Guest blogger: Tim Malacarne
With the 2006 midterm elections just a month behind us, many political observers have already turned their attention to the 2008 presidential election. For the first time since 1952, neither the incumbent president or vice-president will be seeking his party’s nomination for the presidency. With such an open field, many politicians on both sides of the spectrum are considering bids. However, rather than run down the same list of likely candidates that everyone else on the web is doing, Congresspedia is going to be keeping track of which definite steps members of Congress and other candidates have taken to run for president. We'll be updating our page on the 2008 presidential election, but here's the current breakdown:
- Rep. Duncan Hunter (R) – the California representative was the first member of either major party to officially declare his candidacy.
- Rep. Dennis Kucinich (D) – the Ohio congressman has said that he will once again seek the Democratic nomination.
- Gov. Tom Vilsack (D) – the Iowa governor was the first Democrat to officially throw his hat into the ring.
- Sen. Joe Biden (D) – the Delaware senator stated as early as 2005 that he intended to run in 2008, but has taken no formal steps toward a candidacy.
- Sen. Sam Brownback (R) – the Kansas senator has formed an exploratory committee to examine a possible candidacy.
- Sen. Hillary Clinton (D) – the senator from New York and former First Lady has accumulated staff for a potential run, but has not officially declared her candidacy or formed an exploratory committee.
- John Edwards (D) – the former North Carolina senator and 2004 vice-presidential candidate has accumulated staff for a possible run.
- Al Gore - the former vice-president and 2000 Democratic nominee has said that he is not running, but has not completely ruled out entering the race.
- Rudy Giuliani (R) – the former New York City mayor has formed an exploratory committee to examine a bid.
- Sen. John McCain (R) – the Arizona senator has accumulated staff and formed an exploratory committee, but has not yet officially announced his candidacy.
- Sen. Barack Obama (D) – the Illinois senator stated that he is considering running and has visited early voting states, but has not formed an exploratory committee or declared his candidacy.
- Gov. Bill Richardson (D) – the New Mexico governor and former U.S. Rep., Secretary of Energy, and U.N. Ambassador was reported to have declared his intent to run, although a spokesman denied that he has yet made a final decision.
- Gov. Mitt Romney (R) – the outgoing Massachusetts governor has accumulated staff for a potential run, but has not officially declared or formed an exploratory committee.
- Tommy Thompson (R) – the former Wisconsin governor and Health and Human Services Secretary has formed an exploratory committee to consider a possible bid.
In addition to the aforementioned individuals, retired General Wesley Clark, Sen. Christopher Dodd (Conn.), and 2004 nominee John Kerry (Mass.) are considered potential Democratic candidates, though they have not taken any concrete steps toward a bid. On the Republican side, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Sen. Chuck Hagel (Neb.), Gov. Mike Huckabee (Ark.) and Gov. George Pataki (N.Y.) are also rumored to be considering a run.
In contrast, several prominent politicians once considered potential 2008 hopefuls have stated that they will not run. For the Democrats, these include Sen. Evan Bayh (D-Ind.), former Senate leader Tom Daschle, Sen. Russ Feingold (D-Wis.), and former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner. Republicans who have opted out of a potential bid include Sen. George Allen (R-Va.), Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.), Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, and Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.)
With 2007 rapidly approaching, the field of presidential hopefuls is likely to see many changes. To cut through the layers of rampant speculation and stay up to date with all the latest developments, be sure to check out Congresspedia’s page on the 2008 presidential election.