Quick 2008 GOP Update

There's a bit of interesting news floating around about a few of the 2008 contenders for the GOP Presidential nomination. Here's a quick look at a few key stories.

Bill Frist. Frist may think he's got a shot, but I think he's probably DOA. First of all, he desperately needs the support of the Christian fundamentalists to win the nomination. He probably lost that by flip-flopping on funding for embyronic stem-cell research. And secondly, to the extent that he might have pulled it out anyway, Trent Lott has probably sunk him be portraying him as a selfish, back-stabbing opportunist.

Tommy Thompson. A new one on the list. Thompson's probably kidding himself if he thinks he's got a chance. To the extent that his experience as a Governor might help him, George Allen, Mike Huckabee, Mitt Romney, George Pataki, and Haley Barbour can all claim the same thing. He told the Detroit Free Press that he wants to run to highlight healthcare issues. Again, as far as GOP candidates go, Frist, a surgeon, would seem to have the leg up there. Even Huckabee, who authored a best-selling weight loss book after dropping over 100 pounds himself can claim some advantage in that department. And there's also the matter of Thompson's now-infamous comments at the end of his tenure at HHS:

"I, for the life of me, cannot understand why the terrorists have not, you know, attacked our food supply because it is so easy to do," he said. "And we are importing a lot of food from the Middle East, and it would be easy to tamper with that."

That statement drew a huge amount of criticism for Thompson and seems to be the sort of thing that could sink him from a national security perspective in the primaries.

Chuck Hagel. The anti-war Republican. As I've already written, this may seem stupid now, but with Bush's numbers plummeting and the American public turning hard against the war, this strategy could pay off for Hagel -- even in the GOP primaries -- especially if the mid-terms go poorly for the Republicans.

Sam Brownback. With 1% support in Iowa, Brownback's got his work cut out for him. He's apparently going to make a decision whether or not to run soon. Forgetting his poll numbers, one of the reasons Brownback is interested in running, according to the Des Moines Register strikes me as a little funny.

Energy: He supports work to pursue energy production via nuclear and biofuels, and work to replace some gasoline consumption with electricity.

Maybe Brownback means that he'd like to replace some gasoline consumption with hybrid gas-electric technology. Otherwise replacing 'gasoline' with 'electricity' is pretty stupid. Gasoline is a derivative of fossil fuels. Seventy-one percent of the electricity generated for use in the United States is produced using fossil fuels. Saying that you'd like to replace gasoline with electricity is like saying your low-fat diet relies on replacing beef fat with chicken fat.

Tags: Republicans (all tags)



Both primaries will be very hectic
There will be so many candidates on both sides in 2008 and such little media coverage to go around that whoever wins Iowa on both sides will likely sweep every other primary. One surprising thing is how the Republicans have basically no governors who are real contenders running when they know how bad U.S. Senators do in presidential elections. Of course, all it would take is for both parties to nominate senators and that would end.
by dole4pineapple 2005-08-22 10:10AM | 0 recs
Re: Both primaries will be very hectic
You realize this will be the first election since 1952 where no incumbent will be running?

As for Thompson, how would that make him weak in terms of National Security? Wouldn't that make him strong if he sees weaknesses in our security system?

by LevH7 2005-08-22 04:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Both primaries will be very hectic
"Republicans have basically no governors who are real contenders."

Have you ever heard of a man named Mitt Romney who will be the leading Republican candidate if he chooses to run. There is an extremely good chance that he will. I noticed that the list of candidates must not have included him because  this website has not up any dirt on him. If he runs he will also most likely be the overall favorite for president.

by Werdman87 2005-08-22 09:41PM | 0 recs
Re: Both primaries will be very hectic
Mitt Romney is meat if he runs in the Republican primary. He's a social liberal from "Taxachusetts" who can't even get re-elected. Pigs will fly before Mitt Romney gets nominated for President by the Republicans.
by craverguy 2005-08-22 09:54PM | 0 recs
Re: Both primaries will be very hectic
A social liberal that is pro choice and against gay marriage. He is definately a social liberal.
by Werdman87 2005-08-23 07:18PM | 0 recs
Re: Both primaries will be very hectic
Sorry a social liberal that is pro life and against gay marriage.
by Werdman87 2005-08-23 07:56PM | 0 recs
Re: Both primaries will be very hectic
Mitt Romney on the Issues.

