Hillary! If you haven't read the Atlantic cover story on Hillary the Senator, please do. It changed my mind on the '08 election significantly. It's a good piece of reporting, only mildly fawning, and well thought out. I'm still unconvinced that she can win a majority, but I'm a lot less sure than I had been. Somehow, the Clintons have managed to escape the wrath of the base, even as their erstwhile allies have taken huge hits. Lieberman and Bill were once ideological soulmates -- pro-Israel moderates and voices of the New Democrat movement. Now Lieberman is getting hammered by the base in a liberal state because of his pro-war stance. Hillary, on the other hand, is facing no intraparty struggle in a neighboring traditionally liberal state. Both backed the war, but have criticized the execution thereof, but only Joe has taken the hit. For whatever reason, Hillary has been better able to sell the idea of nuance to the base. It's inconceivable that Joe could be on the national ticket again for the Dems. Hillary could, and likely will. Who can challenge her? Kerry? Gore? Washed up. Joe Biden? Law of 14 violation, among other problems. Barack Obama's the biggest star, but would have trouble going right to the top of the ticket. (He's a lock for the VP slot, though -- barring scandalous revelation.)
As the article also makes clear, Hillary has a huge potential campaign chest, perhaps to the tune of $400 mil. That's enough to scare the pants off the RNC. And who would they run against her? John McCain? He'll be 72 in 2008 and has had health scares. Plus, he's a prickly character and notorious for shooting himself and his party in the foot over minor issues. Rudy Giuliani? He's probably to the left of Hillary on several major social issues, plus he makes McCain look downright cuddly. Erstwhile party golden boy George Allen is in the midst of self-destructing, Mitt Romney has lost a lot of his luster, and Condi Rice swears she won't run. That leaves . . . Newt Gingrich? I don't see a majority here either.
I'm thinking the voters third party candidates can pull will determine a lot in '08.