Sunday, July 31, 2005


Unless Dubya finds a way to repeal the 22nd Amendment, he won't be running for office in 2008. Of course declaring martial law might be a way for him to get around that, but that's something we won't comtemplate at this time. Instead, let's look at some of the most frequently-named Republicans who are considered possibilities for the GOP nomination in 2008. Dick Cheney apparently won't run for president, so for the first time in a long time the GOP won't have either an incumbent president or a vice-president running for the presidency. Most of the following information is from Wikipedia:

GEORGE ALLEN - Age 53. Son of legendary NFL coach George Allen. In Congress from 91-93, Governor of Virginia from 94-99, elected Senator in 2000. "In a survey of 175 Washington insiders conducted by National Journal's "The Hotline" and released April 29, 2005, Allen was the frontrunner for the Republican nomination for the 2008 Presidential election." "Allen is extremely fond of using football metaphors, a tendency which has been remarked upon by journalists and commentators."

NEWT GINGRICH - Age 62. Well-known for bringing ethics charges against Speaker of the House Jim Wright in 1987, leading the GOP to control over Congress in 1994 and defining the "Contract With America" that same year, and for his efforts to impeach President Bill Clinton. He was Speaker of the House from 1994-1999. Reprimanded in 1997 and fined $300,000 for using tax-exempt foundations for political purposes and subsequently lying to the House ethics committee. After poor Republican congressional election results in 1998 he received much of the blame for the poor showing and basically ended his congressional career. He has authored several books since then and "he is a senior fellow at the conservative think tank American Enterprise Institute, focusing on health care (he has founded the Center for Health Transformation), information technology, the military, and politics. Gingrich has publicly questioned the decisions and motivations for some of the policies, particularly foreign policies, of the Bush Administration. Specifically, he has challenged policy of the State Department, calling for a transformation of the department due to numerous diplomatic failures. He has also called the State Department 'ineffective and incoherent' in its resolve to persuade members of the UN Security Council or a second resolution for military action against Iraq. In early December 2003, Gingrich, although generally supportive of the Bush Administration, took issue with the administration's strategy in Iraq, stating that the U.S. had 'gone off the cliff in Iraq' and that 'Americans can't win in Iraq. Only Iraqis can win in Iraq.' Despite this, he remained broadly supportive of President Bush's re-election campaign."

RUDY GIULIANI - Age 61. As mayor of New York (1/94 to 12/01), he was "widely hailed for his calm and effective leadership in the crisis" at that time. "Giuliani is often mentioned as a possible candidate for statewide office in 2006, either challenging Clinton in the Senate race, or running for Governor of New York if George Pataki decides not to seek re-election. He is also widely reported to be considering a run for the Presidency in 2008. One obstacle to such a national campaign would be his pro-choice stand on abortion. The vast majority of Republican voters and officeholders support more restrictions on abortion than are currently permitted under the Roe v. Wade decision. Members of the Christian right bloc have already announced their intention to oppose Giuliani or any other pro-choice candidate, though anecdotal evidence suggests that even among these voters, he enjoys some support. Early 2008 Presidential polls show him with one of the highest levels of name recognition and support.

SAM BROWNBACK - Age 49. Senator from Kansas. Was a Representative from 1994-1996, won special Senatorial election in 1996 when then-Senator Bob Dole ran for President. "Brownback is an outspokenly socially conservative politician. He opposes embryonic stem cell research, favors capital punishment, is adverse to same-sex marriage, and is strongly pro-life on the issue of abortion, having compared it to the Holocaust. Should Brownback be a candidate in the 2008 presidential election, he would have broad appeal among conservative Christians. Although Brownback has little name recognition outside of Washington, D.C. and his home state of Kansas, he has been working to garner public support since his re-election to the Senate in 2004."

MIKE HUCKABEE - Age 49. Currently is Governor of Arkansas. "In 2003, the courts in Arkansas declared that the state's school funding procedure was unconstitutional and ordered the state to produce a fair system. Huckabee proposed a controversial plan that would consolidate many of the state's smaller school districts. School consolidation is very unpopular in rural Arkansas and may be the "third rail" of Arkansas politics. The court order has not yet been satisfied. Huckabee has also made use of his authority as Governor to pardon or commute the sentences of felons. The most (in)famous of these was Wayne Dumond, a convicted rapist who would later commit murder in Missouri. However, a thorough anaylsis of his actual commutations by the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette actually found that the commutations he issued were equal to or even less than most governors in recent times. ring the 2002 elections his wife, Janet Huckabee, ran unsuccessfully for Secretary of State, and both received criticism for the dual election effort.

