I have already indicated that my favorite among the candidates for the 2008 Presidential election is Rudy Giuliani. But what about the others?
John McCain seemed at first to be the likely GOP nominee. But he's fallen victim to the problem that he had been all things to all people. He had a lot of support from independents and Democrats who had mistakenly thought he was less conservative than the typical Republican -- not being familiar with his record. And when he became more hawkish than even President Bush, that lost him most of the support he had from those independents and Democrats. Meanwhile, his positions on campaign financing and immigration kept him from getting support from the Republican right wing. So he had neither the left nor the right, and his campaign seems to be spent. In a sense, that's a shame; I like a lot about McCain, but really, one fewer serious rival to Giuliani is probably good for my own wishes.
Mitt Romney, like Giuliani, has going for him the fact that he can win in liberal areas, a good thing for a Republican candidate. But unlike Giuliani, he seems to feel he has to recapture the right and thus disavow all his previous positions where they are not sufficiently right-wing for them. Giuliani has not reversed himself on anything; he just has felt it necessary to show where he is truly conservative, and has made these issues salient. I think that (unlike his father, who I eagerly supported for President several election cycles ago) Mitt Romney is someone who can't totally be trusted politically. I'll support him if he gets nominated to run against Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, but without a lot of enthusiasm.
None of the other Republicans has a chance. Fred Thompson seems to be the current choice of the Religious Right, which makes me doubt him, but he doesn't really have all that much support (and, while he has more experience than Barack Obama, it isn't very much!) Ron Paul brings a lot of libertarian fresh air to the House of Representatives, but he's too dogmatically extreme in his libertarianism to be President, and I think most Republicans know this. Brownback, Tancredo, Hunter, and the like are not names most people recognize, and that even the extreme religious Right has abandoned Brownback (one of their own!) for Thompson makes it clear that none of them has a chance.
On the Democratic side, there are two serious candidates, Obama and Hillary Clinton. Both try to talk like centrists, but their votes have been extremely left-wing in the Senate. No way I could support either of them. And none of the other Democrats has any more chance of getting the Democratic nomination than Tom Tancredo on the Republican side, so there's no sense even discussing them.
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