Microsoft’s “geek blogger” Robert Scoble (coauthor of a new book on business blogging, Naked Conversations) writes about “hanging out with Joe Trippi,” the now-disgruntled architect of Howard Dean’s explosively successful 2004 Web strategy. Trippi’s Democratic Party passions did not begin with Howard Dean, although that’s how he became well-known. I recall hearing Trippi’s name bandied about as a creative strategist as far back as 1988’s Michael Dukakis campaign.
According to Scoble, Trippi has sworn off presidential politics in favor of consulting with politicians overseas and multinational corporations. No wonder, when you hear what he foresees for 2008:
In the 2008 election he expects that Hillary Clinton will be a lockin for the Democrats. He doesn’t see anyone who can challenge her from the Democratic side. On the right side he’s expecting a far more conservative (candidate) than even George Bush is. Why? His reasoning is that the powerbase that put George Bush in power is mad that they haven’t gotten things done, for instance, repealing of abortion and other conservative issues. He doesn’t think that a moderate Republican has any chance in getting nominated at all. If that weren’t bad enough, he theorized that a Democrat would split ranks and run as an independent. He isn’t sure how this would play out, but it probably wouldn’t be good for Hillary, who’ll have a tough time getting elected anyway.
Gosh, this is exactly what I think will happen, too. And I’m equally stumped as to who would emerge victorious in such a scenario. A three-way tie for last looms as an entirely plausible result.
Clinton is the centrist who everyone thinks is a leftist. Everyone, that is, except the left itself, which disavows her and probably would do as Trippi suggests: Coalesce around a “netroots” candidate who will galvanize our nation’s latent socialist/pacifist majority. (Right.) Clinton’s other major disadvantage is that she is not even close to having the persuasive skills required to win the presidency. She’s just not a performer on that level.
I’ve long felt that a true-blue religious-right conservative like Sam Brownback will move to the inside track to the 2008 GOP nomination, a process where there is no current favorite, most of the candidates are unknowns, and for many obvious reasons, the incumbent VP won’t be able to capitalize on his position. Passion will count for a lot, and only the religious right has it. These activists would rather lose than nominate a sure winner like McCain whose sympathies they don’t trust.
A lot depends, of course, on the war’s status two years from now. Not just the one in Iraq, but the jihad against which we are defending ourselves and our (sometimes) feckless allies.
I’d be curious to see others’ 2008 presidential scenarios. If you feel so inclined, put ’em right here.