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Thread: Race for the White House

  1. #16

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    January 31, 2007, 6:08 pm

    The Future President Clinton

    Bruce Bartlett

    As I survey the political scene, I don’t think it’s too soon to make a firm prediction about the 2008 presidential race. I think Hillary Clinton will be the next president of the United States.

    The way I see it, the only reason Al Gore and John Kerry didn’t win in 2000 and 2004 is that they ran two of the worst campaigns in American political history. Yet both lost only by the skin of their teeth.

    Yes, I know that Gore received more of the popular vote than George W. Bush did, and many people believe the election was stolen from him. But the election never should have been close enough for that to be possible. He was a sitting vice president at a time of peace and prosperity. Consequently, Gore should have won by a margin large enough to preclude any challenge.

    While it is true that Bush ran a pretty good campaign in 2000, it wouldn’t have been enough to win had Gore run a half-competent campaign. All he had to do, really, was assure the American people that he would continue Bill Clinton’s economic and foreign policies. People may have had doubts about Clinton’s personal behavior, but they had no doubts about his policies: they liked them. In November 2000, his favorable/unfavorable ratio in the Gallup poll was 63 percent to 33 percent.

    For reasons I have never understood, Gore was reluctant to run as Clinton’s heir and tried to reinvent himself. In the process, he essentially threw away all the advantages of incumbency. He lost votes among loyal Democrats who saw his implicit repudiation of Clinton as disloyalty, while picking up none among independents. In the end, Gore couldn’t even carry his home state of Tennessee — a very rare occurrence in American political history.

    Gore should have run the same sort of campaign that George H.W. Bush ran in 1988. Basically, Bush Sr. told the American people that he would simply fulfill Ronald Reagan’s third term. That was good enough, and it would have worked for Gore, too.

    In 2004, Kerry lacked Gore’s advantage of incumbency and had to run against a sitting president — a difficult thing to do under the best of circumstances. But like Gore, Kerry seemed reluctant to use the Clinton record to his advantage. Kerry seemed to run as if the election were his to lose, and his campaign never developed a really coherent message except that he was not George W. Bush.

    Such a strategy perhaps made sense on paper — Bush’s favorable and unfavorable ratings were both at 47 percent in the days before the election. But in the end, people wanted more from Kerry than he was willing to provide in terms of a vision for the future, and they decided to stick with the devil they knew.

    In 2008, I see none of the factors that doomed Gore and Kerry coming into play. If Hillary Clinton is the Democratic nominee, as I expect she will be, I don’t see her running away from her husband’s record; she couldn’t even if she wanted to. She doesn’t need to make a lot of extravagant promises about what she will do in office, because people are ready for a change. All she has to do is convince people she won’t screw things up and will undertake the messy job of cleaning up the messes Bush will be leaving behind in Iraq and at home.

    The Republicans, in contrast, are in dreadful shape. Bush has put them in a deep hole by virtue of both his policies and his unwise decision to keep Dick Cheney on as vice president. Even if one thought that Cheney was doing a brilliant job, it was clear that he was not going to be a viable presidential candidate in 2008. Therefore, Bush, too, threw away all the advantages of incumbency that might have rescued his party. Like many presidents before him — Franklin Roosevelt in particular, who had three different vice presidents — Bush should have replaced Cheney in 2004. He might have chosen someone who could use the experience to secure the Republican nomination, such as Colin Powell or Condoleezza Rice.

    With no sitting vice president, the Republican field is wide open. I had thought that Senator John McCain of Arizona had the nomination pretty well sewn up, but he made a very poor strategic decision last year to essentially run as Bush’s heir. McCain is now so thoroughly identified with Bush’s unpopular Iraq policy, I don’t see how he can win. In effect, McCain has all the disadvantages of incumbency with none of its advantages.

    Unfortunately, the Republicans’ best potential candidate is Jeb Bush, the president’s brother and the governor of Florida. Under any other circumstances, the Republican nomination would be his, and he would be a formidable candidate in the general election. But he knows that 2008 is not his year. The American people need a break from the Bush family. Jeb will probably be the Republican nominee in 2012.

