party…

  7. JP says:

    Personally, I’m a Clark guy–I suspect he’ll announce in January this time, nice and early and much better prepared than last time.

    Check out his nicely timed op-ed in today’s USA Today, titled “Next Move in Iraq?” Well thought-out, not overly reactionary or hysterical, unlike much of the dialog that takes place today. Not advocating immediate withdrawl by any means, but rather aware of what it’ll really take to get us out–THIS is the guy to watch.

  8. atlantaman says:

    “i really wonderr how many americans when they are alone in the voting booth will pull the lever for a president named “obama

  9. drjay says:

    I don’t agree with this. Obama did win a Senate seat in Illinois which is not known as a particularly liberal state, but has a very large and diverse population. I know it’s leaned democrat for a number of years now, but it’s not like MA or RI. I do think his only having two years of experience is a little scary.

    well illinois is to the left of ga or tennessee and they both managed to nominate african american dems for senate seats–if you’ll recall the illinois gop is in shamles–frankly anyone w/ a pulse could have won as the dem in 04 for that seat–alan keyes “won the audition” to be the gop nominee after ryan was forced out in a wierd kinda sex scandal thing w/ his ex-wife–and much like people have a disconnect between state and federal offices (the mass and ri you mentioned have had gop guv’s for much of the past decade) i also think there is a signifigant % who might rationalize their fears and prejudices by telling themselves that a senator is one thing but we can’t make “him” president…there is empirical evidence to back this notion up as african american candidiates in state races tend to “overpoll”–in va in 91 doug wilder was a 10-15% fave going into election day and barely won in a squeaker–the same thing happened to dinkins in nyc–lots of polls showed ford even or ahead of corker and he lost by 3. i think even deval patrick who won comfortably did not get all the votes he was “polling” to get…

  10. one big D says:

    good pointing that out drjay. It’s a phenom that we attribute to people lying to pollsters. Americans want to always seem PC so they flat out lie to pollsters when they are asked if they would vote for a woman or a person of color. The same Americans will not follow this pattern when they get into the voting booth. I’m not upset with them because everyone wants to appear nice to strangers – it just cracks me up when the candidates actually take the polls seriously.

    Did you see how dick strong Ford got after some poll results said he was 7% in the lead; the fool tracked Corker down and challenged him to a duel (twice). My belief is that his public antics cost him some votes even in his own community.

    Edwards – Obama – you can’t get a hotter looking ticket. Dems need some eye candy on the ticket.

  11. MountainThinker says:

    The Fearsome Five: Evan Bayh, Bill Richardson, Joe Biden, Wesley Clark, John Edwards.

    Pick any two. Watch Republicans PANIC!

    Wanna know why I say that?! Cause I’m a Conservative Republican firebrand activist and these guys impress even me…I don’t like some of their politics, but I can’t seriously demean any of their personal character or refer to any of them as psycho-liberal

    You want to see the Republicans worst nightmare?

    Evan Bayh/Joe Biden

    Biden devours people alive in one-to-one debate and campaigns like an animal. He’s too much for the hot seat, but he could pull out a stunner in a VP debate not to mention fire up New England.

    Put Wes Clark in as Sec Def, Richardson as Sec of State and you have something akin to an impregnable juggernaut. Edwards is young enough that he’ll take a cabinet position or the Veep slot if he can get it.

  12. ColinATL says:

    I like Clark & Edwards.

    Vilsack is a dud.

    HRC can’t be underestimated, but no one really likes her, they just respect her, which goes a long way, but doesn’t get you the swing vote in the general.

    Obama is the future, and I’m not afraid to support him if he ran now, but I understand the calls for him to wait.

    Kerry’s lost it.

    Biden doesn’t engender passion, and he’s got baggage.

    Shyam? Too much of a redneck. 🙂

  13. RuralDem says:

    I’m not quite sure who I am supporting now. I was a HUGE Warner fan. I think he was the best choice by far, now I am not quite sure.

    One can only dream that commonsense Southern Democrats like Zell Miller would decide to run for President.

    The last thing we need is another Northeastern Liberal trying to run things.

