Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Who Will Succeed George W Bush?

I'll be posting quite a bit on the next US presidential election. Although it's some time away, the contenders are already jockeying for position. So first up, I thought I'd trawl through the possible and probably candidates for the Republican nomination. The favourites at this stage in the process inevitably tend to be those with the highest name recognition. So Rudy Giuliani, John McCain and Condoleeza Rice are those mentioned most often. I suspect that Vice President Dick Cheney hasn't ruled out a run, but his health would almost certainly rule him out. Others being mentioned include Senator Bill Frist, Colorado Governor Bill Owens, Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, George Pataki, Newt Gingrich. The list could go on and on. If I had a vote I would probably cast it for Giuliani or Condoleeza Rice. However, whoever I have talked to about this in Washington rules both of them out without a second thought. Giuliani is considered to be too liberal on social issues (ie pro choice, pro gay, anti gun) and as someone said to me yesterday, "the South would never vote for someone with a name like that". There are also rumours of financial scandal that continue to dog him. The fact that he oversaw the regeneration of New York City and played a blinder in the aftermath of September 11th seems not matter a jot. As far as Condi Rice is concerned she's ruled out because she's a) single (obviously a lesbian then...) and b) no one knows what she stands for and c) she's black so she must be liberal. I may be wrong but I have a gut feeling that she will get quite a fair wind with the media, who would nothing better than to see a catfight between her and Hillary. I can hardly believe that Newt Gingrich thinks it worth running but I'm told he genuinely believes he can win. He's certainly a man full of ideas although I think that he has too much of a past for his run to be taken seriously by either the media or people within his own Party. The name of Florida Governor Jeb Bush continues to be mentioned but I think three Bush's in a row would smack of the creation of a monarchy. It is an intriguing thought thought that after Reagan it is possible for the next 5 Presidents to have been called either Bush or Clinton. Or even six, if the First lady Laura Bush fancied a tilt at it. And there are a few people in Washington who wouldn't rule that out (I would though). In the end I suspect it will come down to to one established name and a hitherto unknown who comes through the middle. Who will that be? No idea!

11 comments:

I Eat Apples said...

Rice told Tim Russert on Sunday's Meet The Press she didn't think she would run, interesting to see if she sticks to that!

MR. RUSSERT: Laura Bush said you’d make an excellent president, and, “I don’t think we can talk her into running.”

SEC’Y RICE: Well, that’s—I really appreciate that the first lady, who I admire very much, thinks that, but the last part of that’s right.

MR. RUSSERT: Will not happen.

SEC’Y RICE: I don’t think it’s going to happen.

Tim Roll-Pickering said...

Giuliani is considered to be too liberal on social issues (ie pro choice, pro gay, anti gun)

A pity - he could do so much to rebuild the US's reputation in the world, dispelling the image of the country as full of reactionary hicks.

and as someone said to me yesterday, "the South would never vote for someone with a name like that".

Is the Sotuh really going to suddenly return to the Democrat fold, especially if they run another New England liberal?

It may seem fanciful (and need a constitutional amendment) but imagine the power of a Giuliani-Schwarzenegger ticket, terminating all opposition. An internationally respected figure as President and a charismatic man as Vice-President - what a revolution that would make. And they're the bearable wing of the Republicans too.

Anonymous said...

What about Barack Obama? Seems to have all the 'attributes' bar experience...

Aidan said...

It is a great game to play, especially from afar, and from what I've admittedly only read from UK shores, McCain would seem a healthy old name to tout - despite the apparent trappings of glamour (?) some are trying hard to layer on Condoleeza Rice.
But then again, while the Hilary-Condi bitchfight is being hyped up here, my most meagre of American-chatting provokes not merely dissections against, but contemptuous, 'more-fool-you-for-believing-that' scorning...
After all, the Democrat primaries swung against common media perception fairly late in the race...
Still can't quite believe the suggestions Kerry will be foolhardy enough to run again, but still...

Anonymous said...

On the GOP side I had discounted Frist but he won a straw poll at a major conference of the “Southern Republicans”, so the Senate majority leader may well have a better shot than anyone gave him credit for (shame that as a medical student he eviscerated any stray cat he could find – strange but true).

In all likelihood John McCain will run, but despite an excellent record; social conservative (without being “wacky”), fiscal conservative and foreign policy hawk (while remaining realistic) and being nationally a very popular figure, few in the GOP “base” trust him and ultimately it is the “GOP Base” who will decide who the Republican Party nominates. Despite this he must be considered a front runner for the post.

After McCain there is George Allen, very much a Bush protégé, former Virginia Governor and now that state’s junior senator heading for (what should be) a straight forward re-election. Allen would have pull amongst moderates while at the same time not being view suspiciously by the GOP base – what’s more he sounds like Fred Flintstone! ( :D ).

…will continue this in a bit…

Anonymous said...

I hear George Allen a senator for Virgina is been heavily tipped by some, have he got much of a chance?

And of course John Mc Cain cannot be ruled out though he may not be too popular with some of the Republican voters.

Paul Linford said...

A very interesting post Iain but for my part I have always steered clear of attempting to analyse American politics as it defies rational analysis. What can you make of a country that elected as its president someone who couldn't remember the names of other heads of state in a live TV interview? Or for that matter one that allowed a proven liar to remain in office? As the old saying goes..."only in America."

PoliticalHack said...

I'd place bets on Condi as the VP candidate, but I don't see a clear consensus on the top job as yet. She'd tick boxes for the Republicans and might help them break through into the African-American vote.

McCain will be a contender, although his age might count against him. I doubt Cheney will do it and I think Giuliani has too many problems with the South, although he might be ideal to counter a Hillary assault from New York.

Frist and ALlen are both strong contenders, without the baggage of McCain/Giuliani. I wouldn't rule out Jeb Bush, as he would be a strong Southern pull. He's also an expert in fixing elections...

Jonathan Sheppard said...

As you know Iain, my dad lives in Tallahassee which was the stage where a certain presidential election was finally sorted out. It has always been suggested that Jeb is the brighter of the two Bush brothers (though isn't there a third who is a bit of a black sheep??) The feeling last time I was over there was it would be hard for Jeb to follow in his brothers footsteps straight away - but don't rule it out.

J. Singh-Sohal said...

Gov Bill Owen has a bit of a history, plenty of skeletons in that closet.

I think the sensible moneys on a right-wing/political centre union, say the type that giuliani/allen could bring.

after 8 years of bush, i dont see potential candidates wanting to continue his social conservatism legacy.

Andrew said...

Allen is one of the big five money-wise at the moment whilst I think it'd be wrong to discount Gingrich. He's third-placed in many states behind Guiliani and McCain.