Friday, March 10, 2006
Bush's successor might be in Memphis
Call it what you want -- the opening bell in the 2008 Presidential race, the first cattle call for candidates, an opportunity for delegates to kick the tires on the new Republican models -- but there's a chance the next president of the United States will be here in Memphis, Tennessee, this weekend at the Southern Republican Leadership Conference (SRLC). While this event can't make or break a candidacy, it can give Republican faithful an early look at how viable a candidate might be. It's all about buzz.

The early money is on Sen. John McCain. He has the edge on experience -- running a national campaign in 2000. And he's gone some distance in the past six years toward building bridges with the conservative wing of the party. But according to a recent CNN/USA Today/Gallup poll, he is still more popular among moderates than conservatives, leaving the door open for someone else to pass him on the right.

Who might that be? Rudy Giuliani for one. According to our poll, he has less appeal with moderates than McCain, but beats him with conservatives (despite some positions that would seem to give social conservatives cause for concern). Giuliani also has tremendous national security and management credentials, the sort of person America equates with crisis management. Giuliani was invited this weekend, but is skipping the event.

And then there is Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee. A dark horse at this point, Huckabee has the kind of personality that could catch fire. A former minister who is hugely popular with social conservatives, Huckabee recently lost more than 100 pounds and ran a marathon in an effort to beat diabetes. He was born in a little town called Hope. And we all know that Hope has a pretty good record of producing presidents.

Any way you look at it, the field is wide open. It's the first time since 1952 that there's no sitting president or vice-president seeking the nomination. The eventual list of candidates could top 10 or 11. In addition to McCain and Huckabee, also in attendance this weekend are Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (a home-state favorite), Virginia Sen. George Allen, Sam Brownback of Kansas and Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney. Each will have 15 minutes to address the delegates. Fifteen minutes they hope will lead to fame.

We'll get our first idea of how delegates are feeling about the field with the results of a straw poll on Saturday night. Sure, a straw poll at this time could be considered meaningless, but let's not forget who won the SRLC's ballot in 1998 -- George W. Bush. However, some Republicans say the fix is in on Saturday's straw poll. Mississippi Sen. Trent Lott claims Frist has stacked the deck by busing in delegates from Nashville. There's no love lost between Lott and Frist, and Lott is throwing his support behind McCain. But to trash the senator in his home state is an indication of just how interesting the coming campaign could be.

It's still early, but who do you think is the GOP's best bet in 2008?
Posted By John Roberts, CNN Senior Correspondent: 2:50 PM ET
Rudy Giuliani has the nomination locked if he decides that he wants it.
Posted By Anonymous Aaron, Tampa, FL : 3:16 PM ET
Katherine Harris certainly has the experience Republicans will need.
Posted By Anonymous Tony Nazar, Wilton, ME : 3:17 PM ET
Frankly speaking, with republicans in control for the last several years (and I needn't go into detail) I think the GOP best bet would be to walk into the sunset!
Posted By Anonymous Betty Webster NY : 3:18 PM ET
Of all those mentioned, I would support John McCain. As a Tennessean, any of those would be preferable to me over Bill Frist!!!
Posted By Anonymous Deloris Stephenson, Nashville, TN : 3:18 PM ET
It really does not matter who the GOP runs in 2008 if Democrats choose Senator Clinton to be their nominee. That being said, if Clinton is not the nominee for Democrats, John McCain is probably the best bet if the GOP wants to retain the White House.

