Election 2008 Update

I figure I’ll periodically update with the inevitable adjustments to my presidential picks as things appear to change.

So far, my “Mike Huckabee #1″ pick for the Republican Party isn’t bearing any fruit, though there’s obviously still plenty of time. I’ll continue to insist that primary voters would fall in love with him if he was given enough exposure. I am beginning to wonder if it’s really president he’s running for, though.

Mitt Romney, my #2 pick, is already launching campaign ads– now this is a man who’s serious about being president. The Mormon issue is still getting a lot of attention, and it will continue to throughout the next 20 months (yes, we’ve got that much more of this left to look forward to). But Mitt’s already charming the media and seems to be getting more coverage lately than the alleged “leaders” (Giuliani and McCain) combined.

Speaking of the favored candidates, Giuliani has grabbed much of McCain’s lead in the polls since he officially announced. You can count on Rudy’s issues with social conservatives to boil up to the top of the public discussion very soon, but I’m obviously dead wrong in thinking Rudy’s only the fifth most likely contender.

And as for McCain, well, he’s faltering early. He could surge back, but right now things just aren’t trending his way.

So if I had to guess the 2008 GOP ticket today, I’d say we’re going to see Romney/Huckabee. Yes, Mike Huckabee has got to be the VP choice for any of the other guys, and he balances Romney geographically while solidifying his cred with religious conservatives. That’s one hell of a strong ticket. After Romney, Giuliani appears next most likely to win, followed by McCain. No one else is probably going to matter.

So what of the Democrats? I’m still hopeful for John Edwards — the guy could have so much going for him. He’s made some gaffes though — in particular, he hasn’t effectively dealt with the anti-Catholic bloggers on the payroll story. It may be silly, but Fox would like nothing more than to be able to use it to somehow define his candidacy. Edwards needs a more firm, vocal presence, and fast, if he wants to keep up a lead in Iowa and among the netroots he’s been courting.

Barack Obama is the new Hollywood favorite, but he still isn’t showing enough substance to transcend his rock star persona. Despite being the best orator of his group, I think when we get to the debates voters will start feeling like the emperor has no clothes (or experience). Happy to be proved wrong about this one, though.

So, Hillary? Yes, it’s probably Hillary. I prefer either Edwards or Obama, but she is, as I’ve said before, the default. I don’t think anyone can gain enough momentum to surpass her, which is unfortunate. I don’t have much sense as to who will be her running mate — Wesley Clark is definitely possible, or perhaps we’ll see a governor from a key swing state (Mark Warner, Tom Vilsack, Bill Richardson).

And what would the results be of Romney/Huckabee versus Clinton/Clark in 2008? I’d be surprised if that Dem ticket carried more than Mondale did in 1984.

But cheer up kids, it’s only February ’07!

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