A Look Ahead to 2008 (Part I)Written by Terry Mitchell
Just as everyone has breathed a sigh of relief at end of 2004 presidential campaign, I would like to take a quick look ahead to 2008. Unless George W. Bush is unable to complete his second term, 2008 will bring third open presidential election (no incumbent running) in 20 years. Even though that's still four years into future, campaign will be unofficially getting underway almost immediately. Therefore, many of potential candidates can already be identified and there should be no shortage of them on either side. Today, I will be taking a look at potential Republican candidates. Among them are Arizona Senator John McCain, Tennessee Senator Bill Frist, Florida Governor Jeb Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, Homeland Security Director Tom Ridge, Virginia Senator George Allen, and National Security Advisor Condoleezza Rice. John McCain is probably in best position to capture GOP nomination, should he decide to run. He was beaten by Bush in 2000 primaries, but he has since been one of President's most loyal supporters, despite some differences of opinion. McCain is one of most popular politicians in U.S. and won re-election to his Senate seat last week with more than 70% of vote! Unlike Democrats, Republicans have a history of sometimes awarding their nomination to someone who has waited his "turn." A case in point is Bob Dole, who was rejected in his bids for nomination in 1980 and 1988, only to finally get it in 1996. Bill Frist is a surgeon is who was first elected to Senate during "Republican Revolution" of 1994. He is now majority leader of Senate and should benefit from GOP's pick-up of four additional seats in this election cycle. Frist seems to be well liked by all factions of party. He would probably have inside track to Republican nomination if McCain decides not to run. Jeb Bush would like to continue a streak that Republicans currently have in place. Since 1976, they have featured either a Dole or a Bush on every national ticket. That's eight straight presidential elections! The fact that he was able to help his brother do better than anyone expected in Florida (winning by five percentage points) bodes well for him. That alone should greatly improve his stature within Republican Party. Having family ties to White House won't hurt either. Dick Cheney has said he probably will not run for president (and there are even rumors that he might even resign before end of Bush's second term). If he doesn't run, or if he does run and subsequently fails to get nomination, 2008 election would be first without inclusion of a sitting president or vice president since 1952. However, politicians have been known to change their minds. I still think he might ultimately decide to run. If he does, unlike most sitting vice presidents, he will have an uphill battle for nomination. However, his popularity with far right wing of party would play to his advantage and could ultimately give him edge he would need. There's still a question mark as to how evangelicals within party would react to his support of his gay daughter. Rudy Giuliani rebuilt his image with his handling of 9/11 aftermath. Previously, he had to withdraw from a potential Senate race against Hillary Clinton, because of health problems. That was official line, but most people believed it was because of a nasty divorce and rumors about extramarital affairs. He is now a very popular politician, but whether he is conservative enough to win Republican presidential nomination is questionable at best. He will likely be opposed by evangelical wing of party.
Seeing Blue, Feeling BlueWritten by The Independent Voice
I did grow up in Northeast but I have yet to experience people labeled as ďelitesĒ or morally inferior. My neighborhood was at lower half of middle class spectrum. It would be more likely to find a Chevy Nova on blocks in driveway of a house in my neighborhood than it would to find a Benz or a Beamer. I went to public schools. When I was a kid I would go to morning mass every weekday, and once on Sunday. My father didnít work on Wall St., he worked on Main St. My mother was a stay at home mom for much of my childhood. After graduating from public school I went to community college and from there, state school. I paid for it all and I still am.
We grew up in a worse area then some and a nicer area then others and I had friends who liked to hunt but not one of them felt need to regularly carry a gun. I was taught that respect for life should be complete, that life begins at conception, ďThou Shalt Not KillĒ no matter if itís war or capital punishment. I was taught morals and a value for life. I was taught to act in image of Christ, that justice is integral to society, as is food, shelter and health care.
I wasnít born with a silver spoon in my ass. I didnít go to private school or an Ivy League school like Yale or Harvard. My father wasnít a senator in government, he was a deacon in church. My house had visiting poor Vietnamese and black people living in it, not maids and hired help. We didnít go to Kennebunkport for Thanksgiving; we delivered food to needy. On Christmas we went to church, like we did every Sunday and we always prayed before every meal. We never got everything we wanted on Christmas day or on any other day for that matter. We were taught that if you wanted something bad enough you worked for it. The few times that we went on vacation we didnít get on a plane and head out to our 1000 acre ranch, we got in our car and drove to a cabin within same state.