JOHN McCAIN - Age 68. Of course his name is always in the mix. Arizona Senator since 1987. Ran for president in 2000, was defeated by Dubya in the primaries. McCain was a commissioned officer in the United States Navy and a Vietnamese prisoner of war. He was honorably discharged from the Navy in 1981. "Despite his earlier rivalry with Bush, McCain was one of the President's most vocal supporters in the 2004 US Presidential Election. He often praised Bush's leadership and continuing zeal after the terrorist attacks of September 11th, 2001, and in that light less important issues could be pushed aside. McCain's reputation as a moderate appealed to many voters who found Bush too hard-line conservative. There was some speculation that McCain's long time friend and colleague, and also the Democratic Presidential nominee, John Kerry of Massachusetts would ask McCain to be his running mate to help Kerry shake his "liberal from the northeast" label, but McCain rejected Kerry's inital overtures, and so Kerry never officially asked him. This prompted Bush to run an ad called "The First Choice" showing clips of McCain praising Bush. Furthermore, the GOP used this information to ridicule Kerry's eventual running mate, Senator John Edwards of North Carolina. Because of his quick temper and independence in the Senate, he is sometimes called a 'maverick senator.' McCain doesn't fit neatly into any one political wing. He is conservative on many military and social issues, but more liberal on fiscal issues. Some Republicans have called him a Republican In Name Only."

GEORGE PATAKI - Age 60. Currently the Governor of New York (since 1994). "Pataki has always been moderate on social issues but by his third term many social conservatives simmered over his continued support of abortion rights as well as his heavy lobbying in favor of a gay rights bill which had languished in the state senate for many years due to the opposition of (State) Senate Leader Joseph Bruno. In 2003 Bruno finally gave in and the bill passed the senate and was signed into law by Pataki." It is widely speculated he will run for either Senate or President in 2008.

TIM PAWLENTY - Age 44. Governor of Minnesota since 1/03. "The governor has pushed a number of proposals to increase state income without officially raising taxes ("user fees" for various services have been raised instead). One option was the development of a new casino in the Minneapolis-St. Paul metropolitan area, or the enhancement of the Canterbury Park racetrack to a "racino", which would be operated in cooperation with Native American tribes from the northern part of the state. Minnesota has mandated a 10% mixture of gasoline and ethanol (gasohol) since 1997, and Pawlenty pushed to increase the mandated level to 20%. While this was well-received by some, many expressed concern because most cars in the U.S. are only designed to handle up to a 15% mixture. The bill was signed into law in May 2005, but will not take effect until 2013."

MIKE PENCE - Congressman from Indiana since 2001.

MITT ROMNEY - Age 58. Governor of Massechusetts since 2003. He is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. "Romney was heavily involved in national and statewide attempts to block the Massachusetts' Supreme Court's November 2003 ruling which legalized same-sex marriage. In December 2004, Romney announced plans to file a death penalty bill in early 2005. The bill, filed April 28, 2005, seeks to reinstate the death penalty in cases that include terrorism, the assassination of law enforcement officials and multiple killings. The legislation would require corroborating scientific evidence, multiple layers of review and a new "no doubt" standard of proof. During the 2002 governor's race, Romney stated he would honor a "moratorium" on abortion in which he would not attempt to change state abortion law. Although he told voters that he was personally opposed to abortion, he said he wanted to keep abortion "safe and legal in this country."

