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Democratic Presidential Candidates Look Good

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Message Stephen Crockett
Democratic Presidential Candidates Look Good

Any look at potential 2008 Democratic Presidential candidates shows the depth of talent currently available in the Democratic Party. The potential candidates most frequently mentioned include Senator Kerry (MA), Senator Clinton (NY), Senator Obama (IL), Senator Biden (DE), Senator Bayh (IN), Governor Richardson (NM), Governor Vilsack (IA), former Senator Edwards (NC), former Vice President Gore (TN), and DNC Chairman Dean (VT). Many others are possible.

This pool of national talent is impressive. This writer would certainly support any of these candidates over the most likely Republican nominees. I believe that candidates from the South or West usually improve Democratic chances in Presidential races greatly.

If Gore had chosen former Texas Governor Ann Richards as his running mate in 2000, the nation would have been spared all the outrageous policies and incompetence of the Bush Administration. The Bush campaign would have been forced to spend huge amounts of resources holding states like Texas and had fewer resources to allocate in battleground states. Personalities certainly matter along with geography. Richards as a campaigner would certainly have been far superior to Liebermann because of her passion for justice and justice.

Former Senator John Edwards would be an excellent candidate based on geography and personality. Former Vice President Gore shares both of these qualities. Any ticket combining these two candidates would likely carry some Southern states like Florida, Tennessee, North Carolina, Virginia or Arkansas. The activist base of the Democratic Party would love this ticket regardless of which candidate ran for President or Vice President. It would run very strongly among working class and middle class males would have recently been tilting Republican.

Senator Evan Bayh would run very strongly in the Mid-West. Indiana would certainly not go Republican with Bayh on the ticket. Without Indiana in the Republican column, Bush would not have been installed in the White House in the 2000 election. Potentially losing Bayh's Senate seat would be a serious downside to consider by Democrats. Our Democratic Senate majority is very slim and Indiana is not a strongly Democratic state.

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson comes from a key battleground state and would greatly help Democrats among Hispanic voters. His main downsides seem to be a lack of current national name recognition and the small population base of New Mexico.

Delaware Senator Joe Biden has the same population base problem. Delaware usually is safe for Democratic Presidential candidates. Biden's experience in the Senate would surely be missed by Democrats.

Iowa Governor Vilsack does not have strong current name recognition. He does come from a key battleground state. Democratic Presidential races have a history of producing exciting new leaders and often nominees out of the early primaries and caucuses. Jimmy Carter, Bill Clinton, John Kerry and Howard Dean are all living proof of this historical fact. Vilsack might be the surprise candidate of 2008.

Senators Kerry and Clinton are usually seen as top-tier candidates. Both have strong bases in the Democratic Party but high negatives among Republican voters. Neither candidate would run strongly in the South or West, compared to other potential candidates. Both might be more useful in the Senate. Even without 2008 Presidential bids, both Kerry and Clinton would remain giants in the Democratic Party and national politics.

Senator Barak Obama would certainly increase the African-American turn-out for Democrats. Senator Obama is still very young and eventually will be on a Democratic Presidential ticket at some point in the future. The question for Obama is timing. Should he run in 2008, 2012 or 2016?

DNC Chairman Howard Dean is often mentioned as a potential Presidential candidate. This writer is a very strong Dean supporter. I filed as a Dean delegate in the 2004 Tennessee Democratic Presidential Primary. I believe Howard Dean is the best Democratic National Committee Chairman in the history of the Democratic Party. My sincere hope that Dean will continue serving as our national Democratic Party leader for as long as possible.

The reforms and growth plans being implemented by Dean at the Democratic National Committee will help change the direction of American politics for generations. The Democrats will gain ground from the county and city levels to the White House in election after election because of the leadership of Howard Dean. I hope he will run for President in the future but the Democratic Party and the nation needs Dean as DNC Chair for at least the next couple o election cycles.

The 2008 Democratic Presidential Primaries are going to be exciting. We will have many excellent choices. The Republicans should be so lucky, but they are not as blessed with top quality candidates!

Written by Stephen Crockett (Democratic Talk Radio host .) Mail: P.O. Box 283, Earleville, Maryland 21919. Email: . Phone: 443-907-2367.

Feel free to publish as a Democratic Voices column, Letter to the Editor, Guest Editorial or Op-Ed. There is no need to seek prior permission and no financial charge.
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Stephen Crockett is co-host of Democratic Talk Radio and author of the Democratic Voices opinion column.
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