SS Smith, please recall that an election thrown into the House is by a vote of state delegations, not overall members. All those dinky Plains states get one vote each...same as NY or Calif. For the foreseeable future, even taking back the House as a whole, Dems lose on any election thrown into the House.
He's a conservative Republican with a bit of populist maverick streak, a good guy who isn't an asshole like most over there (which wins him a lot of points on style), and has never met a microphone or TV camera he doesn't like.
Look at his voting record. He's conservative, he's just not a whacko over and above that.
There's a word for candidates who try a no-PAC, no-corporate statewide campaign in California: "Also rans." Vermont is a low-cost retail politics state.
Guys, the Democratic party, or even its Progressive wing, has got to slap itself every time it starts touting one-size-fits-all solutions.
I shake my head when some folks piss and moan about Harold Ford running for Senate in Tennessee. Look, somebody like Barbara Boxer would get buried there. Harold Ford might get elected and if so, he's about as liberal as you can be...in Tennessee...and still get elected. I'll take it, to flip a Red Seat to a Blue Seat and get a liberal vote 80 percent of the time rather than a GOoPer who votes against us 98 percent of the time.
GaryB, unlike you I have but a miniscule standing in the blogosphere but I'll make book with you: if Hillary wants the nomination, she gets it. $$$$, staff, organization, star power...she'll get 2,000 people in a ballroom when anyone else is struggling to get 100 people at a Holiday Inn.
Descrates nails it, if she runs, HC will methodically sew everything up. It'll be like throwing your high school football team against the New England Patriots or whatever. Never confuse the blogosphere with even the primary electorate. Your gnashing your teeth and ranting will have as much effect as King Canute telling the tide to hold back.
How about it? A $100 towards a mutually agreeable charity, e.g., Move-On?
And running for President is even worse because even experienced Governors and Senators make rookie mistakes when running for President. The difference between a Senatorial/Gubernatorial campaign and a Presidential campaign is like high-school football vs. the pro's. [adjust analogy to taste, e.g., local dance studio vs. New York City Ballet]
I like the idea of a Governor/Senator combo but think it needs to be the other way around for one inescapable reason: the credibility that governors bring to security/defense issues is nil. Even if Bush announces a pullout--c'mon, can you imagine this guy doing anything remotely statesmanlike?--the threat of terrorism isn't going to go away. (Unless you subconciously believe Bush that Iraq = war on terrorism.)
It's going to take someone with national credentials, either a Senator, preferably with experience on either the Foreign Relations or Armed Services committee, or somebody like Wes Clark to keep that base covered.
On the governor side, one name that a fellow junkie has made me think about is Schweitzer of Montana.
I think Vilsac of Iowa is dead meat, has all the charisma of a poached egg and, like it or not, charisma counts. You don't need to be a movie star but it helps to have some spark. John Edwards is the most impressive speaker I've met in person since Bill Clinton but I don't see from what platform, as in position, that he can successfully launch himself, though I can game several scenarios where he's the last man standing in a "Anybody but Hillary" role...which he would lose.
I'm an agnostic about Bill Richardson. As far as Bill Nelson goes, I have it on good authority from the inside that he's not the sharpest tool in the shed and I think a national campaign would expose that.
The average voter--unlike us political junkies--could not care less about political fundraising. "Cleaner money" as an issue ranks approximately 137th on the list of concerns, after jaywalking but before "dumb astrology columns in the newspaper." Call me cynical.
In some order, the leading issues will be security, the economy, taxes & the deficit, education, health care. Against that, "cleaner money" has the impact of stale ear wax.
But that's no reason to discourage large donations, either. Money is the fuel of political war and I see no reason why we should fight with one hand tied behind our backs. Small donations, large donations, medium donations...take 'em all, solicit 'em all.
Morris, Hillary isn't my favorite candidate but you've put your finger on reason that I like her: she's a fighter. I think of Kerry not responding to the Swift Boat ads for three weeks and I want to throw up.
I think some Dems are yearning for "someone new." I supported Wes Clark early, sending some $$$ his way. The problem with "someone new" is that it takes a campaign or two, usually, to get their "national" legs under them. Bill Clinton was the brilliant exception. The cut-and-parry with the media and the intensity of focus are different from what any pol used to a state-wide race has experienced.
An added consideration in today's environment is that I think anyone who a priori lacks defense/security credentials is going to be handicapped in the general election. It's not like the governor of New Mexico or the governor of Virginia or the governor of Montana can be expected to speak knowledgeably and credibly on the subject.