    Who the Republicans will end up nominating, I don’t know. It doesn’t really matter, because I don’t see anyone now running or standing in the wings who has a prayer against the Democratic nominee, whether it’s Clinton or someone else. My reasoning is simple: I just don’t believe that the Democratic Party will run three historically bad campaigns in a row. All the Democratic contender has to do is just not screw up and he or she will win. The fact that Gore and Kerry almost won even though their campaigns were terrible is proof of this.

    I do not believe that Senator Barack Obama is a serious threat to Senator Clinton or likely to get the nomination. He’s too young, unseasoned and inexperienced. For now, he is a fresh face and someone the anti-Clinton forces can rally around. But I think Obama knows that 2008 is not his year, and he is simply letting the world know that he will be a force to reckon with in the future, as John F. Kennedy did in 1956 and Ronald Reagan did in 1968. Moreover, Obama might make a good running mate for Clinton. After a few years as vice president, he would be well-positioned to become our nation’s first black president. But 2008 is too soon.

    Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

  2. #17
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    His strategists devised the plan when we were in the middle of the Monica thing. He wanted to distance himself from it just in case something went wrong and Clinton was actually convicted, or suffered public fallout.

    That, and the last few VP's out there were not exactly in the most trusted of positions. GB Sr. was a weenie compared to Reagan and got in on his policies, but did not leave on a very good note. And Quale? Not even!

    As for Kerry, I have no idea what the hell the Dem party was thinking with him.

    Sounds bad, but he was just too UGLY to be president! Yes, we vote by appearance. I think Edwards might have stood a better chance, but he just loked too young. I think an actor could have beaten Bush given enough empty sale points.

    As for Hillary? That will be tough. As much as we say we are all for equality, all you have to do is look at our ratio of elected officials and see that the American People, in general, are not comfortable with voting for women.

    We will see though.

  3. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ninjahedge View Post
    His strategists devised the plan when we were in the middle of the Monica thing. He wanted to distance himself from it just in case something went wrong and Clinton was actually convicted, or suffered public fallout.

    That, and the last few VP's out there were not exactly in the most trusted of positions. GB Sr. was a weenie compared to Reagan and got in on his policies, but did not leave on a very good note. And Quale? Not even!

    As for Kerry, I have no idea what the hell the Dem party was thinking with him.

    Sounds bad, but he was just too UGLY to be president! Yes, we vote by appearance. I think Edwards might have stood a better chance, but he just loked too young. I think an actor could have beaten Bush given enough empty sale points.

    As for Hillary? That will be tough. As much as we say we are all for equality, all you have to do is look at our ratio of elected officials and see that the American People, in general, are not comfortable with voting for women.

    We will see though.
    Lets take that even further, America is not confortable voting for anyone thats not a White Anglo-Saxon Christian

  4. #19
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Oh great -- more old white guys -- just what we need

  5. #20

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    I used to think the job of president was one anybody could fill honorably if they hadn't been through the experience necessary to get there --an experience that requires you to hang up your ideals and become corrupt.

    The current president is proof that you don't need intelligence to go through the paces to do the job, but he's also proof that you need good judgment and character to keep from being a failure. Just pulling a name out out of a hat and saying, "you're president!" runs about a 50/50 risk of getting someone with bad character by my reckoning --which might be better odds than the present system gives us.

    Quote Originally Posted by lofter1 View Post
    Oh great -- more old white guys -- just what we need
    Your criteria represent yet another approach that might work: choose a president by age, race and gender. Since you're obviously dismayed by old, white and male, the furthest you can get from that is young, black and female. The choice is obvious: Condoleezza Rice.

  6. #21
    Disgruntled Optimist lofter1's Avatar
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    Except that Condi seems to have proven herself to have faulty judgment -- and a world view that won't get us much past 2050

  7. #22
    Forum Veteran MidtownGuy's Avatar
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    young, black and female. The choice is obvious: Condoleezza Rice.
    not convinced she's any of the above

  8. #23
    Chief Antagonist Ninjahedge's Avatar
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    Shes the Anti-Universes David Letterman.

