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MidTerm 2002 Odds on 2004

©02 the media desk

       Well. Not much has changed in the last six months on the political forecast front. The '04 election is Still W's to loose. He is the odds on favorite against all comers. The Sorest Looser- AlGore, Senator Hillary, Al Sharpton, and all the rest included. Even if McCain comes out as the Democrat he really is, W is still the points leader.
       As for GOP challengers lining up to take a whipping in the primaries, there isn't anybody worth mentioning in the queue.
       Really the only question about the Republican ticket is who will be batting second. Dick Cheney isn't the healthiest thing to ever live in the House on the Hill at the Naval Observatory. Even though he is only just over sixty, it seems the mileage is catching up to him. Whether or not he is physically capable of remaining 'one heartbeat from the presidency' for another four years is an open question. It is unlikely though that W would drop him. Mr. Cheney would have to bow out of the re-election campaign on his own. And most likely that would best be done sometime before the 2004 primaries.
       So who does the Desk expect to replace him?
       Powell? Watts? Dick Armey? Somebody else? Maybe even Jeb Bush.
       W is above all else a Smart Politician. So we have to sort these people that way.
       Colin Powell has a lot of baggage with him. While the Harry Belafonte mess has actually helped set Powell's credibility in concrete, it has done nothing toward breaking the Democrats stranglehold on the Black Vote. Even today there are blacks which will not vote for a Republican no matter who or what they were. They even forgot that Mr. Belafonte left a black woman to marry a white one in the fifties thus calling into his own 'blackness' for awhile with the very black nationalist militants he is now trying to act like. Jesse Jackson saw a TV camera in the neighborhood and went running after it like a lawyer to weigh in on the issue as well proclaiming that the Republicans aren't 'for the poor people'. Excuse us? What would Jesse himself know about the current state of the poor people? His suit and shoes cost more than some of the 'poor people' make in a year, why Jesse has any credibility at all with anybody is simply beyond the reach of reason. But still, it is because of Jesse and Harry and people like them that Powell cannot be considered for the VP slot on the GOP ticket.
       Congressman JC Watts (R-OK) however doesn't have that kind of baggage other than comes with being a conservative. Yet he is intelligent and well spoken, and he just happens to be black. He is also leaving the House, not running for re-election by his own choice, since his district was butchered in redistricting. If the Desk was ranking VP candidates for W Mr. Watts would be near the top of the short list.
       As for House Majority Leader Dick Armey (R-ND). The Desk thinks he needs a cooling off period to go back to teaching and lay low for awhile. Is a year to 18 months long enough for the 'short attention span' media to forget about him? Maybe. If the Desk was setting odds, oh, that's right it is, Armey would be all kinds of a long shot for just the VP nomination.
       Even Mike Castle (R-DE) has been brandied about as a hot new comer. Well, he had been around state level politics for years, and has now made something of a name for himself as Delaware's only Representative. Would he take the number two slot if it were offered? Without a doubt. And who knows. He might make a good one with on eye on 2008.
       Senators: There's not too many of them that would seem to be interested in the Second Seat if it is only for four years. McCain (AZ) has his sights set elsewhere and probably wouldn't want it. And W would be loath to give up control by snagging one of them for his running mate if the GOP picks up a couple of seats anyway. With the Upper House in the balance, best leave it alone.
       Governors. Michigan's Engler is looking for another job (term limits) and he has fairly solid credentials. He is well liked in the Party and hasn't done anything too stupid to soil his ticket so far. Pataki (NY) is up for re-election in 02 and is likely to win. But the VP's chair would make a nice line on his resume. Jim Ryan of Illinois had an eye on a better job but has gotten himself mixed up in some corruption nonsense that simply is not going away. Vote fraud, favoritism, graft and all the other typical stuff involved in Chicago Politics have come home to roost on his desk from back when he was Secretary of State. Indictments have come down to some in his office, and more may be on the way so he can kiss everything else good by.
       Now we have to look at that Republican Governor of Florida. JFK appointed his own brother as Attorney General. Well. W isn't JFK. While Jeb Bush looks good, and he seems to be weathering the latest storm about some family problems quite well. Then again, if he made it through the 2000 election stink then the 2002 primary mess in his state untainted, maybe we should transfer the title 'Teflon Don' to him.
       Maybe Danny Boy? Nah. Former Vice President Quayle is a never was, not a has-been.
       How about Elizabeth Dole? She's been out of the picture awhile now, and if she gets the nod, it may look like W was reaching to bring the women's vote into the race. Longshot at best.
       Face it, there just aren't a lot of National Level Politicians of either party out there that have the weight to swing a ticket.

