Sunday, December 30, 2007

Bipartisan Group Eyes Independent Bid -

Bipartisan Group Eyes Independent Bid -

Sounds good to me...
Conveners of the meeting include such prominent Democrats as former senators Sam Nunn (Ga.), Charles S. Robb (Va.) and David L. Boren (Okla.), and former presidential candidate Gary Hart. Republican organizers include Sen. Chuck Hagel (Neb.), former party chairman Bill Brock, former senator John Danforth (Mo.) and former New Jersey governor Christine Todd Whitman.

Boren, who will host the meeting at the university, where he is president, said: "It is not a gathering to urge any one person to run for president or to say there necessarily ought to be an independent option. But if we don't see a refocusing of the campaign on a bipartisan approach, I would feel I would want to encourage an independent candidacy."

The list of acceptances suggests that the group could muster the financial and political firepower to make the threat of such a candidacy real. Others who have indicated that they plan to attend the one-day session include William S. Cohen, a former Republican senator from Maine and defense secretary in the Clinton administration; Alan Dixon, a former Democratic senator from Illinois; Bob Graham, a former Democratic senator from Florida; Jim Leach, a former Republican congressman from Iowa; Susan Eisenhower, a political consultant and granddaughter of former president Dwight D. Eisenhower; David Abshire, president of the Center for the Study of the Presidency; and Edward Perkins, a former U.S. ambassador to the United Nations.

Until plans for this meeting were disclosed, the most concrete public move toward any kind of independent candidacy was by Unity08, a group planning an online nominating convention to pick either an independent candidate or a ticket combining a Republican and a Democrat. The sponsors, an eclectic mix of consultants who have worked for candidates including Jimmy Carter (D) and Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), have not aligned with a specific prospect.

Now, some people with high-level political and governmental credentials are moving to put muscle behind the effort. A letter from Nunn and Boren sent to those attending the Jan. 7 session said that "our political system is, at the least, badly bent and many are concluding that it is broken at a time where America must lead boldly at home and abroad. Partisan polarization is preventing us from uniting to meet the challenges that we must face if we are to prevent further erosion in America's power of leadership and example."

Not one of the Republican candidates appeals to me in the slightest (except for Ron Paul, maybe, and I don't much trust him). Mark Kleiman and Paul Krugman have each been making persuasive cases for their chosen Democratic candidates (Obama and Clinton, respectively), and if forced to pick between the two I'd probably back Obama despite some reservations. I admire Mrs. Clinton, but I feel that so many people hate her that electing her would be bad for the country. Otherwise, I tend to think Krugman's case for Clinton is slightly stronger.

This piece (via Krugman) rang my bell.

In any case, there's no chance for Gravel or Kucinich, and Richardson doesn't seem to be getting anywhere, so what to do?

In my fantasies there's a peaceful revolution coming.

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