January 21, 2005


Off the Podium, '08 Race Lurks as a Source of Discord: There was an atmosphere of uncertainty that shadowed Thursday's festivities and is poised to influence politics and policy until the 2008 election. (ADAM NAGOURNEY, 1/21/05, NY Times)

For the past half-century, there has been a reliable political dynamic at every presidential inauguration. Someone on the platform - usually the president or the vice president - had already emerged as the party's likely candidate for an election that was still four years away.

Which is what made the scene outside the Capitol here on Thursday morning so unusual. For the first time since the inaugural of 1949, the president and vice president were considered to be at the end of their elective political careers.

At the same moment, Democrats, thoroughly out of power in Congress, are adrift in their search for a leader, much less a candidate for 2008, after a debilitating loss in November.

"If you go back and look, 2008 will be the first election in modern times when there is no heir apparent on either side," said Matthew Dowd, who was a senior adviser to Mr. Bush's presidential campaign. "It's amazing. It's a happenstance of history."

Well, other than Hillary and Jeb, the most obvious heirs in our political history. The respective nominations are theirs for the askling.

Posted by Orrin Judd at January 21, 2005 8:20 AM


No citizen who shall have attained of the age of thirty-five years shall be ineligible for election to the Presidency or Vice Presidency.

Posted by: David Cohen at January 21, 2005 9:15 AM

I had a long talk htis morning with a good friend who was in D.C. waiting for a plane back to Atlanta after spending the week at hte festivities. He is as tuned in to wht is on the minds of GOP players in the Southeast as anybody could be. He says everybody agrees that the logical overwhelming choice is Jeb, but that Jeb really doesn't want to hear it. He says most beleive Jeb will come around.

Posted by: Dan at January 21, 2005 2:12 PM

So every 8 years we get someone from the Clinton Machine (Slick Willy, Algore and then St.Hillary) vs. the Bush Family (George the Elder, W and then JEB)?

Posted by: Raoul Ortega at January 21, 2005 2:13 PM

There's no way the people are going to vote for Bushes three terms in a row.
Condi in '08!

Posted by: Tom at January 21, 2005 8:20 PM

Condi as his VP gives him foreign policy cred.

Posted by: oj at January 21, 2005 8:41 PM


If Hillary is the nominee, the dynasty issue is neutered.

It has been written that Jeb is held back by the dynasty issue. I have heard, and heard again today, that he has real family issues and feels a need to take some time away from politics. I think that is credible, but it has been pointed out that Jeb is the one candidate who could start late. We'll see.

Posted by: Dan at January 21, 2005 10:21 PM