Hillary Clinton: The one to beat, but no one will. This post by Kevin Drum from the Washington Monthly way back in January hit the nail on the head. Basically, Hillary has been painted as the she-devil with horns and a tail (Google images paints a good mosaic of public feeling). People are supposed to hate her, so that sets her bar really really low. But the thing is, once people see her speak and she turns out to not have devil trimmings and a hammer and sickle tattoo on her forehead - they think, 'hey, she is not so bad after all.' It reminds me of a study done where you show two groups of people the same "average" movie. You tell the first group that it is an amazing movie. You tell the second that the movie is awful. And guess what?
Hillary is the perfect average movie. Not as bad as you feared but something you don't feel compelled to talk to your friends about.
Barack Obama: The one to upset Hillary, but who won't. Its a sad thing too. I really like Obama and I think he would be a great president. He has been running on his judgment and I think this is the right way to go. No matter what Hillary says about the war (at the time every one thought blah blah), she has clearly shown poor judgment in my opinion. Barack has not, and some one who could see through that amount of muck and mire of beltway group think has my respect. That said, he has been labeled as the "great hope" and the reincarnation of JFK. That is bad news for him, because no one can live up to that. Even if he is great, when people see him they think he should have been 'great-er.' He has also run his campaign frustratingly defensively, making him appear to not really want it enough. VP Obama anyone?
John Edwards: He has been shut out from the start. He has a loyal following and every one keeps saying that he is technically the most progressive candidate who has a chance - if he had a chance. I think he lost this thing in 2004 and he is just re-hashing it. Him and Bill Richardson make up the second tier of candidates.
Bill Richardson: A nice Guy, and the "other" other candidate. He has never been able to separate himself besides the fact that he was a governor once, and he would help get the Hispanic vote.
Chris Dodd: Haven't heard of him? Unless you follow liberal blogs you probably wouldn't, but he has gained some key supporters including Markos Moulitsas-Zuniga of the largest libral blog - Daily Kos. He has also been active in the senate, placing a hold on the retroactive immunity bill for telecoms and threatening to actively filibuster it if that fails. Doomed of course to live in the third tier forever but who has gained credibility and support during this run at least.
Denis Kucinich: "Can't we all just get along? Please?"
Joe Biden: Please stop Joe, you are embarrassing your self.
Mike Gravel: "Everyone else is evil! What are you thinking! Why arn't you asking me any questions! Hey! Hey! Whats going on! Someone?!" ... Seriously when I first saw him I thought he was great, or at least a refreshing angry-uncle character. Unfortunately he doesn't go any deeper that that. Please exit stage right Mike.
...And thats about it. The republicans agree that Hillary has it too, as shown by last nights debate called, "why Hillary 'Marx' Clinton is an anti-American she-devil who will capitulate to islamo-fascism and make everyone die from "hillarycare" comi-socialized medicine." The clearly hate her - and are setting her up for an easy win with a no doubt nasty term after that. Talking Points Memo has a video round up. Preview: Hillary was mentioned 45 times in the hour!