Here we are nine months before the first Presidential primaries and ten before the Super Tuesday Primaries on February 5, 2008 and Presidential politics is dominating much of the news. There have already been two, "debates" with another just around the corner and as many of you may have noticed the reaction so far in very much , "ho hum, " by the voters in regards to the candidates.
From the Democrat side you have the daily wrangling of Hillary and Obama
with an occasional John Edwards sound bite thrown in for good measure. After that everyone else is pretty much forgettable
. As this article is dealing with the GOP candidates I'm not even going to get into this battle except to say that neither candidate in spite
of their rhetoric to the contrary actually excites the average voter. Hillary is scary and says whatever she thinks necessary to gain a vote and Obama
is really an unknown whose , "rock star, " status comes from being different as far as Democrat politics is concerned though his record, what little there is of it, is a typical liberal. Edwards.... well
he's Edwards with the $400.00 hair cuts!
From the GOP stand point the fact that an unannounced contender, namely former Tennessee Senator Fred Thompson creates far more excitement than the announced candidates leaves much to be said about the current GOP field. Thompson has created quite a stir as he contemplates an 08 run with his charisma, name recognition, ( after all he does have the advantage of being on TV every week and in reruns), a strong record in the Senate, the fact that try as they may no one has found any, "dirt, " on him and who else shows up for an interview
to the tune of the," Law and Order," theme song! This writer likes what he sees and hears from Thompson and waits patiently
for his announcement.
So the question arises, "why does the GOP field not generate much interest with Republican or any other voter for that matter ?" Part of the , "ho hum," attitude
is due to the fact that we are only a few months removed from the 2006 election and before we had a chance to take a breath after that circus everybody and his brother was announcing a run for President.
This early run is largely
caused by the massive amounts of money a candidate is forced to raise in order to mount a Presidential run especially a serious and successful one. Additionally next year the primary races have moved up dramatically. In past Presidential years New Hampshire came in late January followed by the Iowa Caucus and then the South Carolina Primary in early February.
Following this start there were scattered primaries all the way through to the big Kahuna
in June, the California Primary. Now because of all the states holding primaries after South Carolina feeling left out in the cold in selecting a nominee, nearly every State has moved their Primary to February 5, 2008 making the selection of the nominee coming very early in the Presidential election year.
Now officially the nominees will not be crowned until the Conventions but because of the large number of early primaries they will be known by February 5. So everyone is hustling
to get a quick start and the voters are not responding.
The GOP candidates themselves also are not generating much interest. While Rudi
Giuliani is leading in most polls and there is some interest in him because of his handling of New York City after 9/11 and his strong record as Mayor, he has a lot of personal baggage that has voters questioning him and for the GOP conservative base many of his social stands have them worried.
John McCain, who consistently
runs second to Rudi
, has a considerable reputation with GOP voters and that reputation is not one that is very favorable. He is considered by many as somewhat of a turn coat because of his coming out against the GOP on many issues while in the majority and as such the press jumped onto his band wagon since it made Republicans, "look bad, " as far as the press was concerned. He made a number of enemies in the party with his heading the, "gang of fourteen, " during the Supreme Court vacancy nominations and also the McCain/Feingold
Campaign Finance bill which gave birth to 527's like Move On .org.
Mitt Romney the former Governor of arguably the most liberal State in the Union, Massachusetts consistently
runs third in most polls and is somewhat an unknown by many voters. He looks good, sounds good but has some lingering questions with GOP voters because of where he hails from. While on the surface being a Republican Governor in a very liberal State sounds good , one wonders whether his , "success, " stems from following Republican ideals and policies or because as a Republican he was all to willing to compromise with a Democrat Legislature in his State. His legacy
after he left office did not continue as his successor is a Democrat.
, the GOP Governor of Arkansas is also an unknown who has some conservative
ideas but also some very liberal ones too. Many in the GOP also remember what happened the last time the Governor of Arkansas was elected President and though a Republican it does leave some lingering thoughts. That combined with the fact that he does not stir much excitement in his own State has him showing poorly in the polls.
The true conservatives in the announced field, Sam Brownback
, Duncan Hunter and Tom Tancredo
have great voting records a strong conservative back ground and stance on policy but in facing absolute facts about Presidential runs, none have the backing or the name recognition to win the nomination nor wage a successful campaign against the Democrat nominee. Which is a pity because each of them as conservatives could bring to the party what most Republicans are longing for, a return to Reagan Conservatism.
Then last and least are Tommy Thompson who when he announced his run most said , "who, ' and could not even remember what Cabinet Post he held. It was Health
and Human Services Secretary for those of you who wish to know. And of course good old Ron Paul who makes his second Presidential bid. He ran on the Libertarian
ticket in 1988 against Reagan which was a real lost cause. He then shifted to the GOP and was elected to Congress but his stances are still very much Libertarian
, anti -war and isolationist.
So there you have it the 2008 GOP Presidential Field. The only real advantage that any of them who are announced
right now is that they are not Democrats. But as a whole none of the announced field is offering much to stir the faithful
and the party. The void left in not having an incumbent
either President or Vice President for the first time since Eisenhower ran in 1952 has opened up the flood gates for candidates
. The Democrats are struggling to find a voice who interests the voters and unfortunately
the Republicans are too. To this all I can add in closing is RUN, FRED RUN!