Some may argue the race for 2008 started a while back, when you consider the list of Republicans and Democrats that were touring the country helping party members up and down tickets. Clinton. McCain. Obama. Giuliani. Edwards. Romney. The parade of those who would be king, will only get longer and longer.
There are a number of implications on the next presidential race, and this is just a very very very very very cursory overview of some of them.
First, a Democratic controlled Congress is a problem for potential Democratic nominees. The Democrats won this year because they were able to bring national issues to local races. Those same national issues will be softened given the fact that Democrats will share the ‘blame’ for these races with President Bush.
Second, consider the statwide races in key states: Florida, Ohio, Arizona, Pennsylvania, Missouri, Virginia, etc. In some states, the red ones grew redder and blue ones grew bluer; while in other states, they hue became more purple. This will make for an interesting electoral map for both parties in 2008. Dean’s 50 state campaign enabled the Democrats to take the fight to the Republicans, but the same won’t be true for a presidential contest. Instead, expect significant efforts by both parties in the same states as 2004 and 2000. (This subject will need further analysis).
Next, the careers of some potential candidates are no on the brink. George Allen threw his chance out the window with a “Macaca” moment. Rick Santorum was wiped off the map. John Kerry followed his botched 2004 campaign with a botched 2006 joke.
So the “Oh Eight Watch” can start. We will be distracted for a while with the Virginia Senate race, the holiday season, the take over in January, and the State of the Union address. However, the potential candidates will be building their teams. (Guiliani was on the radio last night saying that anyone who wants to run for President really needs to have a team togther by February or March).
We just need Paul Tagliabue to announce, Hillary Clinton or John McCain… “Is now on the clock.”