Everyone is already handicapping the Presidential race for 2008. Some of the bloggers at PoliPundit
have already given their predictions. So let me join in and go over who might run for the Republican nomination.
First of all, I would love to amend the US Constitution to allow President Bush to run for a 3rd term. I would heartily support that. I am very proud of this President.
However, I would not support amending the Constitution to allow Arnold Schwarzenegger to run for President. I am a Californian, and I believe he has done a decent enough job as Governor thus far. But he's just not conservative enough for my tastes.
Likewise, if Rudy Giuliani runs, he would not be my first choice. Ultimately I would support him if he became the nominee and that is a good possibility. His credentials in handling the war on terror would be strong. But I would really love to see him run against Hillary Clinton for NY Senator in 2006. Rudy would beat her decisively and that would be a thrill.
I would not be thrilled with a John McCain candidacy. The media calls him a "maverick." I just don't think he is a team player. His McCain-Feingold campaign finance reform was a joke. I am hoping he won't seek the nomination.
The President's brother Jeb has said he will not seek the nomination in 2008. And that's too bad. I could see myself supporting him. On the other hand, he would make a strong Vice Presidential candidate on the Republican ticket. He has been an effective Governor of Florida, a key swing state.
Another governor of a key swing state is Minnesota's Tim Pawlenty. He is one of the few Republicans to win big elections in this notoriously blue state. The conservative faction in Minnesota seems pleased with him and if he ran, Minnesota might finally turn red. I think he's a strong contender but needs to build up some name recognition on the national stage.
Senator George Allen of Virginia is another possibility. But it is very difficult for Senators to become President. Allen had a great year as head of the Republican Senate campaigns, picking up a number of seats and boosting the GOPs margin. And he has a famous father so there is a name recognition factor. I think he is a longshot, but might also be a strong VP entry.
Senator Bill Frist of Tennessee faces the same challenge that Senator Allen does. A senatorial voting record is always an impediment to becoming President because there are so many votes that can be held against you. And as Majority Leader he faces an uphill battle controlling the Senate, especially in terms of pushing the President's judicial appointments through. So far I think he has been weak standing up to the Democratic filibusters (or threats thereof). But maybe with Tom Daschle gone, Frist will have better success. I like that he is conservative, but I fear he is not charismatic enough to be US President.
Rick Santorum of Pennsylvania is another conservative Senator I admire. But I fear he is too conservative. The Democrats and the media have already demonized him and that can be hard to overcome. Sure, President Bush did it. But George W. Bush is astonishing in his resolve and fortitude. I am not sure many other men could endure all of the hatred and persecution he has. I don't know if Rick is up to the task.
Ultimately, I think Giuliani will probably get the nod. And he may pick a strong conservative to be his running mate to offset his more moderate stands on social issues. Maybe a Giuliani-Santorum ticket. I could support that. Although I am praying for a more conservative nominee on the top of the ticket.