Potential '08 Candidates?
1.) John Edwards - Former Senator from North Carolina, Former VP Candidate - A lot of people here seem to really like him. I think he's a terrible candidate and given that he'll be out of the spotlight for the next four years I don't think he has a chance. He's not even the best choice from North Carolina.
2.) Mike Easley - Governor of North Carolina - I'm not a big fan of running Senators for Presient as there are just too many votes for them to attack. Easley won in 2000 with the state in the midst of a financial disaster. He has largely fixed that and become a solid governor. He has created bipartisan appeal and won re-election by a large margin in a Republican state. A big favorite of mine.
3.) Al Gore - Former VP, Former Senator - This name keeps getting floated but I just don't like it. It would turn any election in '08 into a contest between the Clinton White House and the Bush regime. Just don't think that's an intelligent choice.
4.) Hilary Clinton - Former First Lady, Senator from NY - She would be the front-runner right now. In for a tough fight in '06 as the Republicans will undoubtably take a heavy run at her. She would invoke great rage amongst the far right that hated her husband. Would be a similar race to a Gore cadidacy in that it would be Bill Clinton vs George W. Bush through surrogates. As of yet she has not made an impression in the Senate, she must do so over the next four years if she is going to win. With Pataki interested in running for the Republicans there is the possiblity of an all New York race.
5.) Howard Dean - Former Governor of Vermont - Dean has a lot of support amongst young Democrats. Dean got people interested in the process like no other candidate during the primaries. He also has the advantage of being a Governor and not a Senator. Question is how he will stay in the public eye over the next four years. One Vermont Senate seat is up for election in '06 and it's currently held by (I) Jim Jeffords so Dean could conceivably run for it. Question at this point is how much does Dean want to be President at this point?
6.) Kathleen Sebeilius - Governor of Kansas - First elected in 2002, Sebeilius has the advantage of being a woman, being from he South and being a Governor. However, she doesn't have much sway in the party right now. Given that the feminist vote is likely to go for Hilary, Seilius is a long shot. However, she has the opportunity to make a name for herself in '06. Should she do significantly better than Hilary in their re-election bids then she could eclipse her more famous northern competitor.
7.) Janet Napolitano - Governor of Arizona - Essentially the same situation as Kathleen Sebeilius. She has the advantage of coming from a slightly more Democratic leaning state and she is extremely popular in the state.
8.) Tom Vilsack - Governor of Iowa - A major player in '08, Vilsack is the popular governor and a swing state. He campaigned heavily for Kerry in '04 but was unable to deliver Iowa for the Democrats. Chair of the Democratic Governors Association. First elected in 1998, up for re-election in 2006. If Iowa is at the front of the primary schedule again it will play into his hands.
9.) Mark Warner - Governor of Virginia - While he would initially appear to be a major player in '08, Warner is subject to a term limit and cannot run again. He will cease to be governor of Virginia in '05. He could, conceivably, run for Senate in '06 against Republican George Allen. A victory in that race might make him a front-runner in the '08 nomination battle.
Those 9 would appear to be the most likely individuals to consider at run in '08. Of course, there will almost certainly be others coming out of the woodwork. From that list I really like Easley and Warner. If Warner were to run for Senate in '06 he would be in a strong position to run for President. Easley is not, technically, bound by North Carolina's term limit for governors but he is likely to pay heed to it. A southern candidate would also be huge as no candidate from the North has won since the dawn of time.