The 2008 Presidential election is still quite a ways away, yet several possible candidates from each political party, Democrats and Republicans, have been jockeying for their party’s nomination for the last few months. This next election will certainly turn out to be an interesting one, if only for the sheer diversity and difference that this one seems to represent.
On the Democrats side, the two front runners appear to be the well-known Hillary Rodham Clinton and the much-heralded new face, Barack Obama. Following them are Joe Biden, Bill Richardson, and John Edwards, three familiar names in politics.
It’s no surprise that Hillary is running, as she has been a big name in the game for quite some time now. She has the money, a large support base, and is easily one of the most recognizable figures in this race. What’s interesting here is the fact that she is a woman-something American has not had as it’s Commander-in-Chief before, and this fact alone may make it much harder for her to win. Her husband, Bill Clinton, was a rather divisive figure, and his linkage to her may make it more difficult for the American people to accept her.
Barack Obama, the fresh face from Illinois, seems to be running in 2nd place behind Hillary as a favorite for the Democratic nomination, yet he is still an incredibly popular contender. He’s been called “America’s hottest political phenomenon” by Time magazine, has made much money off of his book on his life, and has made waves not only in Washington D.C., but also throughout the nation. He’s attempted to be more bipartisan than other candidates, even speaking at Evangelical Christian churches, in an attempt to woo what has traditionally been a Republican stronghold. He’s also from a mixed family; his father was Kenyan, his mother from Kansas. While there have been several candidates in the past, who have had African heritage, it’s probably safe to say that none have garnered as much attention as Obama.
As for the Republicans, it’s really interesting to see how different those running for nomination are from what has been the conservative mainstay in past elections. We have John McCain, and Rudolph Giuliani, two conservative, but rather moderate fellows hailing from Arizona and New York, respectively. Following them are Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Sam Brownback, and several other ‘maybes’ for the Republican nomination.
Here, the top two contenders are both moderates, neither fitting the billing as ‘neo-conservative’, as was seen in many of those closely linked to the Bush administration, and somewhat in previous Republican Presidencies. It seems that the Republican Party really has no heir to the Bush administration, and is attempting to look more ‘moderate’ than ever before. Mitt Romney is one of those who are still seen as a traditional conservative, but, to throw another loop in the road, he is also a Mormon. Having a Mormon as the President would be another first for the country, and it’s one that, according to a Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll, 1 in 3 Americans would not vote for, based solely on the fact that he is a Mormon.
2008 is still quite a ways away, but the races are heating up. Following them will be very, especially this year, interesting.