Sunday, February 19, 2006

'08 Handicapping

Ok, I have no expertise in this area...but I have lots of thoughts about the issue...who will win the elections in 2008? I have no idea, of course...but I'm going to make some educated guesses to give you something to think about.

Well, the issues I'm most expert on are who gets the Republican Nomination. We all know who I support. Give me Condi! But the issue is moot if she doesn't run. I know that she has said many times that she won't...but almost everyone in the White House has said, at least once, that she'd make a good president. You can't make me believe they would say that if Condi wanted them not to...and every time they say something like that, all the people like me start spouting off again about her candidacy, and she has to answer more and more questions about. I think her reasons for not announcing that she'll be running are two-fold (maybe three).

First...she's sitting in a great position. She leads polls of conservative pundits by a landslide, every time they are run. She's got lots and lots of support (hence the reason why she keeps getting asked if she would run), so she doesn't need to campaign yet - her case is already made.

Reason two - she is concentrating on her job as Sect. State. This is an excellent reason for not announcing, she's busy traveling the world, so she doesn't have time to put in appearances in New Hampshire and Iowa, like everyone else is right now. If something happens to Cheney (say, maybe he gets shot in da face), and she becomes the VP, then she'll be able to announce her candidacy after the mid-term elections...but there won't be a rush, she's already winning.

(Possible reason number three...she might not want to give people enough time to dig up her ugly stuff...I think they would have done this already, while she was getting confirmed for NSA and Sect. State...especially Sect. State...but she might just be shy and go back to her job at Stanford.)

Enough about Condi running or not...say she did run, what will happen? Well, I don't think she'll have a hard time winning the republican nomination. She's got most of the republican press behind her already, and if you look around, you'll quickly realize why. She's the only half-decent intelligent option. Her 'reluctant' pro-choice stance on abortion might cost her some votes, but most of the other Republican options are also pro-choice...McCain, Guilliani...shudder, Hagel, shudder. So it might be good that she has a well-reasoned position on abortion*...which is actually mine. Her stance on gun-control won't cost her any votes except liberal ones, which she doesn't need yet, and she's got a pretty good record on budget issues, but anything would be an improvement. She's also perfect in terms of Foreign Policy. So, I have her winning the nomination if she enters the race.

If she doesn't, well, that would suck. But, I think we'll get either McCain or Governor Allen. The choice will come down between a moderate insider who can get more centrist votes in the general, or a principled outsider who probably won't, depending who he runs against. I'm picking McCain to win that toss up.

McCain is actually interesting for us to consider more closely. He's not the anti-Christ, but he isn't exactly what conservatives want in a candidate. He's got crazy centrist ideas, but he does speak well about things like pork...speaks well, I said. He doesn’t really act that well. If Condi wins...I think he'll at least consider running as an independent. He's got enough cash, he's got a huge centrist base (which he might be able to expand, we'll get to that in a minute) and he can use "we've been divided for too long" effectively as a campaign rallying cry. He can increase the strength of his position by having Liberman run as his VP. No, don't laugh; it's completely possible, and more than a little bit scary, IMHO. They have been working together forever...and they agree about practically everything. In terms of base, it's almost perfect. McCain delivers the west and the moderate Republicans, Liberman delivers the NE and the moderate Democrats, and they both bring in the centrists. If this happens, I say they win, getting about 40% of the vote in a general election. It would be slightly scary for me...I don't like moderates very much...they tend to be unpredictable, and they spend too much trying to keep everyone happy (see Bush 43, first term, for example).

As far as the libs go...I don't know who would win the nomination. A few months ago I would have said Hilary in an instant...but she's getting too much flak for being hawkish (and it wouldn't do her any good to be shown as a moderate in the general, cause no conservative will every vote for Slick Willy's wife, and we hated her almost as much as we hated him), so I think she might lose her base. She doesn't have McCain's option of running as an independent...too many people hate her passionately, and not enough people are ambivalent about her. If she can keep the base, she's a threat to the Republicans, and we don't win unless Condi wins our nomination, and then it's a cat-fight, with McCain nipping at their heels.

Other possibilities for the Democrats include (CA) Finestein, Finegold, Kerry (ha ha) and Gen Clark. Um, Clark scares me (meaning he might win, but I might still vote for him) but the rest of them have no chance. Kerry is only on their cause he might win back the Kossites. I don't have much to say about any of these guys...if any of them are picked, we win with everyone but Allen and Allen will win even then, if there's a big terrorist incident, and we can clean up the lobbing act.

That's about it, on this. I could research it some more, but it seems a little early to expend too much effort. The only reason I'm doing it is because someone asked me about it tonight, so I thought I'd include you guys. I wish I could be talking about the races in my home state, but Baldacci will win governor again, which will nail another edge of the state coffin down, and Snowe will win again for senator, and I don't think any of the House Reps are going anywhere, so it's kind of boring.

As always, the comment section is there for you to tell me how wrong I am...or how right, or tell me what I forgot. If I hear nothing, I'll just assume that I'm right about everything, as always.

*She says that she won't attack Roe v. Wade, but if it gets overturned, the decision goes back to the states, which is good...she wouldn't want to make abortion illegal if she was the only one choosing, but she also doesn't want it to become even more of a birth-control option. I'll expand more on this later

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