As a moderate conservative Republican, I have been outspoken in my criticism of the President and the party on numerous occassions. I see the party extremists over reaching on what it sees as an electoral mandate. I find myself becoming even greater at odds with the direction that is being taken, as I believe it to be in contrast to the ideals of the Republican party and Conservative movement.
As I look forward to the 2008 Presidential campaign, I see but a handful of potential GOP candidates that would truly uphold those ideals. Arizona Senator John McCain, Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee, Nebraska Senator Chuck Hagel and perhaps South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford. Truly, the GOP field seems slim.
This is where I believe the Democratic Party has an advantage. I will ignore the obvious potential candidacy of Hillary Clinton for the moment and focus on more truly centrist Democrats, folks even I could cast a vote for. Indiana Senator Evan Bayh, Virginia Governor Mark Warner, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, North Carolina Governor Mike Easley, Former North Carolina Senator John Edwards, and Wisconsin Senator Russ Feingold. These are all individuals with successful political careers, all of whom would, I think, attract independent and moderate voters from both parties.
I see the GOP needing to have some potential candidate really step out into the positive spotlight over the enxt two years for the GOP to win the White House for a third consecutive term. As of today, I dont see who that might be. I believe the 2008 Presidential election will be seen as one of the most competitive and memorable in history. In part due to the fact that no incumbent President or Vice President will be running and also to the strong possibility of large crossovers voters from either party truly tipping the scales. Again, still a long way to go, but the advantage goes to the Democrats. It will be awfulyl hard for the GOP to maintain the White House after eight years of what could be considered a controversial administration.
We shall see.....