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2008 presidential race

2009 State of the Union speech
Presidential Debates: Third Obama-McCain Debate - Second Obama-McCain Debate - V.P. debate, Biden vs. Palin - First Obama-McCain Debate
Vice Presidential background materials:

Gov. Sarah Palin: Booklet - Debate - Profile - Wasilla - Governor
Sen. Joe Biden: Bio - Profile - Debates
Convention coverage:
Dems - GOP - McCain - Palin - Obama - Biden - Nader - Barr
McCain-Obama joint appearances:
Aug.16 -Jul.12 -Jun.28 -
Fox -CNN -
MtP -Ads
2008 Democratic primary debates
Apr.16 -Apr.13 -Feb.26 -Feb.21 -Feb.11 -Jan.31 -Jan.28 -Jan.21 -Jan.15 -Jan.5
2008 Republican primary debates
Feb.7 -Jan.30 -Jan.28 -Jan.24 -Jan.10 -Jan.6 -Jan.5
2008 Green primary debates
Feb.3 -Jan.13
2007 Republican primary debates
Dec.22 -Dec.12 -Dec.9 -Nov.28 -Oct.21 -Oct.9 -Sep.27 -Sep.17 -Sep.5 -Aug.5 -Jun.5 -May 15 -May 3
2007 Democratic primary debates
Dec.22 -Dec.13 -Dec.4 -Dec.1 -Nov.15 -Oct.30 -Sep.26 -Sep.20 -Sep.13 -Sep.9 -Aug.19 -Aug.9 -Aug.7 -Jul.23 -Jun.28 -Jun.3 -Apr.26 -Apr.10

Excerpts from Books by and about 2008 candidates
Sen. John McCain (R, AZ)
Why Courage Matters
Sen. Barack Obama(D, IL)
Dreams From My Father
Sen. Joe Biden (D, DE)
Promises to Keep
Gov. Sarah Palin (R, AK)
New Energy for Alaska
Rep. Bob Barr (L)
The Meaning of IS
Rep. Cynthia McKinney (G)
Green Party Debate
Ralph Nader (I)
The Good Fight
Alan Keyes (NAIP)
Our Character, Our Future

Sen. Hillary Clinton
It Takes A Village
Mayor Rudy Giuliani
Gov. Mike Huckabee
Character Makes A Difference
Amb. Alan Keyes
Our Character, Our Future
Rep. Ron Paul
Freedom Under Siege
Gov. Mitt Romney

(click a book cover for excerpts and a review or other books by or about the presidency from

Speculation about the 2008 Presidential race

Who's running, and who's thinking about running for President?

The 2008 election seems to be coming soon, if one reads the news reports. We report some of the speculation here, for potential candidates who are likely to throw their hats into the ring.

STATUS REPORTS: We report below the legal status of presidential campaigns.

NEWS CLIPS: The latest announcements from the potential candidates.

BOOK EXCERPTS: Quotations from each presidential contender's books.
Budget & Economy
   Mark Warner: Popularity based on credit for saving state’s finances.
Civil Rights
   Rudy Giuliani: Pro gay rights.
   Hillary Clinton: Pushing for privacy bill of rights.
   Hillary Clinton: Op-ed: Voted no on flag-burning to build centrist credential.
   Mitt Romney: Opposed gay marriage but played fair and upheld law.
Energy & Oil
   Al Gore: An Inconvenient Truth: Gore’s movie about global warming.
   Al Gore: Global warming captured Gore’s interest as student.
Health Care
   Mitt Romney: State universal coverage plan is national test case.
   Bill Frist: Crafted bipartisan compromise immigration bill.
Principles & Values
   Tom Vilsack: Launches presidential bid; files FEC paperwork.
   Barack Obama: On cover of Time magazine, about his book & presidency.
   John Kerry: Last nominee to get 2nd chance was Adlai Stevenson in 1956.
   Rudy Giuliani: Favored for presidential nomination in CNN poll of GOP.
   Rudy Giuliani: Socially liberal stances: weak in primary; strong in general.
   Evan Bayh: Bayh sends staffers to early primary states & “Camp Bayh”.
   John Edwards: Maintains PAC, One America Committee.
   Mark Warner: Term-limited as governor in 2008.
   Mark Warner: We can’t win presidency in only 16 blue states.
   Russell Feingold: Launched presidential PAC, the Progressive Patriots Fund.
   Hillary Clinton: Poll: support among women 13% higher than among men.
   Hillary Clinton: Hillary’s paradox: she’s not as liberal as people think.
   Howard Dean: DNC pursuing a 50-state strategy to take back the House.
   Al Gore: On 2008: “Been there, done that; not pursuing it”.
   Al Gore: On 2008: can bide his time & raise Internet money later.
   Jeb Bush: Poll: Jeb would lose to Hillary because of “Bush fatigue”.
   John McCain: Poll: Hillary vs. McCain in 2008 would be “nailbiter”.
   Russell Feingold: Declines congressional pay raise.
   Jeb Bush: Pres. Bush plugs Jeb for President; Jeb declines comment.
   George Allen: Conservative alternative to McCain in presidential jockeying.
   Al Gore: Parallels to Nixon’s comeback from 1960 vs. 1968.
   Mitt Romney: Faces questions on Mormonism like Kennedy did on Catholicism.
   Mitt Romney: Not seeking re-election as governor; speaking around US.
   Al Gore: Documentary reintroduces more likable Gore to public.
   Hillary Clinton: Early frontrunner based on name recognition and money.
   Joe Biden: Plans to seek presidential nomination in 2008.
War & Peace
   John Kerry: Regrets nothing more that his 2002 vote for Iraq War.
   Mark Warner: On Hezbollah soldier abductions: “Stands with Israel”.
   John Kerry: Kerry now fully engaged in fighting Swift Boat Veterans.
   John Kerry: Kerry releases Navy records to prove his version of Vietnam.
   John Kerry: Caught off-guard in 2004 by unexpected attacks on war record.
   John Edwards: On voting for Iraq War: “I was wrong”.

