Charles F.
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The '07/'08 primaries campaign must be among the most intriguing contests the Democrats or the Republicans have ever had.

To me it seems that the present administration's effective meltdown may be particularly responsible for that. Since Republicans generally don't identify themselves that much with the Bush presidency and the party's thus at a crossroads, no heir-apparent managed to emerge.

So, with weeks left until the Jan 3rd Iowa Caucus, how about going on record on what your predictions on which two candidates will face each other during the general election?

My hunch:

Obama vs. Huckabee

Huckabee? I believe we're already seeing the social conservatives trending towards supporting the second Arkansas governor from Hope running for President.

His strong Ames straw poll showing catapulted him into the limelight and Brownback bowing out of the race meant that he was able to pick up many of the Kansas senator's supporters (since both appealed to a similar demographic). This growing viability is now also helping to lessen Huckabee's greatest vulnerability (of the past): the lack of campaign funds.

This social conservatism is paired with a fair measure of economic populism (incidentally much as the term "liberal" one we Europeans understand quite differently). In today's precarious economic and social climate in the US, such a message has significantly greater appeal, I believe, than for much of the past decade or two.

Top that off with Huckabee's folksiness and affability (helping him to do well in the debates). The Reagan factor, one might say, the Republicans are always after. Now that he's become viable enough for many otherwise hesitant now giving him a serious look, I think that's a winning combination.

He's rocketing in the Iowa polls and I think it's fair to saw that he'll surpass Romney's ad-driven campaign before Christmas. I predict this will ensure an Iowa Caucus victory. He has already shown a strong organizational ability in Ames and the money he's now getting will certainly boost this further. With the massive momentum a win from behind will give him, he ought to do well in New Hampshire - though not enough to outright win that primary.

By the time we get to South Carolina, I expect other candidates vying for the social conservative vote to have lost much of their support (e.g. Fred Thompson). This will benefit Huckabee. I see the Feb 5th then being a Huckabee vs. Giuliani contest.

What about the Democrats?

Well, a bit of wishful thinking may be going on here. But I think the anti-Hillary candidate who will do better than his rival for that "title" in Iowa, will see a lot of support from the other and the lesser candidates converging in his camp. I think Obama's better positioned than Edwards to become this one candidate. Though it could go either way.

That said, this candidate really has to win Iowa. If Hillary wins Iowa, then she'll be plain sailing from then on (like Kerry). New Hampshire's hers to lose, after all. And winning those two early states almost guarantees victory.

In the end, my belief in one candidate pulling past Clinton in Iowa is based on my view that voters will finally realise how flawed her candidacy, her claims to experience and her endorsement-driven campaign happens to be.

Guess I could elaborate further on my (as yet?) rather unconventional predictions. What are yours?

Oh, and for those really advanced political junkies, what do you believe your picks' running-mates will be?
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Too obvious. It was a done deal as soon as the candidates declared.

Clinton-Osama, err I mean Obama, let's call the whole thing off
vs.
Guilliani-Thompson

If this was a street-fight, my money would be on Thompson. Gods, how I wish it a street-fight.
 
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Quote:
Clinton-Osama, err I mean Obama


Dude, you're smarter than that. Don't sink to that level.
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pwn3d wrote:
Clinton Vs Giuliani, Unfortunately


I can see the Clinton part, much as it dismays me. But I'm really confident Giuliani won't make it. Joe Biden's joke about his sentences containing a noun, a verb and "9/11" was right on the mark... The guy has simply too much political and personal baggage. He's going to sink because of it. Just look at his crony Kerik's trial...
 
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berserkley wrote:
Quote:
Clinton-Osama, err I mean Obama


Dude, you're smarter than that. Don't sink to that level.


Yeah Tim... and you'd have to go many leagues lower to even approach the low levels the Bush-Hater crowd on BGG has sunk to.
 
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Is it too late to get a Thompson-Rumsfeld ticket?
That would kick ass. Major ass.
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berserkley wrote:
Quote:
Clinton-Osama, err I mean Obama


Dude, you're smarter than that. Don't sink to that level.


Sorry I could not help myself. I gotta go on the DemocraticUnderground and post that. It will have in more of a tizzy than the whole thing that happened, ahem, elsewhere on the Net.

This is the first deliberate troll post I recall making. But then again, I would do the truly stupid if I thought that it was funny.
 
