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As this year plays out, there's going to be an interesting dynamic with a few Republicans: how to begin positioning themselves for the 2008 Republican Presidential Primary.

There are those whose path is inextricably tied to the current resident of the White House, such as Powell and Jeb Bush, if they want to run.

But there are those who aren't tied to the current White House, and if the general election is tight, will probably see this as an opportunity to both differentiate themselves from the Bushies AND let the air out of possible candidacies depending on the heir apparent mode (yes, you Jeb Bush).

So, for something different to think about, who are those Republicans that might actually say something important against Bush this year as part of a 2008 strategy?

I can think of two:

John McCain
Chuck Hagel

but there may be more.  Any ideas, and about any particular issue?

Originally posted to PSoTD on Thu Jan 22, 2004 at 11:18 AM PST.

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Comment Preferences

  •  If you like George Bush... (none)
    ...you'll love Jeb!

    "We Hold the High Ground." -CRK

    by CRK on Thu Jan 22, 2004 at 11:21:37 AM PST

  •  Sen Frist (none)
    is very likely to run in 2008, but would probably step aside for Jeb. Jeb is the one that was being groomed for the WH. He actually is a policy wonk.

    Frist/Bush?
    And, they can always trot out Elizabeth Dole for VP if Hillary runs.

  •  2008 GOP (none)
    there are 3 candidates from the GOP that have national crossover appeal that I can see right now.  If any of them can win the GOP primary I think all 3 of them would win election easily.

    McCain
    Guilliani
    Powell

    All of them are moderates which brings up an interesting question.  Why are the democratic moderates so trivialized in the party while republican moderates tend to have high standing nationwide?

    Jeb Bush and Condoleeza Rice I see as VP candidates as this point.  I just don't see the GOP throwing up another bush at this point- maybe after there was someone else as a buffer.  

    •  Forget about Guiliani... (none)
      Pro-choice, pro-gay rights (he lived with a gay couple for Gosh sakes).  New York Repubs might nominate him for Senate, but nationally, no way Repubs would nominate him for anything...

      "I have spent many years of my life in opposition and I rather like the role." Eleanor Roosevelt

      by Coloradem on Thu Jan 22, 2004 at 01:17:09 PM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Pro-gay is not a problem (none)
        It is pro-gay marriage that might ruffle some Republicans, but civil unions (or maybe even a states' rights twist) could potentially be fine for many.

        Ronald Reagan from his time in Hollywood was very friendly with many gays, and his the lastest Reagan letters books, there isn't even a whiff of ant-gay feelings. He and Nancy even had a gay couple over to the Whitehouse.

        •  Somehow... (none)
          I can't see the party of Trent Lott and Rick Santorum nominating Rudy Guiliani.  Remember, activists vote in the primaries, and the same folks that gave the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary to Pat Robertson and Pat Buchanan are going to be the first to have a say in the Republican nomination in 2008.  And that is even before you get to Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia and South Carolina...

          Republican activists/Christian Coalition types HATE gays and lesbians.  Guiliani roomed with a gay couple.  This will make the activists' skin crawl...and they simply will not vote for him.  

          "I have spent many years of my life in opposition and I rather like the role." Eleanor Roosevelt

          by Coloradem on Thu Jan 22, 2004 at 06:46:20 PM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  'HATE' (none)
            Republican activists/Christian Coalition types HATE gays and lesbians.
            I have to stick up for some of my friends here. No they don't. You're being an asshole. Maybe you should learn to make an argument with actual information instead of just your baby-killing views you have of Republicans.

            I can't see the party of Trent Lott and Rick Santorum nominating Rudy Guiliani.  Remember, activists vote in the primaries, and the same folks that gave the Iowa caucus and New Hampshire primary to Pat Robertson and Pat Buchanan are going to be the first to have a say in the Republican nomination in 2008.
            From what I can tell from personal experience, the Republican party and activists are more tied to economic policy than the Democratic party and activists are. A strong idea on economic growth is a requirement, but for the Dems some fluffy words without much substance seems to be fine (Dean is a great example of this). I think that a strong fiscal policy can overcome social mismatches at times.
            •  Yup HATE! (none)
              If these Republicans are so cozy with gays and lesbians, then why did their elected leaders in the Senate not face rebuke when they equated homosexuality with "kleptomania" (Trent Lott) and "child molestation and bestiality" (Rick Santorum).

              Pro-gay Republican William Weld could not even get a hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee when it was chaired by Jesse Helms.

              James Hormel's nomination was to be ambassador to Luxembourg was held up by Republican Senators John Ashcroft and James Inhoff--simply because he is gay.

              And perhaps I'm naive, but somehow I doubt that those fine folks voting for Pat Robertson were doing so because of his economic policies...

