Chris Cillizza over at the Washington Post has his “Top 5” picks for potential presidential candidates. I think he’s pretty much got it right on the Left, but the candidates on the right make me very nervous.
On the Democrat side, I think it’s going to come down to Hilary and (assuming he makes a serious effort) Obama. Obama actually makes me nervous because he has that sort of Kennedy mystique going, he’s young, he’s appealing to Independents as well as Dems, and doesn’t seem to be carrying a lot of baggage.
I can’t see Edwards making much out of a run since people still associate him with the loser effort that was 2004. Bayh would normally be the good alternative to Hil, but Obama will likely take that role. Finally, Richardson gets a lot of good press and kudos for his resume, but he’d be a disaster as a candidate. He’s been using the state treasury as his own personal piggy bank in NM and has a bit of a Clinton-esque problem with the females.
On the GOP side, I just don’t see anyone I can get very hopped up on. McCain could win a general, but I can’t see him making it out of the primary. I saw too much hate mail about him directed to the ABC PAC inbox and he wasn’t even a candidate we were supporting.
Giuliani has way too much “essplainin’ to do”. He’s a liberal Republican from the Northeast – not exactly the guy you want as a standard-bearer after getting your ass kicked for abandoning fiscal discipline.
If that leaves Newt, Huckabee and Romney, I’m feeling pretty unhappy with our chances. Newt may have redeemed himself in the eyes of the party, but there are a lot of voters who only pay attention every four years that are going to dismiss him outright.
Huckabee’s big selling point seems to be his appearance in all those Subway ads… What? That wasn’t him?
Finally, you’ve got another Republican from the Northeast – this time from Boston – who also happens to be a Mormon. Now, I don’t think there is anything wrong with being Mormon. My brother is. He converted. I just don’t see a lot of crossover appeal between Romney’s Mormon religion and the tolerance for that religion typically displayed by the religious right.
I know the Mormons have made great strides in the last 30 years trying to convince the rest of the world that they worship Christ, too. I, however, still know far too many born-again Chirstians who tell me the LDS is a cult. If a staggering number of the people in your party’s biggest voting bloc think you’re the equivalent of David Koresh, you’re going to have a hell of a time winning the South.
All of this makes me pretty uneasy. The Dems have a guy that I’m pretty confident could win the job walking away while the best we have to offer is three or four guys we’d have to hold our nose to vote for and one or two who are unlikely to pass muster for a broad swath of the party.