Everyone knows that 2008 is still a long way off. Still, there have been several developments and trends percolating over the last few months that may give an indication of where things stand at the moment. And as we know in modern presidential politics, you can never start running for President too early.
So what do we know?
Kerry hasn’t been sight unseen since his November defeat. In fact, he’s looking more like he will keep his presidential campaign rolling straight on through to the ’08 primaries.
Kerry huddled with his top fund-raisers Monday night in his Georgetown mansion, preparing a massive money push aimed at keeping the defeated presidential nominee's ambitions alive.
“He wants to keep his team together,” said one member of Kerry's national finance team. “He's looking ahead. He will be a strong voice in the party.”
Strategists say Kerry will use his new political action committee, Keeping America's Promise, to promote his agenda, help party causes and keep his army of 2.7 million supporters together.
Gore’s Out, Jeb Bush’s Out (Or is He?)
Reports this week have Gore and Jeb Bush “definitely” out of the ’08 race. But already speculation has it that if the GOP looks to be in trouble at any point (which seems unlikely) a Draft Jeb movement will swiftly be brought to bear (Presidential dynasties be damned).
Hillary Clinton’s Hot… Amongst Dems
A Marist College Institute for Public Opinion Poll has Hill as the choice among Dems with 39%. However, when faced with a hypothetical match-up with Arizona Senator John McCain, HRC loses by a 54-42 margin.
The McCain Express… May Have Trouble Gearing Up
The same poll finds that while McCain looks strong for the general election, hypothetical match-ups give him a harder time against his fellow GOP (potential) rivals.
Although McCain leads Clinton, the poll shows he could have trouble in first sewing up the GOP presidential nomination. That's something McCain failed to do in 2000 when running against then-Texas Gov. George Bush.
When registered Republicans or Republican-leaning independents were asked who they'd choose if the party's primary were held today, McCain trailed former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani 21 percent to 25 percent, but led Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice's 14 percent.
Bill Clinton’s Not Feeling So Hot, But He’s Hot Nonetheless
Bill Clinton will go under the knife once again, this time “to correct a rare, though not especially risky, complication of the heart bypass surgery he had six months ago, doctors say.”
Don’t underestimate the sympathy factor, its effect on washing away Monica-era sins, and more importantly, the role it may play in Hillary Clinton’s presidential aspirations. That, combined, with Bill playing very cozy with the Bushes of late, equals a former President who is still very much on center stage and playing a power role in the ’08 pre-game festivities.
Many of the Republicans who will likely run for President (Bill Frist, Mitch McConnell, Chuck Hagel, John McCain, Bill Owens, etc. etc.) are busy building their resumes during this uniquely GOP-dominated era. Look for signs of presidential machinations soon enough, however.
Top Republicans – % Shot at Nomination – 2008 Prediction
March ’05: 30% (1-05: 33%)
Mega-candidate in the general… but can he get the nomination?
March ’05: 30% (1-05: 25%)
An all New York presidential contest?
March ’05: 10% (1-05: -- )
'Freedom is on the march…' but will Condi lead the pack?
The Five Percent Club
Bill Frist, Mitch McConnell, George Pataki, Mitt Romney
The One Percent Club
Newt Gingrich, Bill Owens, Rick Santorum, George Allen, Chuck Hagel
Top Democrats – % Shot at Nomination – 2008 Prediction
Hillary Rodham Clinton
March ’05: 35% (1-05: 20%)
As strong a lock on a nomination as there can be at this early stage
March ’05: 20% (1-05: 30%)
He’s gearing up even now… needs to write a new chapter in his life
March ’05: 15% (1-05: 25%)
Will have to upgrade from the speech-circuit to stay vital… but there’s time
March ’05: 15% (1-05: --)
Was seen on national morning news shows this week… you think he’s not running?
The Five Percent Club
Mark Warner, Barack Obama
The One Percent Club
Joe Biden, Joe Lieberman, Wesley Clark, Howard Dean