Auros (auros) wrote,

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I hereby nominate...

Yes, it's still way early to talk about the presidential contest in '08, but oh well. I've gotten fed up with Hillary coverage. She is not a good candidate. Sure, she has name recognition, but a lot of that is from people who, fairly or not, hate her. And a good bit of the dislike is fair, since unlike her husband, she seems incapable of taking a position without making it look calculated, whether or not it is. I'm pissed at her (and Diane Feinstein) about supporting the flag-burning amendment. (Hillary is also, incidentally, disliked by a number of Clinton administration policy wonks.)

So, here are my own recommendations. Our nominee for president should be either Mark Warner or Phil Bredesen. Our nominee for VP should be either Bill Richardson or Janet Napolitano. All are governors; govs have a track record of doing better in presidential runs than Senators, partly because they can point to executive experience, and partly because being a legislator tends to give you a record that can be mined for stuff like apparent inconsistencies (he voted for X before he voted against it! never mind that the vote against was because it changed between the two votes).

GovernorStateRecent Approval RatingsPossible Novel Benefits
WarnerVirginiaProbably in the mid 60s, sometimes as high as 80%Has a record of defusing the GOP's "values" issues, and winning over center voters to supporting progressive policies. VA is a big prize, in terms of electoral votes, were Warner to carry it.
BredesenTennesseeRecently fallen to the low 50s, probably because of cuts to TN's healthcare aid program. But it's been as high as 72%, and one would expect a lot of the harm from cuts to healthcare would be among liberals, who aren't exactly going to defect to the GOP...More "southern" than Warner, in terms of his personality, accent, and state of residence; might peel off Missouri, maybe even Arkansas. Also, he's a crack shot and sportsman -- he challenged his opponent in the last election to a skeet shooting contest; his opponent didn't even show up, which is believed to have hurt him with NRA types.
RichardsonNew Mexico64%, up from the low-50s a few months ago.He's half hispanic (Mexican mother), and he's from the southwest. NM went for Gore in '00. NM, AZ, CO, and NV were all quite close in '04, and CO has more Hispanics than you might expect -- they just elected a Hispanic Democratic Senator, who is the brother of one of their most popular House Reps.
NapolitanoArizonaPossibly as high as 70%; SurveyUSA, which is a GOP-run polling operation, says 64%. (I linked to them in the heading of this column, because they have a regular 50-state poll tracking governors' approval. Their results probably tilt right, because of their methodology, so just move a point or three from disapprove to approve in the D rows, and vice versa in the R rows.)Female. Southwestern. Has presided over a massive expansion of the AZ economy, as Phoenix has turned into a center of technological development and turned into a desirable place to live. (Not that I'd personally want to -- too hot! -- but it is a nice place to visit. Lots of cool public art, and the cultural institutions -- opera and the like -- are good and growing.)

I really think the combination of a southern governor, to make the Rs at least sweat about (and spend money on) holding onto the "solid south", and a southwestern governor (to push for a wholesale conversion of the Sun Belt into blue territory) is not only a good strategy, but a flamingly obvious one. It is utterly beyond comprehension that the newspapers, magazines, and TV shows are still debating Hillary. She should be a footnote. We should be establishing national name-recognition for these four people over the course of the next year, and figuring out exactly which pair to run in '07, so that we get to use the primary the way the GOP does -- as a formality that lets the chosen candidate raise twice as much money. :-P

Cynical? Yes. But, I suspect it would be effective, and I do sincerely believe any of these people would be good for the country -- if nothing else, they at least are people who would govern based on a reading of reality, rather than ideological fantasy. Any of the four combinations would be tough to beat, unless John McCain miraculously gets through the GOP primary, in which case we're probably dead no matter who we put up. (If McCain looks like he's going to win, then maybe we should nominate Hillary, so she can lose once and be discarded, like Kerry or Lieberman.)


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