Do not count out George Allen. Extremely intelligent and eloquent while speaking, he has a conservative record and a personality that grows on people once they get to know him.
Posted By Anonymous Chris Newton Roanoke, VA : 3:21 PM ET
I think it's time for a major change and that means John McCain has already played his hand in this game. I'm not a republican, and not so sure I want to be a democrat anymore, but I would love to see Guiliani run and win. I happen to think he's a pretty good choice at this point to straighten out the mess we're in.
Posted By Anonymous J.P., Austin, Texas : 3:23 PM ET
Forget the men as presidents, I would vote for Hillary Clinton in a NY second! But, a woman president in my life time won't happen, I'm in my early 50s.You never know though, anything can happen nowadays!
Posted By Anonymous Julie, Sacramento, CA : 3:33 PM ET
I agree that the Republicans best bet is John McCain. To bad they don't run the national election the way they do some of the states. The President and Vice President run on their own, you could end up having the perfect pair in the White House. Hilary and John. Wouldn't that be a pair to draw to.
Posted By Anonymous Jan West; West Fork, Arkansas : 3:34 PM ET
McCain is certainly a great moderate. I am a moderate conservative and I have tremendous respect for him. I worry that his is too nice a man to win the race. Guiliani would make a great VP and I think that they could make a great team. I am so sorry that Condi Rice's name is not in the hat. Brilliant public servants should become brilliant presidents.
Posted By Anonymous Scott, Austin, Texas : 3:34 PM ET
Whom ever the candidate is: Our nation needs a strong leader. A protector and defender of our constitution and values as Americans. We need to care for those Americans who can not care for themselves and defend the rights we have died for over the years. Man or woman it makes no difference. Party means nothing. I am tired of paying for congressional do nothings and weak minded career politicians. The guttless wonders that do not have the courage they tell us to have. Bush may not be a scholar but at least he has the gutts to make decisions. Stop playing politics with the lives of our citizens and do you jobs...
Posted By Anonymous Tony Dominick, St. Petersburg, Florida : 3:35 PM ET
John McCain is running, and he will win. He's got what America needs right now: national security expertise, an independent/reformist mind, and a uniting aura. Moderates love him and will stay with him, and conservatives will recognize he's one of them as it becomes apparent McCain's the best hope to stop a Hillary Clinton victory in 2008.
Posted By Anonymous Christopher Sells, Williamsburg, VA : 3:37 PM ET
Since Lieberman is not wanted on the Dem side, I say a McCain/Lieberman ticket. It's got "Jo-mentum!"
Posted By Anonymous Some Guy, Asheville, NC : 3:37 PM ET
In a practical sense, I can't see that it matters in the slightest which Republicrat or Democan becomes the next president. The only difference is the way they'll waste taxpayer dollars and violate our Constitutional rights.
Posted By Anonymous Chris Moller, Apex, NC : 3:38 PM ET
I think John McCain is the Republicans' best bet, though he's shown an amazing spinelessness in standing up to the far-right in his party.

From the gist of your story, I get the feeling you think another right-wing Republican will win the presidency. I don't think the far-right will have that clout in '08; the lies about the Iraqi war, the Islamic ultimate authority cited in the Iraqi constitution, the portions of the Constitution being turned off under a wave of fear and terror engendered by this admin and right-wing Congresspeople - I think the American public is ready to let the country's political pendulum, stuck high on the far right since 9-11, swing back toward the center.
Posted By Anonymous Steve Novak, Lyons, Colorado : 3:41 PM ET
What makes anyone think that we would vote for a Republican again. America isn't that stupid. If we don't change the direction we are going, there won't be any future for anyone but the elite.
Posted By Anonymous Jim Crossley Vancouver, Wa. : 3:43 PM ET
In the eventual national race, its always best to run the moderate. The best thing for the Republican party would be to nominate McCain or Guiliani in 2008, but I doubt either will be the choice of the newly self-destructive Republican party.
Posted By Anonymous Mark Rutledge, Wilmington, NC : 3:43 PM ET
At this early date I would support Rudy Giuliani. He seems to have what it would take. I like McCain also, but I am not sure he could get the nomination after already running once before.
Posted By Anonymous Frances.E.Hollick, Jersey Shore, Pennsylvania : 3:43 PM ET
Guiliani has 'national security credentials'? Give me a break. He just happened to be there on 9/11. The city would've rallied around a monkey had it been mayor. Hopefully he won't get away with exploiting 9/11 the way the current administration has.

McCain would be the most formidable opponent should the conservatives rally around him. I'd say its between him and George Allen.
Posted By Anonymous Jeff Albertson, Springfield Kentucky : 3:45 PM ET
The GOP's best bet in 2008 is a McCain/Dole ticket. They'll need a woman on the ticket to beat Clinton/Richardson!
Posted By Anonymous Tony, Albany OR : 3:45 PM ET
I believe Mcain could be a uniting President that would muster bipartisian support for level headed programs and ideas.
Posted By Anonymous George, Denton, Tx : 3:45 PM ET
Let us hope John McCain wins the GOP vote for their candidate. It would be a sad day for America to have another flop for a president such as Frist or Giuliani.
Posted By Anonymous David Funk, Louisville, KY : 3:47 PM ET
It's funny how people are already talking about this stuff. It was in the not so distant past that Rick Santorum was the apparent GOP up and comer and now it looks as though there's a good chance he's not even going to keep his senate seat. A lot can change in a short amount of time.

