My guess for 2008

This guy will get the Democratic nomination and win the Presidency.

Former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner (D) has ramped up his fundraising for congressional Democratic incumbents and challengers, signaling a national organizing strategy to position the centrist Southerner for a White House bid in 2008.

I really hate talking about something that’s two years out where a lot can happen before then, and there’s a more important election between now and then. But I will anyway. Here’s my analysis for 2008:

The Republican party is in a pickle because their strongest candidates (the ones who’d fair best in a general election) are unpalatable to the religious right – this includes McCain and Guliani. I don’t think either of them can survive the party’s primary process. The Dobson faction of the party, which is currently dominant and getting entirely too extreme will only tolerate a similarly extreme candidate. I don’t know who that will be as of yet, but it’s unlikely to be anyone who’s palatable to the general population.

In the main election, the Republican party in general will be saddled with a deeply unpopular war and a lame duck incumbant. Anyone strongly associated with either (and few Republicans aren’t) will have an uphill battle.

So the election is the Democrat’s to lose. Which they will if they nominate Hillary, and I think most Dems realize that. I also think that the democrats suffer a deficit of leadership right now. Al Gore has a shot; but I think he has too much baggage to prevail. I don’t think democrats will make another hasty choice as they did with Kerry. They, unlike the Republicans, will be vetting candidates for how well they’ll fare in the general election. Given the current distaste the public has with the status quo, I don’t think it’ll be any now-prominent Democrats.

Enter Mark Warner. A relative unknown on the national scene, but one with a lot of good will. He’s a successful former Governor of a southern red state. He’s charismatic. I think ultimately, he’s the most likely to run and win.

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