The Corner

Field of Dreams

John Kerry may yet do well in the general election, but I’ve always believed that the Democrats did not field an especially strong group of candidates for this year’s primaries. If Kerry loses in November, 2008 may look a lot different as the Dems put forward a team that will be hard to characterize as the “seven dwarves” or somesuch. Think about it: Hillary Clinton, Al Gore, Howard Dean, John Edwards, and maybe a few others. Despite her obvious vulnerabilities, Hillary will excite her party and raise huge amounts of money. Gore has problems, too, and would probably flop, but he’s a big name (and recall the theory that when he endorsed Dean in December he did it with an eye on attracting Dean supporters in 2008). Dean already sounds like a guy who wants to make another run. John Edwards probably will be back. If Kerry loses, his running mate may be a force to contend with. Then there are figures like Bill Richardson waiting in the wings. Few of Bush’s potential GOP successors are as well known. Anything can happen, but it looks like a good opening hand for the Dems.

John J. Miller, the national correspondent for National Review and host of its Great Books podcast, is the director of the Dow Journalism Program at Hillsdale College. He is the author of A Gift of Freedom: How the John M. Olin Foundation Changed America.

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