I think McCain has a shot for the nomination, but it's the "base" that really gets out there for the GOP and I know there is a pretty strong hatred for him in far right circles.

In any regards, I won't be voting for any of those people. My future president is Russ Feingold. Hey, a divorced Jewish liberal with not much name recognition will have no problem getting elected in our current culture, right? Right?
Posted By Anonymous Stacy, St. Louis, MO : 3:47 PM ET
I've heard he's not interested, but Colin Powell would roll over anyone the Dems put up...including Hillary
Posted By Anonymous RS Romine, Portland, Or : 3:48 PM ET
Hey John, To answer your question, I think McCain is a front runner, however, I hope every Republican in Washington is run out of office to rid us of the culture of corruption and deceit. I usually look closely at all candidates and check their records and vote for the one who represents what I want to see for this country. I will now save myself all that time and trouble. If you have Republican after your name, you will not get my vote.
Posted By Anonymous Judy Stage Brooklyn Michigan : 4:00 PM ET
I agree with Betty Webster. Now that the absolute power has corrupted absolutely, it's time for the country to move away from the Republican party
Posted By Anonymous Garrett, Olympia, WA : 4:00 PM ET
After 8 years of extreme conservatism and religious influence in the GOP and
American society in general, I expect to see the moderates win out with a representative like McCain who can truly be a "uniter" of both parties, not a "divider" like the current president has become.
Posted By Anonymous Sean, Dallas, TX : 4:05 PM ET
I don't see Republicans voting for McCain or Giuliani in the primary. Mike Huckabee seems like the logical choice, a well-spoken moderate conservative. On the Democratic side, even though the media will spin that Clinton has the nomination locked before anyone even announces their intention (remember Howard Dean's fall, anyone?), Democrats are going to turn to someone they feel has true convictions like Indiana Senator Evan Bayh or Russ Feingold. Clinton's posturing will hurt her in the end.
Posted By Anonymous Kyle Bell, South Bend, Indiana : 4:06 PM ET
Anyone versus Hillary Clinton.... hands down!
Posted By Anonymous Carol, Kansas City, KS : 4:06 PM ET
I'd love to see Guiliani get it... or McCain... Anybody but Hillary. Not that I don't want a woman president, it's just that she's even shiftier and more full of it than Kerry. Politicians... blech.
Posted By Anonymous Dustin, Cleveland, OH : 4:08 PM ET
I honestly think you all overestimate Hillary Clinton. A lot of america is, sadly, still not ready for a women president.(although they should be!!) What the country needs is a good honest politician, who has the idea of uniting a country that seems like it's about to crack in half. It wouldn't surprise me if we were to see people lining up north vs. south in a few years. Where we'll find that honest politician that would be willing to run for pres. I really don't know, perhaps in the fiction section.
Posted By Anonymous Blake, Boston MA : 4:09 PM ET
Sen. McCain has the best chance of beating a Democratic challenger, since he has wide appeal across party lines. Of course, if Hilary Clinton is the Democratic candidate, then the Republicans can win the White House with just about anyone except Osama bin Ladin.
Posted By Anonymous T. Matsuoka, Honolulu, HI : 4:09 PM ET
Chuck Hagel. He has been ahead of the curve on the issues in Iraq, has provided some alternative solutions, and understands that America needs to prepare for a more competitive world.

