Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.)
With his recent fact-finding trip to Iraq and public objections to Bush’s military surge, Brownback is signaling to voters that he disagrees with the administration’s military policies. During the primaries, voters will have to decide if his new dovish stance is enough to make up for his initial support of the war. Don’t be surprised, however, if his social views become a campaign issue – he opposes abortion even in cases of rape or incest, a platform that may hurt him in the primaries.
Sen. John Mccain (R-Ariz.)
McCain’s appeal to independents and moderate Democrats makes him a formidable opponent in any presidential race. His military experience – he was a prisoner of war in Vietnam – fundraising abilities and campaign finance reform initiatives are just a few of his Oval Office-worthy traits. But his consistent support of Bush’s policies in Iraq – including his compromise on the use of torture on prisoners – may threaten his presidential ambitions.
Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.)
Although some fellow classmates cringe at the mention of her candidacy, Clinton will be a major contender for the 2008 Democratic nomination. In light of her successful Senate term and recent swing to the center, she is not to be underestimated. Although her staunchest opponents write her off as a polarizing opportunist, Hillary’s supporters seem ecstatic at the prospect of having another Clinton in the White House.
Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.)
Although it’s not usual for an underclassman to win this particular superlative, Obama seems unafraid of his own lack of experience. His coming-out party – the 2004 Democratic National Convention – instantly sparked talk of a 2008 presidential nomination. And why not? Armed with first-rate oratory skills and an idealistic vision to change the face of America, Obama may be the alternative voters are looking for.
Sen. Joseph Biden (D-Del.)
There is something to be said for experience. Currently serving his sixth Senate term, Biden heads up the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations. While there is some speculation that his senior status will hurt his bid for the presidency, he doesn’t seem too concerned. He officially announced his intention to run for president on NBC’s Meet the Press on Jan. 7.