  9. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by ablarc View Post
    I used to think the job of president was one anybody could fill honorably if they hadn't been through the experience necessary to get there --an experience that requires you to hang up your ideals and become corrupt.

    The current president is proof that you don't need intelligence to go through the paces to do the job, but he's also proof that you need good judgment and character to keep from being a failure. Just pulling a name out out of a hat and saying, "you're president!" runs about a 50/50 risk of getting someone with bad character by my reckoning --which might be better odds than the present system gives us.


    Your criteria represent yet another approach that might work: choose a president by age, race and gender. Since you're obviously dismayed by old, white and male, the furthest you can get from that is young, black and female. The choice is obvious: Condoleezza Rice.

    Christ who in there right mind would vote for her!!!!. I dont even know Republicans that like her

  10. #25

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    I think it was sarcasm.

  11. #26

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    Quote Originally Posted by ZippyTheChimp View Post
    I think it was sarcasm.
    Zippy, you make emoticons superfluous.

  12. #27

  13. #28

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    Abe Lincoln wouldn't have a chance.

    Washington might be a shoo-in.

  14. #29

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    February 4, 2007

    Giuliani on 2008 Bid: ‘A Real Good Chance’

    By RAY RIVERA

    Rudolph W. Giuliani appeared to move a step closer to announcing his presidential ambitions yesterday, saying after an appearance in South Carolina that “there’s a real good chance” he will run.

    Mr. Giuliani’s intentions have been all but taken for granted by most political observers. He has made two trips to New Hampshire — home of the nation’s first primary — and has promised to make more. He has formed an exploratory committee, hired campaign workers and moved to divest himself from a large chunk of his consulting business to avoid conflicts in the event of a presidential bid.

    But on the nascent campaign trail itself, the former New York City mayor has coyly stepped around the question of “Will he or won’t he?”

    After a 30-minute speech before Republican Party leaders in South Carolina, Mr. Giuliani fielded the question again, but this time came closer than he had before to giving a definitive response in public. “There’s a real good chance,” he told an Associated Press reporter.

    Mr. Giuliani’s aides declined to comment further on the remark.

    Other signals of his impending bid can be seen in his tightly packed schedule of appearances and fund-raisers in the days and weeks to come. According a source close to the campaign, the itinerary includes fund-raisers in Florida on Tuesday followed by more stops across the country before appearing as the keynote speaker at the California Republican Convention in Sacramento on Saturday.

    Mr. Giuliani is not alone among potential Republican White House contenders who have yet to formally declare their intentions. Others include Senator John McCain of Arizona and former Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts.

    But Mr. Giuliani’s delay has caused some political analysts to wonder if he is waiting too long, although others have said his name recognition gives him extra time before deciding to get into the race.

    Patrick Dorinson, spokesman for the California Republican Party, said if Mr. Giuliani is thinking about announcing anytime soon, the convention in Sacramento could be an ideal setting.

    “It’s going to be very well attended,” Mr. Dorinson said. “We’ve received a lot of media interest and members of the party are very excited about seeing Giuliani, so if he wanted to make an announcement, it certainly could be a place to do it.”

    In addition, Mr. Dorinson said, Mr. Giuliani will be the only potential presidential candidate speaking at the convention, so he will have the floor to himself.

    The state party that propelled Arnold Schwarzenegger to the governor’s mansion might also provide a warmer reception to Mr. Giuliani than, say, Iowa or South Carolina, where his moderate stands on abortion, gay rights and gun control are likely to find stiff resistance from social conservatives.

    Mr. Dorinson said he had not heard any speculation that Mr. Giuliani would announce there and had not seen an advance copy of his speech. If it did happen, it would coincidentally come on the same day that Senator Barack Obama, a Democrat, has said he will formally declare his candidacy in Illinois.

    “There’s been so much talk about the Democratic race,” Mr. Dorinson said. “We’re just excited California Republicans will get to see a potential Republican candidate.”

    Copyright 2007 The New York Times Company

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