He's not at the straw poll, but it's probably a good idea. Also, he's very low in any polls, and he's not a favorite of the establishment GOP, which could help him enormously down the road if he knows how to play long ball.
Posted By Anonymous Jack, Albany, NY : 4:09 PM ET
Katherine Harris? Are you serious? She has become a joke like the rest of this administration. The GOP's short time is over and they know it.
Posted By Anonymous Ray, Pittsburgh, PA : 4:10 PM ET
Who cares who the GOP candidate will be. At this point in time, I can't see America putting another republican in office. Also, the presidential election is still 3 years away. That's 3 more years for Bush to mess even more things up, and give the tiny percentage of people who still support him more time to rethink their positions and wake up.
Posted By Anonymous Joe Jacenko, Phoenix, AZ : 4:11 PM ET
Condolezza Rice is by far the best candidate. If she decides not to run, then hopefully one of the GOP contenders will be wise enough to coax her into a VP role.
Posted By Anonymous Joel, Nashville, TN. : 4:12 PM ET
Let's not forget that Rome fell, largely due to its arrogance. Centuries later, we seem to have forgotten that fact. We must halt the groundless theory that as the world's pre-eminent military power, we have the right to re-shape the world to our own "flawed" ideals. The world is watching, and if anyone here doesn't think that this country needs a RADICAL shift back to center, we're running the risk of going the way of Rome.
Wake up, America. Let's get back to being responsible members of the world community, and not merely the self-annointed, grandiose bullies we've become. Having said that, I've enjoyed to some degree watching the GOP begin to collapse under the weight of its own inelegance. Were lessons learned from the elections of 2000 and '04? That remains to be seen, but I hope and pray that we can implement a correction before we implode.
Posted By Anonymous Wm. Pasternacki, Palm Springs, CA : 4:12 PM ET
George Allen is my pick for the GOP nomination. I know first hand from working as a volunteer on his campaign for governor in 1993 that people will rally around him once they get to know him. He overcame poor name recognition and a huge deficit in the polls to win in a landslide in 1993. Not only that, but if he wins I can say I knew the President back when he was unemployed. His wife would also be a major asset because you couldn't find a better first lady.

Guiliani is too liberal to be backed by the conservative base of the GOP. Plus he doesn't have any qualifications for the job.

McCain has some strikes against him, particularly his involvement in the Keating Five scandal. He also voted against the Federal Marriage Amendment, which will hurt his chances with conservatives. I admire his service to his country but wouldn't want him as President.

Mitt Romney would be a good choice for VP.
Posted By Anonymous Ian, Carrollton, TX. : 4:15 PM ET
To Garrett in Olympia - you can't tell me that the Democrats aren't corrupt, either. To say the Kennedy or Clinton administration was less corrupt than Bush's would be a lie.

If Hillary runs, I'll vote for anyone but. Heck, I'd write in Mickey Mouse.
Posted By Anonymous Attesa Kay, Atlanta GA : 4:17 PM ET
With Bush's popularity plummeting, the best Republican candidate would be someone who is not tarnished with being his lap-dog these last five years. Perhaps someone at the local or state level, like NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who has tremendous popularity and a reputation as a competent manager.
Posted By Anonymous Michael Smith, Pt. Washington, NY : 4:17 PM ET
I saw a speech by Gov. Huckabee recently on C-SPAN and he can certainly connect with an audience (in person and via camera) in a genuine way. I think he's going to surprise a lot of people.
Posted By Anonymous Diane Balcom, Pittsburgh, PA : 4:19 PM ET
I really think that there isn't one viable candidate among the bunch. McCain lost my interest once he became a kiss-up to our present administration. Guiliani is a very poor example of a good and faithful husband. I hope that the country has had enough of the right wing nuts.
Posted By Anonymous art madrid, stockton, ca. : 4:20 PM ET
For sure McCain could beat anyone that the Democrats throw at him. Him and young Mitt Romney would make a great tag-team.
Posted By Anonymous John Don, Lancaster CA : 4:21 PM ET
John McCain's experience with the military might push him over the top as the Republican candidate for President in 2008.
Posted By Anonymous Evan Delaporte, College Park, MD : 4:23 PM ET
Memphis has a bunch that are blowing in the wind. McCain is the press favorite but is an aging one-issue Vet who did come out against torture. Frist died with the Schiavo diagnosis. Huckabee has a good hand shake but has an anti-immigration enforcement record with the health issue being in question since AR has some of the worst health care and education in the nation. He couldn't even get junk food vending machines out of the schools, let alone handle fraud in financing and testing. His two referendums for no-tax bonds failed. When it comes down to security none of these folks have stood up to be counted in demanding their states National Guards be rebuilt. They are all weak on immigration and seem to support the "secrecy" in government movement.
Posted By Anonymous linda, bella vista, ar : 4:24 PM ET
People seem to forget that before 9/11 Rudy Giuliani was stumbling towards the end of his mayoral term with a messy divorce looming while he was committing adultery in the Mayor's mansion. I'm curious how the religious right feels about this aspect of his life.
Posted By Anonymous Mike, Philadelphia, PA : 4:24 PM ET
Being a moderate republican, I would have to go with McCain. He's been through the crisis of POW camp and come out well. He's been through war and probably has ideas of how to avoid it when necessary and when to use it as well.
Posted By Anonymous Robert, Carson City, NV : 4:26 PM ET
You dare not overlook Sam Brownback. Like him or not, he's had his eye on the White House since his days at K-State, or so his college classmates tell it.
Posted By Anonymous B.D. Stucky, Goessel, KS : 4:26 PM ET
George Allen is looks and no brains. He's done nothing but look pretty and smile for the camera since being elected to the Senate, and he did lasting harm to Virginia's infrastructure as governor. Not to mention, his style of rhetoric is definitely that of a divider, not a uniter. Allen in the White House would be like four more years of Bush, walbeit with less intellect and less efficiency.

