August 30, 2004

ON TO '08:

Tryout Time: The 2008 presidential campaign gets under way in New York. (John H. Fund, August 30, 2004, Jewish World Review)

Party conventions no longer determine presidential nominees, but they still serve two major purposes: pep rallies for the party's themes and a chance for political reporters to have a giant reunion. There's another item of business at this year's GOP conclave. Like actors on Broadway, a raft of candidates are quietly auditioning for the 2008 nomination, when the fight for the GOP nomination is guaranteed to be wide open.

The editors of National Review have gone so far as to schedule time for one-on-one interviews with potential 2008 candidates. None of them would openly acknowledge they are running, but when they heard who had already accepted, they quickly made known their availability. Here is a quick field guide to the possible 2008 GOP field, arranged in alphabetical order:

The vice president--whoever replaces Cheney--will obviously have a big advantage and John McCain--if he's not the replacement--will be a favorite because he's run, he remains popular outside the Party and he won NH. But Mitt Romney will be the other guy to watch for the same reason that the Democratic race this time was simply a choice between Dean and Kerry: politicians from neighboring states win the NH primary.

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 30, 2004 9:45 AM

Condi! Condi! Condi!

(Hey, a guy can dream, can't he?)

Posted by: Mike Morley at August 30, 2004 10:25 AM

Romney/Condi for 2008.

Posted by: genecis at August 30, 2004 11:07 AM

What's this about a last-minute replacement for Cheney? Has it been made official?

Off-topic, I found this from the NY Times interesting, though not breathtakingly new.

Demographic 'Bomb' May Only Go 'Pop!'

Posted by: Eugene S. at August 30, 2004 11:24 AM

Just my .02 cents worth, but as far as my own support in '08 goes it will probably still hinge on the GWOT, which I don't expect to be resolved for years to come. This severely pares down the list of potential candidates in my mind unless someone who hasn't yet been considered emerges. So my money's on McCain or Guiliani at this point with Condi possibly in a VP slot.

Posted by: MB at August 30, 2004 11:27 AM

Not a chance guys. The party's ideological and demographic center have shifted right and south/west. It's going to be Colorado Governor Bill Owens. You Rockefeller Republicans can choose whomever ya'll like for Veep.

Posted by: rayclutts at August 30, 2004 12:27 PM

Mitt Romney is a Mormon as well as a first-term governor basically unknown outside the northeast. If he wins reelection and succeeds in getting gay marriage banned in Massachusetts, we can talk about how to convince 20 million evangelicals that Mormons are Christians too. Maybe it can be done.

McCain has tacked far enough left that he's alienated most of the GOP primary-voting base. There's still time to tack back, though, especially if he becomes a visible Vice President or even governor of Arizona.

Giuliani, well, God bless him for cleaning up New York and for acting like a man on and after 9/11. But he was vehemently against the partial birth abortion ban, he has a nasty recent divorce prompted by very public affairs on both sides, and he just has too much Manhattan written all over him to play well in the Republican heartland.

I'm a long way from Colorado, but wasn't Owens's conservative-Catholic routine upended by his separation (is it a divorce yet?) from his wife?

Posted by: Random Lawyer at August 30, 2004 1:18 PM

All of the candidates that have been mentioned have potential problems. The irony is that the strongest candidate based on resume would be Jeb Bush but he would probably get passed over due to the anti-dynasty thing.

Posted by: AWW at August 30, 2004 1:50 PM

McCain will be too old in '08 (72 years). Reagan was "only" 69 when he was first elected as the oldest first-term president ever, but his opponent being Mr. Carter, 1980 just wasn't a normal election. McCain's big opportunity was '00, which is why he was so angry at Bush for stealing his quite solid chance to get into the White House.

Some commenters mentioned Romney, but how about some other Rep governors out there ? There are lots of them since they swept the Dems out of power in 1994.

Posted by: Peter at August 30, 2004 2:45 PM


That's hardly "old" these days.

Posted by: oj at August 30, 2004 4:00 PM

>The irony is that the strongest candidate based
>on resume would be Jeb Bush but he would
>probably get passed over due to the anti-
>dynasty thing.

Remember, sheeple, this IS a Dynasty (boo! hiss!):

Kennedy, Johnson, Nixon, Ford, Carter, Reagan, Bush, Clinton, Bush.


Kennedy, Johnson, Kennedy, Kennedy, Kennedy, Kennedy, Kennedy, Kennedy, Kennedy, Kennedy, Kennedy, Kennedy, Kennedy, Kennedy...

Posted by: Ken at August 30, 2004 5:43 PM

I agree that Jeb will likely be passed over in '08. He would be the strongest candidate though if for only the reason he CAN carry Florida.

If HRC gets the Dem nomination, you'd have nepotism A v. nepotism B and I think they would cancel out.

Posted by: AML at August 30, 2004 6:02 PM

I haven't heard this name tossed around by anyone but myself yet, but what about Tommy Franks?

Posted by: Timothy at August 30, 2004 6:08 PM

Jeb can't win NH and that makes winning overall tough.

Posted by: oj at August 30, 2004 6:23 PM

'08 will be the Hillary/Rudy Rematch cut short by Guliani's bout with cancer, but instead of a Senate seat, the stakes will be the White House. The controversial mayor forced to pull out for health reasons, putting him right where he needs to be to hold his city together after 9-11 allowing him to run for President against the the unstoppable Senator. You couldn't right a better script.

Posted by: MarkD at August 30, 2004 8:49 PM