Good summary from the Hotline:
On two different coasts yesterday, Republican elites of various stripes seemed to come to surprising agreement in terms of WH ‘08.
– At The Hotline/UVA American Democracy Conference, a panel of five of the most plugged in DC GOP strategists was asked to name the three 1st tier WH ‘08ers. All named John McCain and George Allen while acknowledging there really was no consensus number three.
– Meanwhile, the venerable Ralph Z. Hallow trolled the RGA meeting in Carlsbad, CA, asked a similar question and got the same answer, even though Mitt Romney was supposed to be the toast of the meeting.
– While McCain is obvious, Allen is less so. His status is solely via word of mouth, based on potential as he regularly polls in single digits. And he’s not considered a fundraising juggernaut just yet. And most importantly, particularly in a GOP fight, this is Allen’s first time around the WH track. And yet, he’s already risen to the top of the GOP elite. How much of this early buzz is a reflection of Allen and how much of it is a reflection of the rest of the ‘08 field? The challenge for Allen in ‘06 is to turn all this early buzz into something tangible, including money and endorsements.