I don't care who's elected as long as he/she DOES THE JOB. Don't saddle us with another intellectual lightweight who has plenty of big thoughts but no idea how to get things done.
Posted By Anonymous Andy, Richmond, VA : 4:29 PM ET
McCain will probably be the one. However, when I think about what the Repubs have done in the last 6 years, it does make me ill. I am not crazy about Hillary, but will vote anti-Republican this time around.
Posted By Anonymous Mitch Bergenfield , NJ : 4:32 PM ET
McCain as President, Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) as his running mate...You heard it here FIRST!!! Graham will gain the conservative vote that McCain will lose due to his centrist nature.
Posted By Anonymous Drenen Tucker, Greenville, SC : 4:32 PM ET
The GOP doesn't even care much for Ms. Harris, and is trying to scuttle her candidacy against Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla). Katherine Harris? You've GOT to be joking!
Posted By Anonymous Bob Tallahassee, FL : 4:33 PM ET
Hey Joe,
The presidential election is TWO years away, not three. Just thought I'd correct you. And I am pulling for a McCain-Biden ticket.
Posted By Anonymous Patrick Henry, Libertyville, IL : 4:34 PM ET
If Sam Brownback gets the nomination i'm leaving the country. hat guy is dangerous. You think our democracy is eroding now? Wait until he's in office and installs a theocracy, then we're eally in trouble!
Posted By Anonymous Dan, Philadelphia, PA : 4:34 PM ET
I think that a Giuliani-McCain Ticket would have legs. The only problem with that is wether or not McCain would be satisfied with the second-banana position. He could have a lot of influence on policy and could take a page from Cheney's greater involvement in decision-making.
Posted By Anonymous John Hanchulak, Akron, Ohio : 4:35 PM ET
John McCain is too qualified to be a good GOP candidate. It'll be Jeb from out of nowhere with wild-eyed evangelicals knocking door to door supporting him while they claim that John McCain has a Vietnamese love-child or some other total nonsense.