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I'll have to go with
Clinton-Richardson
v
Guilliani-Thompson

The winner will be Guilliani, unless the Democrat is anyone other than Clinton, then the Democrat will win. Yep the Democrats are going to shoot themselves in the foot and drive off all the moderates by putting up Clinton.
 
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charlesf wrote:
Joe Biden's joke about his sentences containing a noun, a verb and "9/11" was right on the mark...
Well if that's a disqualifying attribute then all Republicans would be out of the race.
My money's on Clinton-Giuliani.
 
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The problem with US elections is that they almost always come down to the evil of two lessers.
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So, just a straw poll, where are the Clinton supporters? I can never find any and yet she continues to be doing so well...
 
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howeman wrote:
So, just a straw poll, where are the Clinton supporters? I can never find any and yet she continues to be doing so well...

It's all about ad money and name recognition. Our whole system of voting is based on encouraging the most uninformed to cast a ballot. When the uninformed vote they do so based on money, familiarity, and on a single issue (Iraq, immigration, personality, or economics). The vast majority go up the day of the vote, listen to the pundit briefly and cast the vote the same way their parents would have.

That is why we didn't get better candidates like Bradley v McCain in 2000. The two most familiar are Clinton v Guiliani.
 
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I would support a McCain-Bradley ticket. Or a Bradley-McCain one. Those would be both excellent choices. But my evil of two lessers comment seems to be the rule (or ruler) rather than the exception.
 
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Cross_ wrote:
charlesf wrote:
Joe Biden's joke about his sentences containing a noun, a verb and "9/11" was right on the mark...
Well if that's a disqualifying attribute then all Republicans would be out of the race.
My money's on Clinton-Giuliani.


So is their money, Cross_. So is their money. And a whole mess of it too.
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Koldfoot wrote:
I'm not convinced that Guilani won't get the Republican nod. But I am fairly certain the Republican party is not going to choose a pro-abortion, pro-civil-union, gun-seller prosecuting, multiple high profile divorce, liberal leaning mayor of NYC who can only run on two issues: Tough on terror and tough on crime.

Don't have any GG to spare (I think 77 cents), but see my comment above about people casting their vote on a single issue. Sadly there are enough deluded people who think that the US military and greedy semi-corrupt contractors alone are capable of turning Iraq into a modern civilized nation. None of the front runners have a real solution to the problem that involves international support or enough domestic support. Guiliani's talk on international issues, while actually hollow does appear to the average American to be tough on terror.
 
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Koldfoot wrote:
mtagge wrote:

Don't have any GG to spare (I think 77 cents), but see my comment above about people casting their vote on a single issue.
Single issue? I listed a half dozen all of which are issues in Republican circles.

It is too easy to dismiss people with whom you disagree as single issue automatons.



I guess I am an automaton as well. I would vote for whatever candidate was the most non-imperialist at this point. Since I am in the Foreign Service it is the most important issue to me, and one that Presidents are typically bumbling idiots at.

Since I rarely agree with 50% of any given candidates views and platforms I have to pick whatever issue I feel is the most important and go with that party. In the past fiscal issues have caused me to vote Republican, but since they dropped the ball big time and GW in particular rams his religion down our throat I can't see myself voting Republican this time around.
 
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howeman wrote:
So, just a straw poll, where are the Clinton supporters? I can never find any and yet she continues to be doing so well...
You won't find them amongst people interested in politics. For the right she's "Hitlary", for the left she's a neo-con in liberal's clothing. That only leaves the middle of the road people who vote based on name & looks.
 
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Cross_ wrote:
howeman wrote:
So, just a straw poll, where are the Clinton supporters? I can never find any and yet she continues to be doing so well...
You won't find them amongst people interested in politics. For the right she's "Hitlary", for the left she's a neo-con in liberal's clothing. That only leaves the middle of the road people who vote based on name & looks.


If it came down to name and looks, Hillary has neither.



(To explain the first part of that, she carries too much of Bubba's baggage. Lots of feminists have a hard time swallowing her actions in his indiscretions, though they do so nonetheless -- they see it as their best only chance.)
 
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Drew1365 wrote:
mtagge wrote:
. . . GW in particular rams his religion down our throat . . .


I hear this a lot but I see little evidence of it. Clinton talked about his faith more often than the President ever did. Granted, Clinton was probably trying too hard to convince . . .