              And now we have GW talking up an Amendment to the constitution that would preclude me from making my relationship legal.  The first constitutional amendment in the history of our country to preclude an expansion of legal rights.

              Yes, there certainly are some a-holes here, but I'm not one of them.

              "I have spent many years of my life in opposition and I rather like the role." Eleanor Roosevelt

              by Coloradem on Thu Jan 22, 2004 at 08:07:16 PM PST

              [ Parent ]

  •  [new] (none)
    -
    -
    -

    Isn't McCain too old to run?  He'd be almost 75 in 2008, wouldn;t he?

    -
    -
    -

    •  McCain maybe too sick (none)
      I think McCain is has more health problems then he's letting on.  A former staffer of his worked at the FTC for a bit with me and said this. Makes some sense why he's faded out of the spotlight a bit.
    •  You might be right... (none)
      Reagan was 70 when elected, and I believe he was the oldest elected...

      The world should listen a little more to the music of Edwin Starr.

      by PSoTD on Thu Jan 22, 2004 at 11:39:21 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  Hagel... (none)
      My guess is that Republicans that appreciate McCain could easily move towards Chuck Hagel, Senator from Nebraska.  Hagel has military heroism (not the same as McCain's POW story, but who has that), a rye sense of humor, and seems to enjoy jabbing his own party members when they disagree.

      The world should listen a little more to the music of Edwin Starr.

      by PSoTD on Thu Jan 22, 2004 at 11:42:00 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  McCain (none)
    McCain will be too old . .his chance was 2000

    It will be Jeb .. you can bet on it . his term ends in 2006
    If Bush wins election then he is going to win Reagan type landslide with coattails to give republcians fillibuster proof 60 seat majority in Senate
    at that point the republicans will be able to do anything they want.

    Jeb will be President in 2008

  •  Rick Santorum (none)
    Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum is intensely ambitious, and if he wins reelection in 2006, I think he may start to think of a presidential run, unless the majority leader slot opens up and he can go for that.  His obvious strategy, if the Bush dynasty is a reality, is to outflank the Bushes from the right, appealing to "the base" as a purer and more militant conservative than Bush.  Bush's credit-card exploits certainly open him up to that kind of attack.
    •  Rick Santorum... (none)
      will be lucky to win re-election in 2006 in Pennsylvania.  He's got to be target #1 for Democrats nationally that year.

      The world should listen a little more to the music of Edwin Starr.

      by PSoTD on Thu Jan 22, 2004 at 11:43:13 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  Pardon my sarcasm (none)
        but since when did being the Democrat's number one target ever lead to someone losing an actual election?
        •  Your sarcasm pardoned (none)
          and now your education begins:

          George Bush 1992
          Bob Dole 1996
          John Ashcroft 2000 (okay, he was number 2)

          Santorum was originally elected to the Senate during a Republican Governor administration.  It should be a little different with Rendell in Harrisburg.

          The world should listen a little more to the music of Edwin Starr.

          by PSoTD on Thu Jan 22, 2004 at 11:53:25 AM PST

          [ Parent ]

          •  Those are presidential elections . . . (none)
            and Ashcroft's loss to Carnahan was, I think, as much an outcome of his tragic death than the Democrat's concerted effort to unseat him.  Personally I think incumbant's lose more often due to their own mistakes (whether in office or on the campaign trail) than because of an opposition's focus.  But maybe this is just a chicken and an egg argument.
  •  George W. Bush (none)
    Will be running for President again in 2008, after the Democrats are blown out in 04 by running a Bush lite, and they repeal the 2 term limit for Presidents.  

    Feel free to disagree-- it's your right to be wrong!

    by Asak on Thu Jan 22, 2004 at 11:49:36 AM PST

  •  It will be interesting... (none)
    ...to see if the under the radar divisions in the Republican party begin to show in 2008. Obviously a Bush loss in '04 could give the moderates an upper hand and we may see the rise of a Hagel, Powell or Giuliani. A Bush win in '04 (shudder) will either serve as a crushing defeat for the moderates (might we see some more defections from the NE republicans?) or the beginning of a Dem '04 style primary bloodbath.
  •  Kay Bailey Hutchison (none)
    Has definite preseidential aspirations and probably would have run in 2000 had GW sat it out.  I would not be surprized at all to see her toss her hat in in '08.

    "I have spent many years of my life in opposition and I rather like the role." Eleanor Roosevelt

    by Coloradem on Thu Jan 22, 2004 at 01:14:19 PM PST

  •  Pataki (none)
    George Pataki will run, almost for sure, unless he runs vs. HIllary instead.

    Methinks a pro-choice GOpper, however, will have a hard time getting their nomination. Jeb Bush or Bill Frist may indeed be the one.

    Oh, and ASHCROFT will run.

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