TOM TANCREDO - Age 59. From Colorado, member of Congress since 1999. "Tancredo is noted for his outspoken criticism of illegal immigration policies and his support for general immigration reduction. His critics claim he is xenophobic. Tancredo founded a political actio committee named Team America in order to collect contributions for immigration-restrictionist inclined congressional representatives and candidates. Due to campaign law he had to resign after founding it. The current chair is Angela "Bay" Buchanan, sister of politician Patrick Buchanan. In 7/05 Tancredo responded to a question asking about a potential U.S. response to a nuclear attack on U.S. cities by al-Qaeda by saying that one response would be to retaliate by "taking out" Muslim holy sites (specifically, Mecca) if it were clearly proven that Islamic terrorists were behind such an attack. Days later, in an interview on CNN together with James Zogby, Tancredo claimed he meant the comment as merely a threat to retaliate and refused to apologize. In February 2005, Tancredo announced he will seek the Republican Party nomination for President of the United States if all other candidates fail to address the illegal immigration problem."

CONDOLEEZA RICE - Age 50. National Security Advisor during Dubya's first term. Has been U.S. Secretary of State since 1/27/05. Rice for her part has repeatedly said she has no desire or interest in becoming President.

Snave's notes: Poll results are fairly consistent in suggesting that John McCain or Rudy Giuliani would have to be considered co-favorites for the GOP nomination at this time. Hillary Clinton is listed as the favorite among Democratic contenders in just about every case. Of the people I listed above, I find Brownback and Tancredo to be the scariest, but I can't say I'd be in favor of any of them. In any case, being a lefty, I would like to see the GOP choose a candidate that is pro-choice! Heh!


Blogger Tom Harper said...

Brownback is the worst of those candidates. He isn't that well known, but he's backed by a very powerful, secretive Christian Right organization that's been operating behind the scenes since the 1930s. The group is called The Family or The Fellowship, among other names. A web search will bring up some sinister information on this group.

If they want Brownback in the White House, I'd keep an eye on him and do whatever it takes to keep him out of there.

11:10 AM  
Blogger Snave said...

Thanks for the warning... ick! I'll do some searching on that outfit. When I find something interesting, expect me to post on it!

1:42 PM  
Blogger Mandelbrot's Chaos said...

tthofpa, with all due respect, that sounds like some "Black Helicopters" conspiracy theory type of shit. Now on to my opinion on your analysis:

Dick Cheney has a bad ticker, so I agree.

George Allen: Possible, and since Virginia is a moderate state, viable, though the football analogies could get annoying before long.

Gingroach: Politically, he flatlined in 1998.

Giuliani: Strong, but you're right about his problems, though I don't believe those would be as strong if he were to win the primary. A serious force to contend with, and would have made a better Senator than Hillary.

Brownback: Asshole, would probably alienate the moderate wing of the Republican Party and most independents and centrists. Would only win a general election if Lyndon LaRouche headed the Democrat ticket, and that would probably end up a coin toss.

Huckabee: Sounds better than some of the other candidates, but has problems in his home state. Still, ballsy enough to tackle a third-rail issue to accomplish something that needs to be done. 2002 could haunt him, though probably not much.

McCain: Front-runner, may have a touch of trouble maintaining rank-and-file support but looks strong with independents and Democrats.

Pataki: Looks shaky with the neocon wing of the Republican Party, looks substantially better if he survives to the general election unless too much energy and funds expended in the primaries.

Pawlenty: Similar chances to Pataki, but without the baggage.

Romney: He's a Republican who was elected governor in Massachusetts. Stances keep the right happy while not completely alienating the left, though far from going out of his way to appease the left. Depending on his 2006 reelection campaign's success, could be a man to beat in '08.

Tancredo: Snave, I sincerely hope you're joking. Sounds like a real asshat.

Rice: Would be tantamount to being a Vice-Presidential equivalent, without the political experience of actually having campaigned. Would probably be destroyed early in any primary election season as she has only been seen as the mouthpiece for the current administration.

6:16 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

Sadly, not oking about Tancredo. He's for real... sigh...

10:43 PM  
Blogger Mandelbrot's Chaos said...

About Tancredo and Brownback: Every party ends up getting a few Lyndon LaRouche/Senator Byrd wannabes. Rice has a stronger chance than them, and I think she'd get demolished before the first primary.

4:37 PM  
Blogger Snave said...

Rice might not be a bad candidate for the GOP. Some Democrats might say that those who oppose Hillary Clinton may do so because she is a woman, making her opposition sexist. If the left opposes Rice, I'm sure the GOP will spin things so that those who opposed her were sexist AND racist.

5:21 PM  

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