Rather, I'd say that the press rams Bush's religion down our throats quite often. But Bush himself seems to keep a low profile about it. (Either that or I just tune him out, . . . which is a distinct possibility. The man can't hold my attention.)

I guess my perspective as a federal employee who (what little I am in the United States) lives in metro-DC is a little different. Alaska and Wisconsin are less similar to Washington DC than many European countries are to each other. I would dare say that the US isn't as homogenious as you make it out to be. Even though in Arizona and New Mexico international relationships mean that we can bully Mexico, that is not what it means to the rest of the world. Just because you can't feel the ripples out where you live doesn't mean a stone wasn't thrown in the pond.

I don't think things shut down for a couple hours where you lived for national prayer day. That didn't happen under Clinton.
 
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Koldfoot wrote:
My advice?

Pick another issue.

Koldfoot,

Getting back to the point, is there a candidate that you share > 75% of views with and if so which one? And then what issues do you think that candidate is wrong about. I find it hard to believe that anyone can agree 100% with any candidate (even sometimes themselves). We have to pick what issues we think are the most important. If I couldn't do that I couldn't bring myself to vote for anyone who has ever run for prez.
 
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I do not fear women. I love being in the company of strong-willed women and have been all my life, many with either financial or political power. My dislike of her goes to her willingness to do and say anything to get what she wants. She is dishonest in everything she does. She likely wakes each morning with a new lie to tell. When someone confronts her, well they are attacking her for being a woman.

At least she has a pair, unlike John Edwards (easily the weakest woman in the race).

I think there are better women who could be president. Elizabeth Dole is a smart honest woman. I would vote for her in a heartbeat.

Your defense of Hillary is an odd plea: elect her because she is a woman; elect her for the sake of posterity; elect her to face and erase your own masculine evil; remove your testicles and elect her. These pleas our both forms of grovelling and insults in their own right.

That being said, she will not win. Her best chance to run came in '04, when her ally, McAullife, controlled the Party's pursestrings. Since Dean and his crazed supporters took over the Machine they have made it an open secret that they would do everything in their power to stop her; as have the scions of the Far Left Blogosphere. Many are still sore at both Hillary and Bill for what they did to Gore in '00, which to most people outside this select circle got lost in whole "hanging Chad" mess. But their memory and want for blood has not yet been sated. They will take dear Hillary to the woodshed to extract the blood price they believe is due.

All this will change if momentum swings to her side, and they are forced to triangulate to her side in order to try and change her to be their puppet. But if she appeals to them to win, she loses the rest of the country.

The electorate is still: 30% Conservative, 20% Liberal, 50% Moderate (though most of those leaning toward Conservatism, and more afraid of the Far Left than the Far Right). So good luck with trying to get the Last Best Chance of All (Wo)Mynkind to become Chief Executive of the greatest nation in the world.
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nextinline wrote:
I think electing a woman for president will be historically significant, especially for girls and women.
I agree that it would be nice to have a woman as president for a change. I strongly disagree with Hillary being the right woman for the job though. She is just too much part of the establishment and changes her stance on issues depending on the audience, currently exhibiting too much of a conservative attitude. Aside from sex, why would you prefer Hillary over Giuliani ?
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Bill & Hillary vis-a-vis Gore:

When they installed MacAullife (sp?) as the head of the Party, much too much of the money raised for use in the national elections of '00 was directed toward the Hill's New York Senate campaign. Money that would have made a significant difference in Gore's efforts to secure the White House.

Those in the know, Dick Morris and a few others in the know pointed out that Terry Mac and the Clintons had reached an understanding. They would work against Gore in some subtle (and oft not-so-subtle) ways that would hopefully, for them, make him lose his White House bid. Then Hill would run for President while Bill still enjoyed a wave of popularity, with T-Mac still holding the pursestrings; they were counting on a Republican who would become unelectable in '04 by using the same tactics Bill used on his foes to savage the Repub prez. Gore was pissed at them over this whole thing and still is to this day.

What the Dynamic Duo did not count on was: 1) 9-11 bolstering Bush's standing, which was when they decided to postpone her White House run; 2) Dean's rise and that of the Far Left Blogosphere, which took the Party away from T-Mac and the Clinton faction.

