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Friday, November 12, 2004

Gentlemen, start your engines . . .

As fun as this year's presidential election was, the next one promises to be a circus. On the Democrat side there is the assumed candidacy of Hillary Clinton, the recently announced possibility of John Kerry, and at least some degree of support for John Edwards, Tom Vilsack, Bill Richardson, Evan Bayh, and a host of other lesser lights.

The real fun, however, should take place on the Republican side. With no heir-apparent (since Cheney will not run), and after 8 years of backed-up ambition, you can bet that there will be a host of mouths and egos vying for a shot at the national title. Over at Red State, Martin Knight has taken it upon himself to draw up a list of contenders and has done a pretty thorough job. At least one recent poll shows Giuliani locking up the frontrunner slot followed not too closely by McCain. Knight believes that neither of these two will be standing when the dust clears because Giuliani is way too liberal on social issues while McCain, despite his "uniformly fellatial treatment by the Press," has pissed off much of the GOP base and will be too old, 72, to mount an effective campaign.

I hope that this analysis is correct, but I think it underestimates the crossover appeal of each of these candidates. Admittedly, they would be at a greater disadvantage in the primary, but I can envision a scenario where crossovers in open primary states and Republicans who only care about winning would put one of these over the top.

As for more conservative candidates, the field looks thinner than it should. Jeb Bush has said he won't run, Bill Frist is seen by many as lacking charisma, and many of the other mentioned candidates -- such as Mark Sanford, Ernie Fletcher, and Bill Owens -- are hampered by no name recognition or base of supporters. Personally, I believe George Allen has the tools to become the Right's candidate (as does Owens), but at this time it is almost impossible to tell who will float to the top over the next couple of years.

Whatever the case, I will endeavor to present more information on some of the lesser-known candidates in the future. Until then, you can always turn to the experts to see who our next president will be.

Update: Rice over at Southern Appeal has weighed in on the issue.
 
Centinel 1:38 PM #

1 Comments:

Centinel, you know I'm your archenemy. Clearly, you have no right to link to me.

Kidding, of course. I may be in Dallas sometime in the next couple months. Would you be interested in dinner?

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