Left Behinds

The anti-andrewsullivan.com. Or, the Robin Hood (Maid Marian?) of bright pink Blogger blogs.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

More prognostication II: Democrats

For once, I agree with the CW. Hillary Clinton has a big lead. Unlike McCain, or Lieberman in 2002, she actually has grassroots support outside of the Washington chatterati, and she can suck up more money than anyone else. Plus she's got the party's one true rock star backing her. On the other hand, a whole lot of people, including me, would really prefer anyone else.

Barack Obama: Dull as already-dry paint. I really don't know who it is who hears his contentless bromides as inspiring rhetoric, and I really don't know who out there outside the list of bored Washington talk-show bookers is desperate for an Obama run. I'm sure there's someone.

John Edwards: Has spent the last two years building relationships with unions, especially UNITE HERE. UNITE HERE is very strong in Nevada, the second caucus on the primary calendar. Has a strong operation still in place in Iowa. Could therefore come out with the first two wins of the primary season. I'm guessing he's the most likely alternative to Hillary.

Wesley Clark: Meh. Maybe. He has lots of support online, but I have no idea how that will translate to the field. He still hasn't convinced me or anyone else that he cares much about domestic policy. My feeling is that he'd make a better VP candidate than presidential nominee.

No other sitting Senator has even the ghost of a chance. I'm not going to run through specific reasons why for Bayh, Biden, Kerry, and whoever else I'm forgetting.

GOVERNORS:

Governors win presidential elections; senators lose.

Tom Vilsack: Even Iowans aren't convinced. If Edwards beats him in Iowa, he's toast.

Bill Richardson: Incredibly experienced. Good record in a wide variety of high-powered assignments. Probably the most qualified to be President of anyone considering a run. Great feeling for TV-friendly gestures. Kind of a Droopy-Dog face. Not sure why he's not getting more respect. Kind of pro-business for my taste, and I'm not all that thrilled about a return to DLC-ism, but probably not terrible. Could be hurt by the Los Alamos security breach that happened while he was Energy Secretary, but to me that seems like a stretch, especially since it turned out Wen Ho Lee was not a spy.

NOT ANNOUNCED, BUT INTERESTING POSSIBILITIES:

Janet Napolitano (AZ), Kathleen Sibelius (KS), and Brian Schweitzer (MT). These three are popular in strongly Republican states because they have excellent records. Napolitano and Sibelius were picked by Time in 2005 as two of America's five best best governors. Any would probably have a tough time putting together the fundraising and organization to take on Clinton in the early days, which could be why they're more often mentioned as VP possibilities. If one of them runs, though, and can somehow survive long enough to get a hearing, she/he could be interesting.

By the way, this is also why I'm not counting either Vilsack or Richardson out entirely, especially Richardson.

NOT RUNNING:

Al Gore swears he's not running, and although I can't find the reference, I read that he's directed his donors to back other candidates, so you know he means it. I'm sure you all already know Russ Feingold announced he's not running either.

5 Comments:

  • At 6:04 PM, Blogger Solomon Grundy said…

    I believe it was last night on Tim Russert's show that David Gregory claimed that Al Gore has just changed his mind about running and is now open to it. Who knows what that is based on, of course.

    Also, New York Magazine has a pretty good piece on Clinton that persuasively argues that she is happy for the first time in her life as a senator, and the White House has bad memories. Supposed close friends (actually named, but I forget their names) claim she really might stick it out and try to lead the Senate instead. If she doesn't run, that's supposedly the real reason.

    Also interesting in the piece is how constant is the drumbeat around her to run. Imagine that everywhere you walked strangers screamed "Run, Hillary, run." One of many reasons I can't really put myself in Hillary's sensible-yet-not-unstylish shoes.

    Too bad about Feingold.

     
  • At 6:08 PM, Blogger Solomon Grundy said…

    Also, I've heard chatter about Webb as Clinton's running mate.

    And I love that Edwards has completely changed the conversation about class.

    He and Webb are both really good when it comes to (not-stupid) economic populism.

     
  • At 8:11 PM, Blogger Antid Oto said…

    I understand why Feingold dropped out. He probably wasn't going to win and he knew it. So the calculation was: can I do more good raising certain issues in a losing campaign for president than I can by concentrating on the Senate? The answer changed as soon as Democrats took back the chamber.

    I heard that David Gregory thing. I'll believe it when I hear it from a few more sources. With Russ and Al out, though, I'm leaning toward Edwards.

     
  • At 11:52 PM, Blogger Solomon Grundy said…

    Yeah, that's gotta be every smart Senator's calculation, with those couple exceptions you mentioned.

    Well, except maybe John Kerry's (although is he really that smart?). On Wednesday he sent DC-beat journalists a summary of the various reasons he's responsible for turning the Senate blue. God help us, we're going to have to endure more of that loser. Teresa, get one of your BDSM scenes going and muzzle him, please.

    And yeah, I don't love Edwards as a personality (so smarmy), but he has won me over on the issues (basically, all his UNITE HERE Das Kapital-thumping).

     
  • At 6:31 PM, Blogger Antid Oto said…

    Also, New York Magazine has a pretty good piece on Clinton that persuasively argues that she is happy for the first time in her life as a senator, and the White House has bad memories. Supposed close friends (actually named, but I forget their names) claim she really might stick it out and try to lead the Senate instead.

    Nope. She's running.

     

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