We would not be in the mess we are in right now if McCain had won the nomination in 2000!
Posted By Anonymous John , West Palm Beach FL : 4:35 PM ET
Rudy Guiliani would get the conservative votes in a heartbeat, and would also be the best GOP candidate to face off with and ultimately defeat... it hurts to type this... Hillary Clinton and her sidekick Slick Willy.
Posted By Anonymous Kevin, Princeton NJ : 4:36 PM ET
Christine Whitman would overcome most of the objections that people have raised to a continuation of GOP dominance, and she would have a lot of appeal to moderates. I think the GOP power structure, at this time, is too smug and insular to do something this smart.
Posted By Anonymous Hal Medford, Oregon : 4:41 PM ET
Forget the GOP & the Dems. Collin Powell & Russel Honore as the 1st all black ticket. If you want integrity & common sense. These two gentlemen have both covered. No inside the beltway credentials you say? Perhaps that's the best reason of all.
Posted By Anonymous DC, Frisco, TX : 4:47 PM ET
The best bet, front-runner or dark horse, Republican or Democrat, is obviously who ever is backed by George H. W. Bush. He's been running this country for the last 20 years. Why would he stop now when he is getting ever so close to his New World Order?
Posted By Anonymous Lace, WPB, Fl. : 4:47 PM ET
As an independent/moderate voter who votes in each and every election, the only Republican I would even consider is John McCain. I am not sure how I feel about Sen. Clinton.
However, I feel nauseated by the whole bunch. Pres Bush's arrogance/ineptitude, VP Cheney's obsessive desire with secrecy, and the rotting, abhorent corruption within the Congress (at this point, primarily (R) led (i.e. Abramoff, Cunningham, Libbey (Frist diagnosing Schiavo - does he think we forgot?) makes me think I'd vote for ANY DEMOCRAT who MIGHT be able to win. Sad, maybe. But disgust makes us all do strange things.
Posted By Anonymous Mary, of Allston, MA and York, ME : 4:47 PM ET
"What the country needs is a good honest politician..." Honest politician! Unfortunately, that's an oxymoron in this day and age. What this country needs is someone who isn't a self-righteous theocrat. But ultimately, the change begins this November, not in 2008. A shift back towards the center is definitely in order.
Posted By Anonymous Nick, Berkeley, CA : 5:09 PM ET
The Republicans will probably nominate John McCain. McCain can handily beat Hillary Clinton. Hillary is by far the worst candidate the Dems could put up. Not because she is a woman but because she is so polarizing, has no appeal in the south, and gives a TERRIBLE stump speech.

The Dems should put up Mark Warner/Evan Bayh as their ticket. That would immediately put Virginia, Indiana, and Kentucky in play which would force the GOP to spend and defend the south which in turn would lead to their defeat. Mark Warner and Evan Bayh are the keys to a Democratic victory.
Posted By Anonymous Patrick, Indianapolis, Indiana : 5:11 PM ET
I think you missed the humor in the Katherine Harris post - just the experience the GOP will need - as Sec. of State in FL - thought that was clever. There will be not be an "R" on my voting card in 2006. I'm 60 this year - never seen a party that deserves to be flushed like the GOP right now.
Posted By Anonymous Julie, Clarendon Hills, IL : 5:11 PM ET
The Republicans are out of luck in 2008 regardless of who they run. Their support of Bush and his agenda has ruined it for them.

The right person for President in 2008 and the man to beat will be Wesley Clark.
Posted By Anonymous Mike Turney, Placerville, CA : 5:13 PM ET
I would vote for Judge Roy Moore. This country is in dire straits as far as leadership is concerned. We don't need anymore PC leaders. We need to return this country to the Constitution that all of these politicians swear to support and defend. Our Biblical roots have been torn asunder and we need to get them back. Judge Roy Moore would be the man for the job.
Posted By Anonymous Marc, Greenleaf, Kansas : 5:13 PM ET
Not since 1960 has a sitting Senator been elected POTUS. That may mean that the odds are right for it now, but I don't think so. The GOP has had a winning idea with Governors (and maybe the former Mayor of New York qualifies as executive enough). My bet is it will be a proven executive. I hope it's Giuliani.
Posted By Anonymous Doug, Washington, DC, & Coral Gables, FL : 5:14 PM ET
We could use a man like Chuck Hagel. I miss Ike.
Posted By Anonymous Chuck Stevenson, Schaumburg, IL : 5:15 PM ET
In order of preference: J.C Watts, Condi, Colin and Steve Largent.
Posted By Anonymous Bob Chaney, Seattle,WA : 5:18 PM ET
I am not much of a GOP fan, especially after the entire Iraq situation, but I believe a McCain-Giuliani (not sure in which order) ticket might be hard to beat. It will be interesting, nevertheless.
Posted By Anonymous Erich, Hartford, CT : 5:18 PM ET
I enjoy reading all the postings. I do believe that the Hon Sen McCain has pass his prime. I would have voted for him in 2000, however he has since sided this administration too many time. He is no longer a voice of reason. The Former Major from NYC, come on, when you talk morality, he doesn't have it. None of the current Republican "candidates" have what it takes. I do believe that a POWELL-RICE ticket would be a landslide, or even a CLINTON-OBAMA or CLINTON-FORD ticket would be unbeatable. Today, in America "THE CENTER" is most relevant, and the candidate(s) who can balance Peace, War and Terrorism will be the one who succeed. The candidate who understand and show that in the final analysis it's not military power alone that will be an end all, solve all will be president. Today, more than ever be need a balance approach to Domestic and Foreign issues. An American who can foster the diplomatic, military and intellegence might of this nation into Great American ideals and diplomacy will be president. That person can be someone we now know or someone we have not yet heard of. Let us wait and see, "don't put all of your hopes in one candidate or person. Think before you VOTE! The candidate(s) who show the ability to lead and to lead vigarously without tire and an emence concern for America and the World is deserveing of my vote, regardless of Party affiliation, be it Democrat, Repulican or Independent!
Posted By Anonymous J.A.Athill, Fort Sill, OK : 5:18 PM ET
John McCain or Rudy Guiliani has the best chance of beating Hillary in 08. And contrary to popular belief,the Republican party is not the party of the rich. Most "wealthy elites" are incredibly liberal, not conservative or Republican. Look at John Kerry. He doesnt look very poor to me.
Posted By Anonymous Andrew, of Birmingham, AL : 5:19 PM ET
I would say Mike Huckabee is the man for the job. He has proven his leadership and is truly a man of integrity. He is also a man you could "feel right" about voting for in knowing that he would do the right things for the country at this critical time. We are a country in need of healing in many different ways. We need to prove to the world that we are solid and unified in our resolve to do the right things without hesitation or compromise. We need to shine again as a super-power proving that were are a super-nation run with super-people. May God bless America and may we never forget how truly blessed we are.
Posted By Anonymous Mark Sorrell, Hot Springs, AR. : 5:25 PM ET
Which ever one of them has the sense to convince Condi to be his VP will be the only one worth voting for with one exception: not one true Christian will vote for that clown McCain.

