Quick 2008 GOP Update
by Scott Shields, Mon Aug 22, 2005 at 09:53:46 AM EDT
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.