A lot of this behind-the-scenes skullduggery never made the airwaves, though I worked with and was on excellent terms with a guy who was the brother-in-law of a popular national pundit. They said they would not touch this story, even though the pundit was a conservative.


What I want to know is where are the people of courage in both parties? Men like JFK and Goldwater? The people you would not feel dirty about pulling the lever for.

Happily, a friend of ours, who happens to be a gamer (and an RPGer) could one day become the next JFK. He has the right connections, the money, and is respected by both sides. Soon he should be running for Congress, though, unfortunately not in my state. If he can come out of the street-fight that is the Democratic Party and retain his moderate stance he will make a superb president.
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The OP has it right, I think: Obama/Huckabee, though I'm more sure about the Republican side than the Democratic. There was no way, even before the latest revelations about Giuliani's monetary issues that he was going to get the Republican nod, and I don't care how far ahead in the polls he is nationally. The important thing is not national polls, but where he ranks with the base, which is who's going to bother to come out to vote in primaries or sit in on caucuses. Giuliani is third in Iowa (behind Romney and Huckabee). He's second in New Hampshire but is currently behind Romney by about 13%. No one's running away with it in South Carolina, and Huckabee's gaining there. Romney is probably not going to survive too much picking at. While I don't endorse this, his religion is going to hurt him in Iowa and in some other places; his flip-flopping on such issues as abortion is going to prove fatal, ultimately. Thompson was a chimera. So you're pretty much left with Huckabee, whom I don't cotton to personally but who I think has the best chance of winning in '08. McCain's pretty much out as a candidate. As good a candidate as Huckabee is turning out to be, I think it's as much the weakness of the supposed upper-tier candidates as it is Huckabee's strengths that are going to get this for him. The YouTube debate made Huckabee look good and Romney and Giuliani bad. I think the more people see Huckabee, the better he'll wear. He's got problems, too, but I think he's far more acceptable to the base than any other candidate, and, again, that's who determines the nominee.

On the Democratic side, Hillary's lead has disappeared in Iowa--she's in a statistical tie with Obama. She's going to be tough to beat elsewhere--Obama would pretty much have to win Iowa to get a major boost into New Hampshire, which is only days away. Hillary's a tough campaigner and has a good organization; Obama's got some money but hasn't really found a good, consistent message. (His "Hope" yard signs, which I see some of where I live, are, frankly, terrible.) Still, although I think Hillary's run a very good campaign so far, she's still not the base's idea of a great or even good candidate. Whoever said she was a neocon in liberal's clothing had it half right--the liberals think she's a neocon but they *know* she's not a liberal. (Liberalism has truly eroded in this country if a center-right Democrat like Hillary is considered a liberal. That's how far rightward we've moved since the '70s.) So I'll go out on a limb and suggest that people are still largely up in the air on Hillary, leaving her support soft, and they'll go looking for someone else.
 
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Osiris Ra wrote:
Bill & Hillary vis-a-vis Gore:

When they installed MacAullife (sp?) as the head of the Party, much too much of the money raised for use in the national elections of '00 was directed toward the Hill's New York Senate campaign. Money that would have made a significant difference in Gore's efforts to secure the White House.

Those in the know, Dick Morris and a few others in the know pointed out that Terry Mac and the Clintons had reached an understanding. They would work against Gore in some subtle (and oft not-so-subtle) ways that would hopefully, for them, make him lose his White House bid. Then Hill would run for President while Bill still enjoyed a wave of popularity, with T-Mac still holding the pursestrings; they were counting on a Republican who would become unelectable in '04 by using the same tactics Bill used on his foes to savage the Repub prez. Gore was pissed at them over this whole thing and still is to this day.

What the Dynamic Duo did not count on was: 1) 9-11 bolstering Bush's standing, which was when they decided to postpone her White House run; 2) Dean's rise and that of the Far Left Blogosphere, which took the Party away from T-Mac and the Clinton faction.

A lot of this behind-the-scenes skullduggery never made the airwaves, though I worked with and was on excellent terms with a guy who was the brother-in-law of a popular national pundit. They said they would not touch this story, even though the pundit was a conservative.


Except none of this is or was a secret, and one reason it wasn't a story is because people on average can barely be made to care about critical national issues, let alone complicated infighting within the upper reaches of political parties. Hillary's ambition has been quite apparent for a long time.
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