Instead, he suggests Dems would do well to nominate New Mexico Governor--and former Ambassador, Energy Secretary, and Congressman--Bill Richardson.
I think that Richardson is an interesting presidential prospect. As a governor, he certainly has a good chance of being elected if he is nominated. (Only Warren Harding and John Kennedy have moved directly from the Senate to the White House, whereas being a governor is a good way to get elected president.)Still, I don't think that Richardson can be completely discounted. I also wrote about him in a comment over at Rick Moore's blog.
But I sense in Richardson a Gore-like need to impress you to the point of padding the resume. There's the famous (and now retracted) claim he made to have been drafted as a pitcher by the Cleveland Indians.
Yesterday, he announced that he was meeting with representatives of the North Korean government toward the goal of re-opening that country's dialog with the United States and the rest of the world. To his credit, apparently, Richardson contacted the State Department. But it would have been far better for him to have announced the meeting, if at all, after it had taken place. The premature announcement looks too much like a publicity stunt. If nothing comes of the meeting, Richardson is apt to look silly.
By all accounts, Richardson is a smart fellow. But he doesn't need to be in such a hurry to prove it to everybody. That can blow a candidacy to bits if one isn't careful.
I still think that the likeliest candidate to win the Dem nomination in 2008 is Indiana's Evan Bayh. While currently in the Senate, Bayh is a former governor.
Bottom Line: Democrats will be looking for the un-Gore and the un-Kerry to nominate in 2008. That means someone who isn't wooden and isn't philosophically predictable. That explains some of Obama's appeal. That, and the fact that he is a cipher on whom people can presently project whatever they want in a President. Once the senator began making high profile policy pronouncements, one would see that his support is three-thousand miles wide and a half-inch thick, insufficient rootage to make a serious go at the nomination.
Other Bottom Line: Hillary Clinton, in spite of the more moderate voting record she has developed in the Senate, is like Gore and Kerry in one important respect. She's a terribly wooden, robotic campaigner. This fact, along with her incredibly high negatives before a single vote is cast will, I believe, convince her to stay out of the 2008 race.
GOP Bottom Line: Republicans will be looking for an un-Bush. They'll do so in an attempt to break free of the negatives that have now encircled Mr. Bush. Several candidates can plausibly claim to be an un-Bush. But this post has run too long. So, that thought will have to wait until a later time.
None of these are statements about my candidate preferences, just my observations of the always interesting game of politics.
[UPDATE: Evan Bayh, who I still think would have been a formidable candidate in 2008, withdrew from the race after I wrote this piece. I'm not doing well with picking 'em because I originally thought Mark Warner was the likely 2008 nominee. Yowza!]
[THANK YOU TO: Joe Gandelman of The Moderate Voice for linking to this post.]