       Speaking of lightweights, who's on the Democratic side besides AlGore to run for Prez?

       Well. Darned near everybody... but not too many of them have what it would take to make W pack for a one way trip back to the Ranch.
       Senators: Tom Daschle (SD) is a mainstream liberal with a name, but as far as national credentials, he's just now getting them. Could he mount a serious campaign for 04? For him it would be a stretch, in the checkbook if nowhere else. South Dakota just isn't a very big base for a national run. Massachusetts' John Kerry is another one who seems to be looking that way, but most of the time he has to look over Hillary Clinton's shoulders to see it. Clinton (NY) has been flirting in and out of that limelight for the last two years. Will she won't she. Well the Desk says she will, and that means that Mr. Kerry and the others who probably deserve the chance more, and would do better by it that her, will be out in the cold while she sucks up the money from the party and its faithful. A Clinton/Boxer ticket would be a hardcore liberal's dream. But the country isn't ready for that and between Mrs. Clinton and Barbara Boxer (CA) there wouldn't be too many regular voters that one or the other wouldn't offend while on the campaign trail.
       House Dems: Gephardt (MO) is the one most people are focusing on. And indeed he seems to have come into his own in the House as Majority/Minority Leader (it seems to switch back and forth with every election). And in the House He is really the only one of the more than 200 Democrats without 'Who?' attached to their name.
       Governors. Oh geeze. We have to talk about them? OK. We'll mention them and move on. We'll do the worse right off the bat. Face it; Parris N. Glendening is a hapless dolt who proves the Peter Principal which states that: in a hierarchically structured administration, people tend to be promoted up to their level of incompetence. Per the Principal he would be the biggest idiot in Maryland, and has been for two terms as Governor, fortunately there are term limits and he has to move on. Would he take a shot as the White House? Is he That big of an idiot? No. However Gray Davis (CA) is. He is up for re-election in 02 and will have nothing better to do for two years than eye the White House before he has to leave in 06.
       One Governor that doesn't appear to be an idiot, but is a die-hard liberal, is Doctor John Kitzhaber, Governor of Oregon. He is leaving his post, once again due to term limits as far as the Desk can tell, and although he doesn't appear to be interested in the National Game the Desk would be willing to bet he could be drafted and might make a decent candidate.
       And then there is Former Vice President Albert A. Gore Jr.
       The Sorest Looser. The Man that Hired a Woman to Make him look and act like a Man. In any case. He is Still Out There. And Is Running Again. Yes he is.
       This time around though he may get it right. First off he has completely distanced himself from Bill the Lecher. It would be a surprise if he'd even shake hands with Bill in public. He has tried to be more than he was and is starting to act like he has learned from past mistakes and flatly, he's had his share of them. Gore has given up even trying to pose as an academic. He's making the rounds of all the trusty Liberal hotspots, and the Desk wouldn't be surprised if he made an appearance on Saturday Night Live before the 04 primary season.
       But is he a viable Candidate or is he just cannon fodder for W?

       That's up to W. And to a lessor extent. Up to Gore.

       And a note to the Libertarians. PLEASE, not another campaign by Harry Browne. Oh, we love him dearly. But there has to be another Libertarian out there someplace who can run this time. For Reform Party, read that last line, substitute Mr. Browne with Pat Buchanan, same for Ralph Nader and the other wanna-bes.

       As was said above... The '04 Election is still W's to loose. He is calling the shots at this point. And with overall approval over fifty percent in every poll and bouncing around seventy percent in most, he is almost untouchable. Right now.
       IF he doesn't do anything stupid. Like getting caught in the Oval Office with an Intern or something else Clintonian. Or run into a major scandal al la Nixon. Or bungle some major international event like Carter. Or make a promise he can't keep like Bush 41, "Read my lips..."
       If the voters see progress against terrorism, and the economy starts to recover, look for him to roll through on a Reaganesque second term landslide no matter who the opposition is. And, furthermore, no matter who his running mate is. And from the weekend before the Mid Term Election, that's what it looks like we are in for like it or not.


Two Years and Counting....

[note: presented as entertainment only, don't sue the Desk if you loose money betting in Vegas on these predictions.
    further note: the media desk has never voted for a winning presidential candidate although it votes in every election. also the desk is registered as a 'independent conservative libertarian' thank you]

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