I asked Sebastian to keep us updated on his political thoughts as the 2008 presidential race progressed. He posted an early assessment of the GOP bunch back in May, and I was very interested in whether those first impressions have changed, or how different things look. We’re a year away from the election, but only a couple of months away from the first primaries, and maybe only three or four months until we know who the nominees are. So I appreciate his new post with his updated thoughts.
I had asked him to predict the eventual tickets from the major parties, and also who, in his eyes, would be the “least bad” Democrat, if one had to get elected, and I look forward to his eventual post on that. This was inspired by a thread at TAPPED a few weeks ago, asking the same question of the GOP candidates. I agree with the consensus (although it wasn’t unanimous) there that Mitt Romney would be the candidate I would be least upset about. Not that I think he’s really some closet liberal or anything, but (a) he doesn’t strike me as the worst kind of demagogue, and (b) he actually has some experience managing a (successful) business and a state government. I just can’t imagine a (shudder) Romney administration would be run like “The Three Stooges Go To Washington.”
Maybe it’s that impression, or maybe it’s wishful thinking (because I don’t think he can win the general election), but to cast my prediction this far in advance, my guess is that the GOP ticket will be Romney-Huckabee. I think Romney will win Iowa, New Hampshire, Michigan, Nevada, and South Carolina (maybe), and will look like he has all the momentum in the world. Giuliani’s strategy of waiting until the big state primaries will backfire, and this Kerik indictment business won’t help him, either. Plus, we’re about due for another classic Giuliani moment where he says something crazy. Romney has the money and organization and laser-focus and effort to pull it out, I think. A Huckabee veep pick helps him make some inroads with Protestants and southerners. Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty is another possibility, especially with the convention in the Twin Cities, but Huckabee’s going to be the 2008 version of John Edwards in 2004.
Speaking of, I think the Democratic ticket will be Clinton-Edwards. Hillary will be under some pressure to pick Obama, but I don’t think they’ll be able to stand each other long enough even to be sworn in together. Clinton and Edwards get along well. I recall one of the early debates where the microphones picked them up whispering about how to get rid of the no-shot candidates. Edwards is still young enough to run in 2016 if he gets elected veep, but this is probably his last shot at the White House if he doesn’t. There’s been some buzz around Virginia Sen. Jim Webb, but I can’t imagine him playing second fiddle to Hillary, especially when it still might not win them Virginia. Not that Edwards necessarily picks up his home state, but he can connect with all voters, including Southerners, in a way Hillary can’t. Plus, he shores her up a little with the far(ther) left. And, wouldn’t it be awesome to see Edwards and Huckabee in a vice-presidential debate?
Anyway, we’ll see how right I turn out to be. I’m never good at predictions, so don’t go gambling based on these.