# Endorsed legalization of RU-486. (Mar 2002)
# Personally against abortion, but pro-choice as governor. (Mar 2002)
# For safe, legal abortion since relative's death from illegal. (Oct 1994)

# Supports benefits for gay partners, but not gay marriage. (Sep 2002)
# Sexual orientation should not preclude being a Scout. (Oct 1994)

by craverguy 2005-08-23 09:44PM | 0 recs
Re: Both primaries will be very hectic
Supporting benefits is not the same as supporting gay marriage. They are two separate things. Just because he believes that sexual orientation should not preclude being a scout does not make him pro gay marriage. You are turning what he said into meaning something else.
by Werdman87 2005-08-23 10:08PM | 0 recs
Re: Both primaries will be very hectic
Mitt Romney has publically announced his dis pleasure considering the legalisation of gay marriage in Massachusetts. There should not be any confusion on whether he is for or against gay marriage.
by Werdman87 2005-08-23 10:27PM | 0 recs
Re: Both primaries will be very hectic
Its far fetched to say Romney will be the leading candidate. This comes out of a field with Frist, McCain, Giuliani and Allen......
by LevH7 2005-08-22 10:42PM | 0 recs
Re: Both primaries will be very hectic
Romney is a do-nothing governor who couldn't get re-elected in Massachusetts. He's flip-flopped on abortion and social issues as well. He's in the process of transforming himself from pro-choice to pro-life. I think it's obvious why he's doing what he's doing and people will clearly see him for the fraud he is.
by dole4pineapple 2005-08-23 06:02AM | 0 recs
Re: Both primaries will be very hectic
Who "couldn't get get re-elected in massachusetts. There has not even been an election. You do not know how well he has handled the position of governor. He is one of the best public speakers in the country. He is second to none in internation affairs. He "flip flopped on abortion." Romney has always been pro life and he has flip fopped on "other social issues as well." I would like to know these issues.
by Werdman87 2005-08-23 07:15PM | 0 recs
You may be right on the Republican side, but on the Democratic side, Iowa will be completely ignored by everybody-because yawn-inducing Iowa native Vilsack is running and will probably win.  Total repeat of 1992 with Harkin.  I would not be surprised if the top (and possibly second) tier canidates on the Dem side boycott Iowa completely due to Vilsack.
by Geotpf 2005-08-24 04:04PM | 0 recs
Re: Gasoline vs. Electricity
Bull.  We want to switch to hybrids even if they don't provide a net environmental gain right away because it's easier to upgrade thousands of power plants than it is to upgrade millions of automobiles.  The latter process is long and slow, with cars lasting a decade or so plus the time it takes for any new technology to become the dominant one sold.  We want to start this process as soon as possible.  Meanwhile, a power plant can be upgraded or outright replaced within a few years, and as technology improves it can be done again, again without the long filtering in process car technologies would require.  We are much better off starting the move to hybrids now even if it doesn't pay off right away.
by Gg 2005-08-22 10:17AM | 0 recs
Brownback's big issue
I work for a PR firm with a lot of energy clients.  One of our clients is a coal group, and two big talking points are security and affordability.  It's important to remember that coal accounts for 51 percent of our electricity supply, or more than 2/3 of the 71 percent that comes from fossil fuels.  It is domestically produced and has a substantial supply (although that would be dramatically reduced if cars started using electricity), while we import the vast majority of our oil.  Brownback could pitch this as a way to reduce our dependence on Mid East oil.  Moreover, coal is cheap and oil is not.  The cost of driving 50 miles would plummet with electric vehicles.

Additionally, look: he wants to replace fossil fuels with nuclear and biofuels.  Your criticism of his electricity-for-gasoline exchange completely glosses over that argument just four sentences after you quote the Des Moines register.

There are, of course, myriad problems with this approach (significant strain on the energy grid, more mercury emissions, shifting demand will raise coal prices, etc.), but he can pitch it.  What is curious is how he plans to get enough air time to make a dent with this argument.  Since this issue won't win him the nomination, it only works if he gets on TV.  God willing, it's just not sexy enough to do that.  The less I have to Senator Brownback pontificate on cultural issues, the better.

by jhupp 2005-08-22 10:51AM | 0 recs
Brownback's Opus Dei Membership Could Be A Problem
He converted from Methodism to Catholocism and is a member of the famous Opus Dei prelature.

