Saturday, February 10, 2007

I am not a sheep.

Don't know about any of you, but I deeply resent the push to prematurely thin the herd of democratic presidential candidates one full year away from the primaries, and before anyone has had a chance to get a serious look around. I don't know who's behind the accelerated primary schedule, the trend to minimize small-scale campaigning, and the big money pushing and shoving taking place right now, but I have my own ideas about who benefits from it.

In this spirit I was very happy to see that Craig Crawford (via Political Wire) had said this:
As the presidential contenders from both parties start being placed by conventional wisdom into two camps, top tier and second tier, the Republican and Democratic front-runners seem most notable these days for what they all have in common: Each of them has at least one glaring flaw, and that presents plenty of opportunities for the others to move up from also-rans in the most wide-open race for the White House in eight decades.

Political Insider has the early line on the second tier:
    National Journal asked its insiders: Which long-shot 2008 presidential candidate has the most potential to emerge as a serious contender for your party's nod? The results were as follows:

    Bill Richardson: 46%
    Tom Vilsack: 25%
    Chris Dodd: 23%
    Wesley Clark: 4%
    Joe Biden: 2%
    Mike Gravel: ---
    Dennis Kucinich: ---
Republicans at the link, if you care. I don't - every one of them is hideous in his own particular way.

I have nothing invested in the primacy of the Iowa caucuses and the NH primary (though I do love a good tradition), but do have very strong feelings about the importance of retail politics in the early going. Somebody's got to get a close-up look at these people before that rock starts rolling downhill. I don't care who it is. But I don't think the size of someone's piggybank should determine who the next president should be. And it certainly should not be determined 12 months before the voting starts.

If anyone cares, and there's no reason why you should, at the moment I'm looking closely at Chris Dodd.

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