It's never too early to start talking about the next presidential election. The word on the street is that Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., is the odds-on favorite for the Democrats while Sen. John McCain is the GOP's likely choice. Considering we haven't had a president elected directly from the Senate since JFK, a McCain vs. Clinton 2008 contest seems a bit far-fetched. There is too much time, too many variables and too many candidates for anyone to know for sure. MarketWatch's Jon Friedman writes that McCain is attempting to position himself as the reporter's dream president:
McCain, a Republican from Arizona widely considered to be a good bet to run for president in 2008, gave a glimpse of his strategy for winning over the media during the [American Magazine Conference].
He drew sharp differences with President Bush's press policies, and said he admired both President Kennedy's and President Reagan's approaches. McCain stressed that he favored a system similar to that of Kennedy, in which the media were kept in the loop in a cordial, not contentious, relationship.
Of course, candidates always say that sort of stuff to journalists when they're gearing up for a presidential run -- and McCain is one of the savviest politicians around. He has a reputation for being an office holder who has never met a microphone to television camera that he didn't like. Over the years, he has honed his skills on news programs dealing with subjects ranging from Vietnam veterans and the invasion of Iraq to family values and even the Arizona Diamondbacks' World Series victory in 2001.
It's nice to know that McCain will cozy up tight with reporters, shooting craps and portraying himself as the average Joe. My big question is, How will McCain play out on issues regarding religion? He isn't exactly know for being all that close to leaders of the Religious Right, but that can change, as we saw with President Bush.
As an adept politician, McCain will do what is needed to gain support. I predict that we will see more than a handful of stories regarding McCain's ability to court the voting bloc commonly credited with delivering Bush his second term.
We have already seen Clinton take a shot at "getting religion" (sorry Doug), but what have we seen from McCain so far?