Friday, March 17, 2006

Editorial of the day

Dick Morris provides his early analysis of the GOP presidential race over at The Hill.

Morris states that, "...McCain and Giuliani are the only two frequently mentioned candidates who could actually get elected and defy the likely disaster the GOP faces in ’08." His justification for this lies in McCain and Giuliani's appeal to swing voters, such as "Hispanics and women". Their weakness lies in the Republican base. They would both have a hard time claiming the Republicans needed to win the nomination.

Of the other three front-runners, Morris has this to say:

"[Bill] Frist, ethically compromised at the outset, has shown his limitations too graphically as majority leader to hope for the nomination. The fact that he could only get 1 vote in 3 in a straw poll in his backyard tells us something.

[Mitt] Romney probably carries enough baggage with him from Massachusetts to make his pursuit of the Republican nomination futile. You cannot be elected governor of the People’s Republic and hope to keep your positions conservative enough to win the Republican nomination.

George Allen, the creature of the party’s right wing, could win the nomination but not the election. Hillary would chew him up and spit him out.

I have to agree with Morris on Frist and Romney.

As for Allen, I cannot say I know him well enough to say how he would do against Hillary. I will admit most of the noise for Allen comes from the more conservative people I know, so Morris' analysis rings true.

Then Morris brings up the dark horse candidate (pun NOT intended), Condi Rice:

"Moving up in the polls (now tied with Rudy and McCain for first place), Rice could both be nominated and elected. Her ability to handle herself on an international stage is increasingly obvious, and her more authentic claim to the title of self-made woman than the phony, Bill-dependent résumé of Mrs. Clinton both are making her more and more attractive nationally."

On the surface, Rice does have appeal as an effective person, and will probably deliver a hit to some key Democratic voting blocks. But effective people do not necessarily make effective presidents. Another thing to consider is what are Rice's political positions? Working with Bush does not mean she shares his views (remember, Bush Sr. worked for Reagan).

I won't spoil Morris' final prediction for you. However, my own view is that if Republicans pander to their base by picking a solidly conservative candidate, they will lose to Clinton. If they pick someone who can contest the middle ground with Clinton, they can win.

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