My guess is that - whether fair or not - between the Da Vinci Code book and upcoming movie, voters will not be willing to put a member of that group in the White House.  I'd put Brownback in the "non-starter" category.  


by billfrick 2005-08-22 10:57AM | 0 recs
My money's on Allen or Huckabee
Out of this group, Brownback is the only acceptable one to GOP voters.  The Republican base will stay home if Hagel is nominated.  Look at the way he is getting ripped to shreds on conservative blogs.
by Skaje 2005-08-22 12:49PM | 0 recs
Re: My money's on Allen or Huckabee
Of course Hagel is getting ripped to shreds now. He's the one playing the "defect" card in the Prisoner's Dilemma. If Hagel wins the nomination, he will have just as good a chance as the next Republican.

In fact, if Iraq continues to be a mess he likely could beat anyone we put forward as a Democrat who does not have Feingold-esque credentials( both antiwar and pro-consumer).

Still, it's likely that we'll get Giuliani, Brownback, Hagel, Romney, and Allen.

Allen takes the nom IF Iraq good, Economy good

Hagel takes the nom IF Iraq bad, Economy good

Romney takes the nom IF Iraq bad, Economy bad

Giuliani takes the nom IF Iraq good, Economy bad

by risenmessiah 2005-08-23 04:03PM | 0 recs
I think we're fooling ourselves if we think the Republicans won't nominate McCain. I think the Dobsonite social conservatives are not going to be as influential in the GOP primaries as they are in DC, because -- as always -- of the distorting effect of a process that gives inordinate influence to 2 small early states.

On the Republican side, money is king; there is nowhere near the "outsider"/grassroots constituency for them as for Dems in the early primary states. So when McCain starts piling up the cash and the consultants, I think most serious challengers will be sidelined, and he'll be, like Bush, able to run against a series of lesser funded and less well prepared candidates on his right, who will divide whatever anti-McCain vote exists in the early states, which this cycle look to be IA, NH then MI.

By the time they get to a state where Big Church matters, McCain will be running as a veteran/war hero and will have mouthed enough slogans and appeared in enough churches to have the support of the few people who matter on their side. In other wides, their activists are not independent minded enough to defy their own leadership (by definition).

I'm not happy about this but I'm afraid we're going to have, for the first time since Reagan, a really strong Republican candidate to contend with in 08. And given how badly we did against weak candidates in 88, 00 and 04, I'm not optimistic.

(On the upside, I think this gives us licence to nominate someone like Feingold who could really put forth a message of real reform for the Democratic party.)

by desmoulins 2005-08-22 04:20PM | 0 recs
Re: mccain
"I think the Dobsonite social conservatives are not going to be as influential in the GOP primaries as they are in DC."

James Dobson endorsed John McCain in 2000.

by craverguy 2005-08-22 07:03PM | 0 recs
didn't know that. but seems to support my point on 2 counts -- the social conservatives are not as opposed to McCain as we like to think and that they are not as influential on the primaries, if they endorse a red-meat intolerant.
by desmoulins 2005-08-23 12:23PM | 0 recs
He did no such thing

In fact, this article, in addition to containing the following sentence: "Dobson does not support McCain.", also highlights McCain's very public spat with Pat "Assassination" Robertson and Jerry Falwell.  In fact, McCain's attacks on the religious right were probably why he lost the nomination, as opposed to any Rovian dirty tricks.

by Geotpf 2005-08-24 04:14PM | 0 recs
is not a serious threat.  We know where the bimbos are.
by folkbum 2005-08-22 08:09PM | 0 recs
Don't count Sam Brownback out just because he's currently polling low. The same mistake was made by pundits who were gauging the chances of Gary Hart and Howard Dean.

The fact is that Brownback's ultra-conservative message resonates with GOP primary voters and you can expect to see his numbers skyrocket as soon as he begins campaigning.

by craverguy 2005-08-22 08:37PM | 0 recs
Re: Brownback
I agree about Brownback's potential to grab the nomination.  

While I'm worried about McCain, I don't think McCain can win South Carolina or other contests open only to Republicans.  I suspect McCain will win New Hampshire because Independents and Democrats can vote in the GOP primary there.

As for Iowa, that's a trickier calculus for the GOP, imo.

by InigoMontoya 2005-08-22 11:00PM | 0 recs
I doubt it.
Lott has no political future after the Thurmond incident, and the Republican bigwigs know it.

Regardless, an announcement for the presidency two whole years before the election would be unprecedented.

by craverguy 2005-08-22 09:00PM | 0 recs
Their best cannidate is not even on this list South Carolina governor Mark Sanford and if things start looking really bad for them they can run someone like Micheal Bloomberg who is non threatening and has a great bussiness background.  
by strrbr 2005-08-23 05:32PM | 0 recs


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