Sunday, December 17, 2006

Still blogging...

I'm hangin' in there and still looking at 2008 candidates. While I am saddened that Bayh dropped out, I am leaning towards former Sen. John Edwards as the Democratic candidate in 2008--if former Vice President Gore decides against running.

It's looking more like the 2008 Senate race in Virginia will pit Mark Warner against John Warner.

Florida Senator Bill Nelson recently met with with Syria's president. The visit drew much criticism from the White House.
Nelson's meeting Wednesday in Damascus was the first between a senior American and the Syrian leader since the Iraq Study Group advocated working with Syria and Iran to stabilize Iraq.

"The point is that even lending a further specter of legitimacy to that government undermines the cause of democracy in the region. The Syrians have been adventurous and meddlesome in Iraq, and in Lebanon, and working against the causes of democracy in both of those countries," said White House Press Secretary Tony Snow.

Nelson spokesman Dan McLaughlin defended the senator's decision to meet with Assad, noting that the senator will sit on the Foreign Relations, Armed Services and Intelligence Committees next year.

"Senators meet with heads of state all the time," McLaughlin said. "Nelson has taken a bipartisan approach and has taken seriously the Baker-Hamilton report that recommended the U.S. should involve Syria in finding a solution to the mess in Iraq. Maybe the administration should take the report to heart as well."

Nelson said Wednesday that Assad had said he was interested in cooperating with the Iraqi government and the U.S. to control the border between Iraq and Syria, which has been a conduit for insurgents.

But Snow said the meeting was not helpful and "not appropriate" because Syria already knows the U.S. requirements for better relations.
If Greg Stumbo runs for Governor, he would likely face an ethics investigation.

James Boyce wrote this in the Huffington Post about the reality primary.
One by one on the Democratic side, contenders only in the minds of their own staffs and consultants will see that those single digit polling numbers are real. There is little glamour in being a long shot - especially when you've been told there's a path to the Presidency for you. The conflict becomes apparent early.

On one hand, I believe we will miss the presence of Evan Bayh and Mark Warner on the Democratic side. Both men bring experience in a different part of the company to that national stage and their presence in the debate would have been healthy.

However, the road to the White House is no longer a place for long shots - it is a costly all-consuming marathon. Senator Bayh was calling former Kerry fundraisers less than two weeks after the '04 loss. Mark Warner had a fully functioning staff six months ago. Already, people are making 08 decisions with 2012 in mind. Maybe this is a good development. Maybe not. But it is the reality.
Here's how some Indiana Democrats reacted to Bayh ending his run.
"I'm a little sad and disappointed for our country because I know we would benefit from his leadership," said Indianapolis Mayor Bart Peterson, who worked as an aide to Bayh for 6 1/2 years during his tenure as governor, including two years as chief of staff.

"The flip side is, it's a very personal decision. It's the most consuming pursuit anybody could undertake," Peterson said in a telephone interview.

Peterson said he was surprised at Bayh's decision, but he felt good for Bayh, his wife Susan, and their twin 11-year-old son Nick and Beau, because they would not have to endure the rigors of a grueling presidential campaign.[...]

Indiana Democrat Party Chairman Dan Parker said he looked forward to Bayh's continued service to the state in the U.S. Senate.

"We support the Sen.'s decision not to run in 2008, and we feel fortunate to have someone representing Indiana who cares so deeply about Hoosiers and who will continue to advocate for middle class values and issues such as college affordability and energy independence," Parker said in a statement.
One day after bowing out, people wonder as to how long it will be for.
"Data shows that the Democratic primary voters are going to reward the loudest, angriest candidate, and that's just not Evan Bayh," Moreau said. "He's the one trying to articulate centrist, moderate solutions."

Bayh's lack of a red-meat agenda and his studied earnestness did not generate the kind of excitement that potential candidates like Sens. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y., and Barack Obama, D-Ill., were producing.

Bayh experienced the contrast last weekend when an event he held in New Hampshire drew several dozen Democrats compared with the hundreds who turned out for Obama the same day.

"It was difficult. Senator Bayh was doing it the traditional way. One vote at a time," said George Bruno, a former chairman of the New Hampshire Democratic Party turned out to see Bayh. "He was receiving a warm welcome wherever he want, although the crowds were a little smaller than for the Obama frenzy."[...]

Chuck Todd, editor in chief of National Journal's Hotline, a nonpartisan political newsletter, said he admires the honesty of Bayh's public withdrawal statement in saying that he didn't think he could win.[...]

Bayh partisans like Andrew, as well as some independent commentators, said Bayh still has a future as either a presidential candidate in another year or as a potential running mate to whichever Democrat gets the 2008 nomination.

Charlie Cook, editor of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report, said if the nomination goes to Clinton or Obama, Bayh and former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner will be at the top of the potential vice presidential list as moderate white men from midsized states that didn't vote Democratic for president in 2000 or 2004 but could in 2008 with a favorite son on the ticket.

By dropping out now, Cook said, "Bayh gets at least a year and a half, two years of real life and probably a better chance of being a running mate this way than if carved up in a nomination campaign and having attacked the eventual nominee."

"It looks like it could be a bloody primary," said Ann DeLaney, a former Indiana Democratic chairwoman. Now "he won't get bloody."

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