Sunday, September 11, 2005


A little early, but still interesting...

Already, New Hampshire beckons the hopefuls
Brian Faler
Washington Post
Published September 11, 2005

Republican Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee was there recently. So was Sen. John Kerry, D-Mass. Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, a Democrat, is expected this week. The Republican governor of Massachusetts? A little later this month.

The 2008 presidential election is still a long way off, but the potential contenders have begun making their way to New Hampshire. More than a dozen lawmakers believed to be considering bids have been to the Granite State, the expected site of the first presidential primary election, since last November. Among the Democrats, New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson was there in June. So was retired Gen. Wesley Clark. Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh has been up. So has John Edwards -- three times, in fact. Wisconsin Sen. Russell Feingold is slated to make his first trip this month.

Republicans have been just as busy. Arizona Sen. John McCain visited in December. Since then, colleagues Chuck Hagel of Nebraska, George Allen of Virginia and Sam Brownback of Kansas have stopped by. Same goes for Colorado Rep. Tom Tancredo and former House Speaker Newt Gingrich of Georgia. Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee has been to New Hampshire three times.

"It's way early," said state Republican Party chairman Warren Henderson, who attributed the unusually early forays to the wide-open nature of the '08 race. It is expected to be the first time in more than 50 years in which neither a sitting president nor a vice president is running.

The visiting lawmakers typically spend their time at fundraisers, picnics, potlucks and house parties -- wherever they happen to be invited. For some, such as Huckabee, who was making his first trip to New Hampshire, the visits give them an opportunity to introduce themselves to local activists. For others, it's a chance to meet old supporters.

"It's all about putting a toe in the water," Henderson said. "You might want to go see what kind of response you get. Do New Hampshire audiences react to you the same as audiences in your home state? For a lot of these folks, they may not really know how they're going to be perceived."

What interests me most are the names, especially that of Russ Feingold. I have to say, I love Feingold, but I think I like him much more as a Senator than a President. It's also nice to see that Sen. McCain is possibly in the running. That being said, however, he's a very dangerous candidate that will be hard to beat. I will say right now that I think the Democrats can do better than any of the '04 field. Kerry was the wrong candidate last time and will be again in'08. But that enough speculating for now. We need to save some to spread over the next 3 years or so.

It's definitely too much to hope for, but a bipartisan ticket including McCain would be most wonderful.
Post a Comment

<< Home