We might grit our teeth, hold our noses and vote for for Rudy but no McCain, not now, not ever.
Posted By Anonymous Wayne, Milwaukee, WI. : 5:27 PM ET
Condi Rice would be a winning touchdown! With Lindsay Graham as her VP, imagine the possibilities!
Posted By Anonymous Rich, Hartford, CT : 5:29 PM ET
I'm rooting for my governor, Mitt Romney, all the way.

He rocks!
Posted By Anonymous D.J. - Methuen, Massachusetts : 5:29 PM ET
Huckabee has done nothing for Arkansas and I am afraid he would do the same as President. Just leave him here, for the sake of the Union...
Posted By Anonymous M. Givens Texarkana, AR : 5:32 PM ET
As an independent, I think Rudy Guiliani has the best chances of winning the election for the GOP. And I think a Guiliani/McCain ticket would be their ideal proposition. However, I think Collin Powell and Condi Rice would make formidable candidates too.

Hillary Clinton, in my honest opinion, won't do the Democratic Party any favors. She's a very divisive personality, and most moderates that I know don't particularly care for her. But who else is the Democratic Party going to run that can win? I think the fact that this is such a hard question for most people to answer indicates they still have a long row to hoe. They tried fielding the "anyone but Bush" candidate last time, and that just didn't pan out. I foresee some sizeable upsets this November.... but they simply must field someone with real substance if they want to win in 2008.
Posted By Anonymous John, Charlotte, NC : 5:34 PM ET
I'll tell you that the answer needs to be a moderate candidate from either party. Which ever party puts one up will have a great chance to win. I think the whole country is really tired of the bipartisan bickering and to put someone like Clinton, who is damn near socialist, or Huckabee who might as well run on a religion first, politicts second campaign is irresponsible and just adding to the fire. Can we survive as the greatest country in the world if we elect another leader who polarizes the country like our current president. Debate is good, but at some point we need to start trying to figure out what we agree on rather than beating our differences in to the ground.

If I were running things, which God knows I'm not, I would put up John McCain and Bill Richardson(minus Hilary) as candidates. I would be happy with either. How about Powell - he has always been a sensible leader.
Posted By Anonymous Rob A, Minneapolis, MN : 5:34 PM ET
Anyone honest enough would not have the money or financial backing to run an election campaign. We the people have allowed ourselves to be ruled by the fat cats that have become so powerful they don't even really care anymore. The path we are on is a blind alley. Our once mighty nation will eventually crumble.
Posted By Anonymous John, Hilliard, Ohio : 5:35 PM ET
A behind the scenes look at "Anderson Cooper 360°" and the stories it covers, written by Anderson Cooper and the show's correspondents and producers.

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