Every New Year, millions of people around the globe make resolutions to improve themselves. Usually, their extra time at the gym or increased studying doesn’t exactly change the world. But every four years a few people make resolutions that dramatically impact the rest of us. The men and women who decide to run for president of the United States in 2008 will leave an enormous footprint on our country and on each of us whether or not they win control of the White House.
In less than two years, we will elect a new president for our country. But in less than two months a group of folks will begin barnstorming the countryside begging, pleading, and plowing for support. These congressmen, senators, governors, and life-long politicians listed below will use every single day of 2007 to prepare for the election in November 2008.
Potential Democratic Candidates: Retired Gen. Wesley Clark of Arkansas; Sen. Hillary Clinton of New York; Sen. Christopher Dodd of Connecticut; former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina; former Vice President Al Gore; Sen. John Kerry of Massachusetts; Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois; Gov. Bill Richardson of New Mexico; Gov. Tom Vilsack of Iowa
Potential Republican Candidates: Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas; former House Speaker Newt Gingrich; former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani; Sen. Chuck Hagel of Nebraska; Gov. Mike Huckabee of Arkansas; Rep. Duncan Hunter of California; former Gov. Frank Keating of Oklahoma; Sen. John McCain of Arizona; Gov. George Pataki of New York; Gov. Mitt Romney of Massachusetts.
Of these major-party candidates, one democrat and one republican will survive the 2008 primaries. They will vie for the open Oval Office seat left vacant by the departing two-term president, George W. Bush.
Although my guess is as good as yours at this point in the game, I do have some ideas about who will make it to the primaries, and who will become the standard bearers of their parties. For the Democrats, the top three candidates are Hillary Rodham Clinton, Vice President, Al Gore and Barack Obama. All three have solid name recognition, plenty of money (with the exception of Obama), and enough political experience. Although, they each have their problems (Clinton is a left-leaning woman who stirs up vats of animosity. Obama is a bit too young and inexperienced. Gore is steadily reinventing himself.), these three will be the key democratic candidates in 2008, and in the end, will be a photo finish horse race between Clinton and Gore for the nomination. The Democratic winner: Al Gore.
The top three Republican candidates are John McCain, Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani. These three guys bring some serious star power to the game, and despite some minor flaws (McCain consistently upsets his conservative base. Romney’s faith and immigration problems have stirred up a lot of fervor. Giuliani’s three marriages and other relationship problems have been well chronicled.), each could become our next president. The Republican winner: John McCain.
So, the way I see it, in November 2008, you will have a choice of John McCain or Al Gore as the next U.S. president.
Giuliani, the former mayor of New York and 2001 Time “Person of the Year” will energize the Republican base and draw substantial support from independents who respected his handling of the 9/11 attack aftermath and liberal social views. He is a pro-choice Catholic, who supports same-sex civil unions, gun control, and embryonic stem-cell research.
Obama, the junior senator from Illinois, is the latest media created sensation, and made popular beyond his wildest dreams. His central stances and non-polarizing rhetoric make him likable to democrats, independents and conservatives. Time magazine named him one of the “World’s Most Influential People” for his work in America and around the globe. Obama did not have to cast a vote for the Iraq War (he was not yet elected) so the war cannot weigh him down. He opposes gay marriage (but voted against a constitutional ban), is pro-choice, for stem-cell research funding, supportive of affirmative action, and he opposes the death penalty.
Clinton, the former first lady and wife of a former president, has more money and resources than all the Democratic candidates combined. Her name recognition is global and she’s shown her willingness to appeal to conservatives and defend her liberal base as necessary. Though her negatives are in the high 40’s she stands the best chance of any woman in American history of becoming its first female president. With the love affair her liberal base and mainstream media is having with her, this should be an interesting presidential cycle.
Gore is the sleeper in this race. He has been on point with his positions of global warming and gaining many admirers. Many still feel that the 2000 election was taken from him and therefore deserves a credible shot at another chance. Gore has the money contacts and organizations now in place to make a serious bid for the White House.
The 2008 U.S. presidential election will be influenced by more than these three men and the campaigns they wage. For example, if there is a lack of progress in Iraq and Afghanistan, Americans may be looking for a Democratic president no matter whom it is. If the economy is down and the Democratic-led Congress has yet to have a positive impact, the country may look for Republican leadership in the White House once again. The point is; the political climate in the summer and spring of 2008 might choose our president for us.
However, assuming nothing drastic occurs, I will cast my vote for Rudy Giuliani. But I believe the Democratic charge will not let up and Barack Obama will be our 44th president. Regardless of my predictions, the latest polls, or the political climate, just keep your eye on all these people because their 2007 New Year’s resolutions are sure to impact all of our lives.
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