    I’ll give my short analysis on things:

    Edwards lost a lot of credibility due to being Kerry’s runningmate. He came off as socially conservative to many southerners during the primary. I like his fight against poverty. He realizes that some people do not have a chance, yet he wants to help them.

    Obama needs more experience though he is by far the best speaker out of anyone in both parties considering a run.

    Kerry needs not try. If he wins it I’ll go ahead and admit I’ll campaign for the Republican.

    Biden is cool. I need to do more research on some of his stances but he is presents his message really good and is a sharpshooter. We need more peole in Congress who are not afraid to be blunt.

    Clinton is too polarizing. She’s probably the front runner right now but I’m hoping for someone a little more centered and willing to compromise.

    Bayh comes off as boring. He appears to be the kind of Democrat we need (socially conservative/moderate and fiscally moderate) to reach out to moderate America. I’m sure the out of touch liberal base would throw a fit and vote Green or some stupid mess if he won.

    Vilsack is a candidate that I honestly do not know much about. I read somewhat about the emminent domain veto he made, but I did not do enough research.

    Clark would be interesting. He started out too late last time. I always see him on Fox News and he always presents a really good arguement. Like Vilsack though I do not know a whole lot about his views.

    My dream combo would be a combo of Zell Miller and Ben Nelson or something. Gene Taylor is also someone that would make a good VP in my mind.

    Anyone think Senator Ben Nelson would ever consider running or if he would be considered a VP?

  14. drjay says:

    given the nature of the primary process–i believe it would be very difficult for a rural southern dem–of the type of zell or ben nelson or gene taylor to ever win the dem nomination for the presidency–nelson toyed w/ the idea of a run in 04 but never really went anywhere w/ it…

    just as i think a “moderate” gop would have a hard time wooing gop primary voters–its just the nature of the beast these days–which is why i do not think rudy has a real chance nor would a shwarzennegger were he eligible or any of the new england gop’s like collins and snowe in maine

  15. drjay says:

    it was dem activists–in ct (w/ an assist from folks at places like dailykos) that tried to rid the world of joe lieberman fro goodness sakes…

  16. RuralDem says:


    Senator Nelson toyed with the idea? I never knew that. Are you sure?

    I agree that it would be very difficult. However, sooner or later I hope the party will realize liberals like Kerry will NOT win nationwide. Kerry ignoring the South was pathetic and the more that happens the more the GOP will win.

    The bad thing is, most of the moderates are much better than the party loyalists. Moderates can actually run on a bipartisan record and could do more for our nation.

    Basically, I agree with what you are saying, I just wish it wasn’t true :).

    I see you post a lot on politics1. I really enjoy reading the comments on there.

    “If Obama needs experience, why/how do you support Edwards?”

    I never said I supported Edwards. If it did come down to Obama and Edwards then I would go with Edwards because he has slightly more experience and he’s a southerner.

  17. rugby_fan says:

    yet again, I redact my statement.

    That’s twice in one day! Either, I am becoming to amenable or losing the ability to read.

  18. drjay says:

    i may be misremembering the when–but nelson has definitely expressed enough interest in the office to be listed as a potential 08 cnadidate in places like the politics1 website you mentioned–and cafepress is selling ben nelson 08 bumper stickers

  19. drjay says:

    and yes rural dem –politics1 is a great site–the owner is a raving liberal but most of his tips are good and the compiled info on candidates and races is top notch–i first posted on it the day after the 04 v.p. debates and have been kinda “hooked” ever since…

  20. ColinATL says:

    The fact that we are still talking about Zell as a viable Democrat is a joke. You can be a moderate Dem, like I think I am, and still think that Zell is an absolute joke these days.

    Sorry, I feel strongly about the guy. He campaigned for Rick Santorum in Pennsylvania, for crikey’s sake. The man has absolutely NO credentials left in my party. Keeping the Democrat label next to his name insults his heritage and insults my party.

  21. one big D says:

    “Kerry needs not try” – change that to Kerry needs to try and stay home and campaign for the Dem nominee. The man sucked wind the last time we gave him the nod and I campaigned heavily for him.

    Zell wouldn’t make it through a debate before his aneurysm popped and he went off on the panelists. That dude ain’t a Dem plus he’s gangsta crazy – Zell might show up to a debate with a gun or a taser.

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