New VP Poll

This new CNN poll is kind of interesting, since those polled were not asked to choose their favorite for VP, but to instead rate how they would feel if Kerry choose any of these five candidates.

June 21-23, 1,005 Adults, MoE 3.5
	      Enthusiasic  Satisfied   Dissatisfied  Angry
John Edwards	  24	    48		19	  3
Dick Gephardt	  15	    49		27	  4
Wesley Clark	  15	    44		32	  4
Evan Bayh		   9	    49		30	  2
Tom Vilsack	   3	    51		33	  2
I know what you might be thinking, but check out this part of the article:

Holland noted that the poll attempted to compensate for the higher visibility of some of the men by reading respondents a description of each man's experience and background.

Even with that information available to them, most respondents indicated they would be most satisfied with Edwards and Gephardt.

I'm not sure why Bayh was included in the questions instead of Biden, since Delaware's senior Senator is far more visible in the VP search.

Clinton vs. Kerry

In November of 1992, as a newly minted 18-year old, I voted for Bill Clinton. Even though I despised Bush, my vote was actually more pro-Clinton than anti-Bush (after all, this was 1992, and Perot offered another way to register your disgust / insanity). When Clinton won I was ecstatic, and overflowing with hope for his presidency. I had never known anything except Republican presidents (I was only six when Carter lost), and with Democrats in control of both Congress and the White House, I imagined great times were ahead.

When Clinton failed on the military and health care reform policies he initiated during his first two years in office, I felt extremely let down. For the remainder of his two terms, I was stuck with the impression that he was not a strong President, and that Republicans in congress were controlling the national policy agenda to a greater degree than Clinton. I even came to blame Clinton for the national drift rightward.

While I have similar worries about Kerry, I believe that as President he will start from a stronger position than Clinton did (even if Republicans still control of at least one branch of Congress). Right now, I feel we on the left have learned how to better organize and assert ourselves. Also, I believe that over the course of his life, despite his wealthy upbringing, Kerry has been a better representative of the left than Clinton (even though Clinton clearly had a far more Democratic upbringing).

In short, I think Kerry will be an even better President than Clinton. I think he will be better able to control the national policy agenda, and that on balance he will pass better policy. Assuming for a moment that Kerry will win in November, use this thread to discuss how well you imagine Kerry's presidency will stack up compared to Clinton's. I have also included a poll.

Runoff Poll--Future of the Democratic Party

Last weekend I wrote a piece about possible future Democratic nominees for President. In the poll I attached to the story, four candidates were the clear favorites: Hilary Clinton, John Edwards, Russ Feingold and Bill Richardson (a healthy regional balance). Use this thread to discuss which of the four would be your choice to be the Democratic nominee in either 2008 or (let's hope) 2012.

Take the poll. Also, I will be out until tomorrow morning, so go ahead and use this as an open thread.

The Final Three

This will disappoint Clark fans, but I am pretty sure he did not make the Super-short list for Kerry's VP. All evidence points to Edwards, Gephardt and Vilsack as the final three.

The nation wants Edwards, but by a plurality rather than a majority. Supposedly, Edwards is the favorite of Democrats in the Senate as well. Additionally, Edwards is actively campaigning for the spot.

The AFL-CIO believes that Gephardt is not only on the short list, but that he has already nailed down the VP spot. Being in the labor movement myself, I know that many of the higher ups would phrase it as "we have managed to put Gephardt in the VP spot."

The DLC, which these days is really just Al From, likes Vilsack. Here is an article claiming he is on the super-short list.

The VP buzz entirely surrounds only these three candidates. Considering earlier claims that the list has narrowed to three, Edwards, Gephardt and Vilsack appear to be the Super-shortlist in 2004. This is extremely important, since in 2000, the Super-shortlist was Edwards, Kerry and Lieberman. Gephardt has retired, but even if they are not selected Edwards and Vilsack will remain major players in the party for some time.

Take the poll.

Update: Clark not be out of the running after all. As Jerome notes in the comments:

"Newsweek's Fineman reports, "And Kerry plans to meet this week" with Clark.

NPR's Williams: "They're trying to tell people, look now for something around July 4th, in terms of Kerry making a vice presidential selection, with Wesley Clark seeming to have the lead for the moment over John Edwards" ("Fox News Sunday," 6/13).

Democrats 2008

In the highly disturbing event of a Bush victory in 2004, what Democrats would be ready to compete for the nomination in 2008? Here is how I rank the top contenders:

1. Hillary Clinton
Duh. Nomination is probably hers if she wants it, as long as she does not lose to Guliani in 2006. Adored throughout the rank and file, even if not by the netroots. She is one of the best fundraisers in the Democratic Party, and not as hated in "middle America" as many believe. After two Bush wins, Democrats would be desperate to recapture the Clinton years.

2. John Edwards
Besides Kerry, Edwards is the only Democrat from 2004 to emerge not only undamaged from the primary season, but in a stronger national position than before he entered. He would start near the top of most state and national polls, and we already know how well he can finish.

3. Russ Feingold
Assuming he wins a comfortable re-election in 2004, Feingold would be ready to pick up the Dean mantle in 2008. Adored by labor and the netroots alike. As a well-known national figure, he would start from a stronger position than Dean. Would be a major player.

4. Bill Richardson
With a monster resume and connections throughout the party, Governor Richardson would have the best chance to win a major party nomination for President of any minority in history. Might not be telegenic enough to win the nomination.

5. Charles Schumer
The best fundraiser among all Senators also happens to be charismatic and hail from an extremely important state in the nominating process. Schumer would not be the frontrunner, but he would start out top tier. However, he would probably only run if Hillary does not.

6. Jesse Jackson Jr.
If memory of his father's personal indiscretion fades, he would rise higher. If Democrats take control of Congress and he is able to help pass more legislation, he would rise even higher. Huge potential, but 2012 seems a more likely scenario (especially if Kerry wins two terms).

7. Ed Rendell
Something tells me that if Rendell did run, he would be the Bob Graham of 2008.

8. Tom Vilsack
Everyone on Gore's super-shortlist from 2000 ran in 2004 (Kerry, Edwards and Lieberman). Hard to imagine that after all of the consideration he is getting for the VP spot, that Vilsack will not run the next time there is an opening. Equally hard to imagine he would have a significant impact on the race.

9. Blanche Lincoln
Schumer isn't the only candidate who would benefit in the unlikely event that both Kerry loses and Hillary does not run. Lincoln would be a strong substitute candidate from the Arkansas wing of the Democratic Party. Lincoln is extremely popular in her home state, and will cruise to re-election in 2004.

10. Harold Ford Jr.
Young and ambitious, it would actually be more surprising to see Ford not run for President than to see him run. He briefly challenged for House minority leader, but right now his political strength leaves him a better bet to challenge Lamar Alexander for the Senate in 2008. However, he would almost certainly strongly consider going for the Presidency.

Take the poll, give your own top ten.

Tomorrow: Republicans in 2008

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