Presidential Rundown

This weekend, Senator Hillary Clinton, D-NY, officially added her name to the ever-growing list of possible presidential nominees. All of the major news organizations are clamoring over who will get to be president in 2008.

These past elections have shown that Americans want change; they are in need of a new government, a competent government. Additionally, President George W. Bush is a man who has taken Americans off the main path of success with the massive deficit and recent proposal to add more troops into Iraq.

Yet, the Democrats and the media should not think that the 2008 presidential election would be a slam-dunk for Democrats. The Democrats have been in Congress less than three months and if President Bush and the Republicans have taught political pundits anything, it is that they should not try to predict the future.

The Democratic Congress has much to prove in these next two years; many in the media think of these as a dress rehearsal for the presidential candidates. For the senators who will want to win the nomination, their votes in Congress will be more indicative of their views on certain issues, than the speeches that they give at their photo-op fundraisers.

The media so far has spread the idea that the 2008 Presidential election is only between Clinton and Barack Obama, while they have greatly ignored the Republican candidates who can mount formidable campaigns against the favored Democrats. John McCain is the likely front-runner in the Republican race. The senator from Arizona has the distinction of still supporting the president’s involvement in the war in Iraq. Therein lies his weakness; if the situation in Iraq becomes dire, more than it already has, this could cost him the nominee bid.

On the other end of the Iraq debate is Senator Sam Brownback from Kansas who opposes Bush’s recent proposal for an American troop surge in Iraq. Brownback also differs from his Republican peers in that he is a staunch conservative and a polarizing figure in the political scene. Brownback is the anti-democrat who is firmly against abortion, against tax increases and in favor of the second amendment. However, while Brownback may get major support in the Bible Belt, he may be too conservative for the Southwestern states and can forget getting support form the North East. Brownback is the long shot for the presidential race, since many people are in the ideological center, and even Evangelicals voted for Democrats in the past midterm elections.

Rudy Giuliani, the former celebrated New York Mayor, is the libertarians’ choice for the Republican Party. He is pro-choice, in favor of gay-rights, and gun control. However, Giuliani is still riding the wave of “America’s Mayor” and is therefore a plausible candidate next to McCain and more appealing than Brownback.

In the ideological center is Mitt Romney, the former governor of Massachusetts, he has a liberal stance on immigration; he believes in providing ways for the 11 million immigrants in this country to receive eventual citizenship. Romney also initiated the largest health care coverage in any state in 2005, when he unveiled a massive health care plan that included health insurance for the working uninsured. In Massachusetts, Romney accomplished this by forcing uninsured people into one of two new insurance pools, one of which would be subsidized for lower-income residents.

These men, among others, represent the challenge for the Democrats in 2008. It would be foolhardy (and a repeat of the 2006 elections) for the Democrats, and the media, to cast the minority party aside, believing that they have complete control of the success in their political careers.