Sunday, January 4, 2009

Quick political round-up

Shovel-ready projects. Representative-elect Perriello thinks infrastructure projects like I-73 and the expansion of US 58 should be included in the upcoming stimulus package, but projects nearer to start are more likely to earn funding. According to the Martinsville Bulletin:
Perriello speculated the U.S. 58 project would win support more readily than some other projects because it is “shovel ready,” meaning permitting and design work have been completed and projects could be implemented within 90 and 120 days, and would result in job creation.
McAulliffe in as gubernatorial candidate. Yeah, we already knew this, but I am including it here for the sake of thoroughness. Former DNC Chair Terry McAullife has now officially declared to run for the office of Governor of Virginia.

Kaine in as DNC Chair.
Current VA Governor Tim Kaine will become the Chair of the DNC later this month. The official announcement will apparently come later this week. Kaine, a former contender for the vice-presidency and a close friend of Obama, will work as Chair on a part-time basis while he finishes his term as governor, and he will then take the position full-time.

Richardson out as Commerce Secretary.
Bill Richardson has withdrawn his name for the nomination of the Commerce Secretary, citing an investigation into a New Mexico business dealing.

Jeb for Prez?
Former President George H. W. Bush today announced on Fox News Sunday that he would like to see his son, Jeb, be President someday. To quote Bush:
"I think he'd be an outstanding senator ... I'd like to see him be president some day," Bush said. "Right now is probably a bad time because maybe we've had enough Bushes in there."
While I have a more faith in the American public, Matthew Yglesias thinks Jeb will be President someday, 2016 most likely. Lord, I hope not. I hope in eight or 12 more years we will still have "had enough Bushes in there."


Darren Staley said...

Kaine is a good pick, although I'm not sure that Dean has gotten his due. The 50-state stratgey was mocked in many Democratic circles, but look at us now!

Richardson is a huge loss. I wanted him for VP from way back, even thought Commerece was beneath his qualifications. Sad.

Now we come to Jeb. Every Republican I spoke with in 08 was not happy with the field of candidates. When I asked them who their dream candidate would be two names came up every time: Jeb Bush and Colin Powell, in that order.

Whether the W stain can ever be erased is a big if. But there are a lot of Republicans who want a do-over with the "right" Bush.

Did I mention he is popular in the Latino community (and speaks fluent Spanish) and is all but certain to take Florida in a general election?

My guess is that if Obama looks likely to win in 2012, Jeb doesn't jump in but ramps up speculation that he might to test the waters.

If the water feels right, he then becomes the presumptive nominee heading into 2016 with four years in between to organize, network, and raise cash.

Of course this begs the question: who is our top dog in 2016? Biden and Hillary will have age issues. Edwards is finished. Richardson is finished (and has age issues). By heading the DNC Kaine may have partisan issues. I suppose Webb would be on the list, but I find that a longshot. Franken is an interesting choice.

Finally, I'll betcha there will be a pretty evolved third party by 2016 and maybe even 2012. Ventura will be in the mix there as well as Bloomberg.

Drew said...

To answer your question, who is on our bench that would make great candidates in 2016? Senator-Elect and former Governor Mark Warner from here in Virginia. You might remember that he put his name in the hat and then withdrew "for family reasons." Also, and Brian Schweitzer from Montana. Those are the top guys who come to my mind.

Of course, Spitzer would have been in the mix until the Client number Nine thing.

James said...

Speculation on who will be the 2016 front runner for the Democrats is pipe dreaming. Thank about it, in 2000 no one had heard of a man named Obama, now eight year later he is our President-elect. And Jeb Bush will likely have people we do not see on the radar screen now, challenging him. A Bush - Clinton - Bush - Obama - Bush deal out too big a pattern. The Democrats balked at Bush - Clinton - Bush - Clinton, what makes you think the balking will not come from the Republicans for the same reason. If we elect a Republican in 2016 let Jeb be appointed to a cabinet position.

At any rate -- this is good blogging.

Darren Staley said...


I agree. I think Warner is a great choice. For some reason I thought I mentioned him in the post.

Good call.

James' point is well taken. However aside from Obama laying a big turd or a complete party overhaul, I think the GOP's field is much narrower.

Plus, and this is not partisanship but reality, there aren't that many Republicans left. The Dems have more Governors, more state legislatures, more Senators and Representatives.

So who is going to emerge as the GOP leader in eight years who also fits the new GOP brand?

Who in the GOP is pro-choice (at least somewhat), pro-immigration (at least somewhat), pro-fundamentalist Christianity, pro civil unions while also opposing taxes and big government?

It's 2008. Even if this person is in there under the radar, he (or she, but likely he), has only eight years to change the face of both their party and the minds of his base(s).

I'm sorry, but I don't think it can be done that quickly under the circumstances.

The GOP will look to an established, moderate person with name recgonition who can walk that tightrope.

Also recall that the Democrats were on the upswing with Obama. We could take a risk. The GOP is on a downswing. They cannot afford to lose at this point (should that point be there in 2016).