The above quotations are from Speculation about the 2008 Presidential race.


    George Allen
    (Former Virginia Senator) Never entered race.
    Michael Bloomberg
    (NYC Mayor).
    Sam Brownback
    (Kansas Senator) Withdrew Nov. 2007.
    Jeb Bush
    (Governor of Florida): Never entered race.
    John Cox
    (Chair of Cook County GOP, Chicago IL).
    Bill Frist
    (Tennessee Senator): Withdrew Nov. 2006.
    Newt Gingrich
    (former Speaker of the House): Opted out of race, Sept. 2007.
    James Gilmore
    (former Governor of Virginia): Withdrew July 2007.
    Rudy Giuliani
    (former NYC Mayor). Withdrew Jan. 30, 2008, after Florida primary
    Chuck Hagel
    (Nebraska Senator): Never entered race.
    Mike Huckabee
    (Governor of Arkansas).
    Duncan Hunter
    (California Representative). Withdrew after Nevada caucuses, Jan. 2008
    Alan Keyes
    (Maryland talk-show host): Drafted, Sept. 2007.
    John McCain
    (Arizona Senator).
    George Pataki
    (New York Governor): Never entered race.
    Ron Paul
    (Texas Representative).
    Mitt Romney
    (Massachusetts Governor).
    Tom Tancredo
    (Colorado Representative): Withdrew, Dec. 2007.
    Fred Thompson
    (former TN Senator). Withdrew Jan. 2008 after SC primary
    Tommy Thompson
    (former Wisconsin Governor and Secretary of HHS): Withdrew Aug. 2007.
    Mark Sanford
    (South Carolina Governor): Never entered race.


    Evan Bayh
    (IN Senator): Withdrew Dec. 2006.
    Joe Biden
    (DE Senator): Withdrew after Iowa Cuacus, Jan 2008.
    Wes Clark
    (former NATO commander): Never entered race.
    Hillary Clinton
    (NY Senator).
    Tom Daschle
    (Former SD Senator): Never entered race.
    Christopher Dodd
    (CT Senator): Withdrew after Iowa Cuacus, Jan 2008.
    John Edwards
    (former NC Senator). Withdrew Jan. 30, 2008, after Florida primary.
    Russ Feingold
    (WI Senator): Withdrew Nov. 2006.
    Al Gore
    (former V.P.): Never entered race.
    Mike Gravel
    (former AK Senator).
    John Kerry
    (MA Senator): Withdrew Jan. 2007.
    Dennis Kucinich
    (OH Representative); withdrew Jan. 2008 to defend House seat.
    Barack Obama
    (IL Senator).
    Bill Richardson
    (NM Governor); withdrew after NH primary, Jan. 2008.
    Al Sharpton
    (Reverend): Never entered race.
    Tom Vilsack
    (IA Governor): Withdrew Feb. 2007.
    Mark Warner
    (VA Governor): Withdrew Oct. 2006.


    Michael Bloomberg
    (NYC Mayor)
    Gloria La Riva
    (Liberation & Socialism)
    Green Party:
    Cynthia McKinney
    (Former GA Representative).
    Socialist Party:
    Brian Moore
    What does the legal status of presidential candidates mean?

  • For all candidates above, we assume they are running for president in 2008. There is no legal obligation at any time during 2007 to actually file papers nor make any form of announcement. Hence candidates do so primarily for publicity purposes.

  • EXPLORATORY COMMITTEE: Candidates use the term "exploratory committee" to indicate they are still at a tentative stage of preparation. An "exploratory committee" is a kind of campaign committee which allows donations while "testing the waters", without the full disclosure rules of a campaign committee. They are legally the same thing -- organizations formed to allow collecting donations for a campaign.

  • DRAFT COMMITTEE: A draft committee is a political campaign committee formed without the authorization of the candidate, for the purpose of building a campaign network prior to any candidacy announcement, or to persuade the candidate to announce. They are grassroots organizations, usually, formed to publicize a potential candidacy.

  • POLITICAL ACTION COMMITTEES: Many candidates form PACs for the purpose of collecting donations to redistribute to other candidates (and to publicize the candidate doing the redistribution). PACs legally differ from campaign committees because they are (in theory) not focused on a campaign. Nevertheless, they are sometimes a good indication that a candidate plans to run.

  • CANDIDACY PAPERS: Candidates must file legal paperwork with the FEC for either of the above types of committees. This paperwork is public, so the press reports when a new campaign committee is formed.

  • CANDIDACY ANNOUNCEMENT: There is no legal meaning to "announcing" a candidacy, and typically candidates "announce" as often as possible. The press reports heavily on the first announcement, although candidates recognize that and try to get more than one "first" announcement. This election cycle includes numerous pre-announcements such as announcing formation of an exploratory committee; announcing a timeline for creating an exploratory committee; and announcing the candidacy itself.

  • PRE-CANDIDACY BOOK: A good indication of planning a presidential run is writing a book. Books by politicians are ostensibly about one's views on an issue or on politics in geenral, but in reality serve to introduce the public to the candidate and to get one's issue stances on the record. We list many such books below, and we will excerpt them in advance of the 2008 campaign.

NOTE: We stopped updating the news reports once the campaign season got "officially" underway. For more recent news, click on our Recent News Page. And for more recent excerpts from each candidate, click on their individual links above.

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Reprinting by permission only.

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