It's Gingrich's to Lose in 2008
Sorry, Hillary. And Big John, you might have missed your chance in 2000. That's because a new and innovative poll from John Zogby about 2008 presidential candidates finds former Republican Speaker Newt Gingrich way out front of fellow GOP-ers like Sen. John McCain and also finds moderates like former Virginia Gov. Mark Warner far ahead of libs like Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton. Here's the unusual thing about the Zogby poll released to Whispers: When questioning likely primary voters, only brief biographies and rÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ©sumÃÂÃÂÃÂÃÂ©s-not names-were given. In other words, voters picked the one with the best experience. Without her name recognition working for her, Clinton came in a miserable sixth out of 10. "It looks like the Democrats want to grab the middle," says Zogby, who says outside-the-beltway Democrats lean moderate. Surprises on the GOP side: Harsh immigration critic Rep. Tom Tancredo ranks fourth, showing the power of the anti-immigrant issue. Is the poll important? Big time. In 1999, Zogby's "blind bios" poll identified "maverick" McCain as a very attractive candidate in primary states long before he almost knocked off George W. Bush. The Democratic order and percentage: Warner, 14.8; retired Gen. Wesley Clark, 14.2; Wisconsin Sen. Russ Feingold, 12.2; Indiana Sen. Evan Bayh, 11.1; former Sen. John Edwards, 10.4; Clinton, 5.6; New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, 5.3; former Alaska Sen. Mike Gravel, 4.9; Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry, 4.9; Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack, 3; Delaware Sen. Joe Biden, 2.8. The GOP rankings: Gingrich, 21.4; McCain, 13.3; former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani, 11.2; Tancredo, 9.9; Nebraska Sen. Chuck Hagel, 6.1; Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, 5.8; Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist, 5.6; Virginia Sen. George Allen, 4.9; Kansas Sen. Sam Brownback,4.3; Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, 3.8; New York Gov. George Pataki, 2.8.
One Victory Path for Joe Lieberman
He lost his primary to Democrat Ned Lamont, but Washington's buzzing about how Sen. Joe Lieberman can win as an independent. The secret: Bush and Jewish voters. The Bush angle: White House officials believe that 30 percent to 40 percent of Constitution State GOP-ers will back Joe because he's stuck with Bush on the war and also since the administration isn't backing the Republican in the race. The Jewish angle: Some Jewish leaders are miffed that many Democrats angry with Bush abandoned Lieberman, a devout Jew who's a huge supporter of Israel.
More Ben Bradlee Than Hemingway
It's obvious sometimes that President Bush has, well, trouble with words. And that makes him a tough editor, says his former speechwriter. Mike Gerson reveals that the prez is "actually a good, aggressive editor" who demands active speech and little back and forth. Speeches, says Gerson, "have to go from one point forward." Bush also likes his big speeches prepared early. "He wants an early outline," says Gerson. "He wants to give it some thought." And practice. Bush likes to read and reread teleprompter speeches "just for how things sound in the ear."