8/31/04 9:00 AM EST
Republican Delegates Begin Eyeing Potential 2008 Contenders
The Washington Times reports in a front page story that even with the 2004 convention only just begun, the "delegates and Republican officeholders here already are thinking about the 2008 campaign, with governors and the popular former mayor of New York leading the buzz." Rudolph W. Giuliani "received a rapturous welcome from delegates last night." Besides Giuliani, "the names coming most from delegates here include Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, Colorado Gov. Bill Owens, Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and New York Gov. George E. Pataki." The "talk of the delegates here is the new, vastly slimmed down Mr. Huckabee, who lost so much weight that many here who hadn't seen the Arkansas governor in a while did double takes." The "only Republican to whom delegates on the convention floor yesterday attached the term 'superstar' is Mr. Owens, who has established a reputation for being well-spoken, pro-life and pro-business." Florida Gov. Jeb Bush "was mentioned by many delegates on the convention floor yesterday, with some saying he was the odds-on favorite for 2008 and others said he would be the front-runner but for his last name." A "surprise name was Arizona Sen. John McCain," while some delegates "noted that Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback, a favorite of some conservatives, has been quietly traveling abroad to burnish his foreign-policy credentials and is working closely with the Christian conservative community."