December 5, 2006 [LINK / comment]

Potential candidates get ready

Wasting no time after the midterm elections, several of the likely 2008 presidential candidates have begun preliminary steps toward forming a campaign organization. Many Democrats have recently been going ga-ga over Barack Obama, but he simply does not have the national-level political experience that is needed to win a primary campaign, much less a fall campaign. A pretty face and smooth oratory will only take you so far in the rough and tumble world of politics. Hillary Clinton had been expecting to be in the comfortable position of being able to choose whether or not to run, under the assumption that the nomination would be hers for the asking. Well, perhaps not.

On the Republican side, Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback has formed an exploratory campaign group, as reported by the Washington Post. He seems to be the champion of "movement" conservatives who prioritize social issues above all else. You know, the ones who forgot that conservatism used to be associated with limited government power. One campaign adviser, Matt Keelan, opined that Brownback would be "compassionate conservativism on steroids." Oh-oh... FWIW, here's how I would rank the likely GOP candidates:

  1. Newt Gingrich
  2. Mitt Romney
  3. Duncan Hunter
  4. John McCain
  5. Rudy Giuliani
  6. Mike Huckabee
  7. Sam Brownback

That's a hard list to draw up, because -- based on what I know right now -- I'm not particularly enthusiastic about any of the candidates other than Newt. I would just as soon they keep campaign activities to a minimum until 2008, to avoid premature burnout.