This article in CNN got me all excited about the presidential race of 2008. Yes, it's all of three years away, but gosh, look at the field. Of course, while I'd love John McCain to be the next president, he has NO hope of winning the Republican ticket. In my opinion, that honor will go to Jeb Bush or Condi Rice if either decide to run, else Bill Frist will probably be the favorite, with George Allen an outside shot. And no, Rudi Guilliani has no hope, because unlike Democrats, Republicans dont think of who the other side may approve of.
For the Democrats, the race starts and ends with one name - Hillary Clinton. And I think that may be the end of the race. I believe she carries a lot of baggage. Social conservatives hate the thought of Bill being a First Gentleman, fiscal conservatives hate the fact that she pioneered the universal health care plan (good intentions, but here choice was a large govt-managed plan) and too many people think she's too liberal to lead America. I don't think she's as liberal as she's potrayed to be, but perception's a hard thing to beat.
So here would be the fascinating races of 2008:
McCain v Clinton => Large swathes of conservatives would sit out. Tough race, but I'd hope McCain pulls this one off.
Rice v Clinton => Unthinkable! The sad reality is America is not yet ready for having two women run for president. As much as city folk like to think gender bias is dead, it isn't and it will be a long time before something like this happens.
Guillani v Clinton => Impossible! People need something different in the 2 candidates to choose from. While McCain is at least socially conservative, G is a Democrat in Republican robes.
Frist v Clinton => Replay Bush v Kerry, except the Republican ticket doesnt have the Bushian charm (yes, you read that right!) and the Democratic ticket doesnt put you to sleep. But Hillary may pull this off if Bill Clinton hits the stump hard.
Bush v Clinton => If Jeb takes tips from his elder brother rather than his dad, he'd win hands down. While Bush Sr was an incredible statesman (I was enthralled by an interview with Jim Lehrer) George would tell him that statesman dont win elections - "common men" do. And so, like Bush, play the ordinary-man card (even if you did better at Harvard than your "intelligent" opponent) and appeal to the base. Unfortunately for his supporters, I don't know if he could (from what I hear, he's much more like dad)
I can't comment on the Allen nomination because even though he's a senator from my state, I know little about him.
Sidebar: If McCain miraculously wins, it is possible Sen Lindey Graham (R-SC) gets an administration role. Awesome!
Disclaimer: None of these views reflect those of my family, and especially my brother, who practically worships Bill Clinton!