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Subject: Top 10 likely presidential candidates for each party

Written By: GWBush2004 on 02/22/06 at 6:37 am



1. George Allen: With roughly 1,000 days to go before the 2008 election, picking a winner today is like predicting what you'll pick out of your teeth after dinner on May 3, 2021. Regardless, Allen stays at the front of the field on the strength of very positive inside-baseball chatter. Though he doesn't poll as well with the general public as some of the other horses behind him, DC insiders still rate him #1. Of course having your picture on the conservative rag NewsMax with the headline "Star Player for 2008" sure doesn't hurt.

2. John McCain: How's this for irony. Now John McCain owes Jack Abrahoff a steak dinner. McCain's rise toward the top is thanks to his popular "reform the system" stump speeches and often biting rhetoric on federal spending. But his roadblock to the White House could still be his rocky relationship with the grassroots and the popular perception that he still seeks revenge for 2000 and the fervent grassroots opposition to his campaign finance reform agenda.

3. Rudy Giuliani: Will Rudy's well-deserved 9-11 glow be enough to blind conservatives from the truth that he's essentially a Manhattan liberal on every issue but national security? There's gay rights, abortion, affirmative action, even video rental late fees. The first three might be smoothed over during the primaries, but can a pocketbook issue be so easily dismissed?

4. Mitt Romney: Romney has taken his show to the South lately and GOP activists are finding what we've said all along: he's yummier than your grannie's hot apple crisp. He's everything you want in a made-for-tv movie president. He's got the hair, the moxie, the high IQ, the face, the eyes and did we say the hair already? Grrr. But can he win?

5. Mike Huckabee: Governor Huckabee has become better at generating press outside his own backyard and it's paying off with national visibility. He still has work to do in Iowa and NH if he wants to be mentioned as a top-tier candidate, but the more the press calls him a serious 2008 hopeful, the more party activists will start to believe it.

6. Bill Frist: Frist has stopped the bleeding with a few modest victories. After he leaves the Senate this fall and drops the PR shackles of his leadership post, Frist could move up further just by taking off the horse shoes and swinging more powerfully against democrats. But barring that--and perhaps an introduction to the joys of Red Bull--Frist remains a longshot.

7. Newt Gingrich: At this early stage, Newt is easily leading the race for frequent flier miles. He earns rave reviews for his stump speeches and his sweeping government reform proposals are very popular among party faithful. Insiders suggest that win or lose, Newt could play a pivotal role in shaping the debate among the lead horses.

8. Condi Rice: Condi's greatest asset may be her role as "reluctant warrior." Despite favorable polling, she continues to tell anyone that will listen she's absolutely, positively, cross-my-heart and hope to die not going to run. If she goes all the way to the "pinky promise," we might actually have to believe her. But for now she's saying what all savvy politicians say two years before an election. "What? Who? Little 'ole me?"

9. Tom Tancredo: Reports indicate that the "immigration candidate" is  broadening his messaging and working to shake the one-trick pony image. If successful, Tancredo could be the candidate who captures some anti-establishment mojo.

10. Haley Barbour: Like Condi, Barbour recently scratched himself for the 2008 race. But his adamant "I'm not running" sound bites and pledged dedication to his homestate's rebuilding effort could win him some chatter as a VP possibility.


1. Hillary Clinton: For the first time since the rankings debuted, Hillary has horses in her rear view mirror. She's let her tongue out of the cage lately and it's punished her with a few significant faux paus. Nevertheless, she can still walk down any street in any major American metropolis and democrats practically throw their wallets at her. We still predict about the only thing that could derail her would be a former lover coming out on Larry King with details of a scandalous affair.

2. Mark Warner: Warner has become the "it" guy on the PAC circuit and is generating more buzz than Bode Miller at a pre-race kegger. Though he's still an unknown across most of the country, the    self-made gazillionaire won't have problems buying his way onto the backstretch of the 2008 race. But will four short years as Virginia governor and a career in cell phones ignite the base? Just imagine the campaign rallies, "Can you hear me now? Gooood."

3. Evan Bayh: There may not be a more popular member of the Senate. His approval ratings are so astronomical they make even the Pope envious. If he can remind voters he was a successful two-term governor before joining the Congressional morgue, Bayh has a legit shot to challenge Warner as the anti-Hillary candidate.

4. John Kerry: Though he continues to boast a remarkably loyal following and his volunteer network remains strong, it's almost impossible to imagine democrats giving the Frenchman another shot at the brass ring. Besides, will voters put someone with "hoof in mouth" disease in the White House?

5. John Edwards: The younger half of Team Kedwards appears to be biting at the bit and rearing to go. Insiders say he may have learned more in 2004 than originally thought. He's courting unions 'round the clock and is uniting with Lethal Weapon's Danny Glover to protest low worker wages for trial attorneys.

6. Bill Richardson:  You would think that a governor having his "least productive session ever" would be having a harder time gaining momentum. But Richardson has managed to turn his legislative defeats into political capital by championing tried and true party issues such as healthcare and minimum wage. Could his record on the issues save him from his record on his resume?

7. Tom Vilsack: Who can argue against a guy fighting for the common man? Although Rocky Balboa he ain't, this Governor has run up the capital's steps calling for an end to all that threatens "working families." Although his policies are about as well understood as the Italian Stallion after a face full of Russian knuckle, he seems to be gaining some momentum.

8. Wes Clark: Teaming up with Verizon and T- Mobile may not seem like the most typical political maneuver, but with the spotlight on privacy this ex-general has skillfully maneuvered his career with the finesse that would make Sun-Tzu proud. Clark is also butting in on Hillary's territory by staking out a stance on Iraq that criticizes the war without being defeatist.

9. Joe Biden: Gotta love Joe; he has no problem speaking his mind. He has already acknowledged Hillary as the one to beat and is formulating a strategy to do just that. Given his popularity in the media, if a hearing about domestic eaves dropping does occur, expect to see the world tour of the Biden Talking Head.

10. Tom Daschle: Being an ousted party leader tends to dent one's political ambitions. But apparently that won't keep this former Senate leader from giving a go at the White House. For now his only constituency seems to be media outlets who couldn't wrangle their first, second or seventeeth choices. In the end, democrats may have higher expectations than a more genial Oliver Twist pleading "please sir, I want some more."


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