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Boy, they really picked a winner with Obama.

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&cid=2280&ncid=742&e=4&u=/weeklystandard/20050105/cm_weeklystandard/fivefor05

Five for '05

Tue Jan 4, 9:34 PM ET


Duncan Currie
Washington (The Daily Standard) - [size=-1]WHO WILL MAKE the biggest political splash of 2005? Will it be an Indian-American Rhodes Scholar from Louisiana? Or the star of the Democratic convention? Or maybe a conservative Republican winning the New Jersey governorship? Who knows. But here's a list of five politicians to keep an eye on during the coming year.[/size]
[size=-1] [/size]
RICHARD BURR. Few Senate candidates--from either party--ran a shrewder, more effective campaign than North Carolina congressman Richard Burr. The GOP nominee trailed his Democratic opponent, ex-Clinton chief of staff Erskine Bowles, by double digits for months. As late as mid September, one poll gave Bowles a 10-point lead. But Burr was patient. His campaign had judged North Carolina voters to be late-deciders. In the end, Burr's strategy paid off. He unleashed a surge of TV and radio ads after Labor Day. In particular, Burr targeted the so-called Jessecrats--conservative Democrats in eastern North Carolina who are the perennial swing voters in statewide elections. He soon overtook Bowles and never lost ground. On November 2, Burr won by five points--a veritable landslide given where he stood just seven weeks earlier. The senator-elect is attractive, well-spoken, and relatively conservative. GOP pollster Frank Luntz calls Burr "one of the best five communicators that the Republicans have in Washington." He's a former college football player (from Wake Forest) to boot.

KEN SALAZAR. How "red" is Colorado? Not red enough to pull Republican Senate candidate Pete Coors past Democrat Ken Salazar. Coors, the beer baron, had the obvious advantages of his name recognition and personal fortune. But Salazar, the Colorado attorney general, brandished 18 years of public service and a centrist reputation. He also claimed humble, rural roots and a productive relationship with Republican governor Bill Owens. Salazar's record will instantly make him one of the more conservative Democrats in the Senate. He is pro-death penalty, moderately pro-gun, anti-gay marriage, tough on crime, and a deficit hawk. He supported the Iraq (news - web sites) war and once backed a pilot school voucher program for Denver. "We have to beat him now so we don't have to deal with him in the future," Governor Owens told National Review reporter John Miller before the election. No such luck for Republicans. Salazar's star is rising. He's now won three statewide races in Colorado--a state George W. Bush carried handily in 2000 and 2004. Look for Salazar, Colorado's first Hispanic senator, to fill outgoing Louisiana Democrat John Breaux's role as a bipartisan dealmaker.

BOBBY JINDAL. Republicans rave about Bobby Jindal, the incoming representative from Louisiana's first district. And why not? It isn't every day Republicans get to boast an Indian-American Rhodes Scholar and health care policy whiz as president of the GOP House freshmen. Jindal, 33, is only the second Indian American ever elected to Congress. Shortly after he won his seat--with 78 percent of the vote--House majority whip Roy Blunt tapped him for assistant whip. Jindal, a deeply religious Catholic conservative, barely lost the 2003 Louisiana governor's race. He's now one of the Republicans' brightest young lights.

BARACK OBAMA. Has any politician ever entered Congress to such ubiquitous fanfare as Barack Obama? Probably not. Will he measure up to the hype? We'll soon find out. No question Obama gave a wonderful speech at the Democratic convention. It's hard to imagine another liberal Democrat, let alone Jesse Jackson or Al Sharpton (news - web sites), delivering it. But make no mistake: Obama is indeed a liberal. Consider his record as an Illinois state senator. Obama has supported strict anti-gun measures, promoted universal health care, defended racial preferences, opposed tough-on-crime legislation designed to thwart gang violence, and voted "present" on an Illinois partial-birth abortion ban. He also spoke out against President Bush (news - web sites)'s tax cuts and the Iraq war. (At an October 2002 antiwar rally, Obama called the anti-Saddam buildup a cynical ploy cooked up by Karl Rove to "distract us" from domestic problems.) Obama's lofty, unconventional rhetoric made him a star at the convention. But he'll need more than words to distinguish himself in the U.S. Senate.

BRET SCHUNDLER. Were former Jersey City mayor Bret Schundler a stock, it would be possible to chart his price fluctuations over the years. In 1999, William F. Buckley Jr. wrote of Schundler, "Look for him in 2008" (as in the 2008 presidential race). Schundler hit an all-time high in June 2001, when he won New Jersey's Republican gubernatorial primary against congressman Bob Franks, the heavy favorite. But then Schundler lost badly to Democrat Jim McGreevey in the general election. With McGreevey now disgraced and gone, and many Garden State voters still seething over his conduct, Schundler has a real shot to capture the governorship in 2005. It's his best chance yet--and probably his last chance, should he lose. But the conservative ex-mayor first has to fend off Republican Doug Forrester, among others, in the primary. Lined up for the Democrats is New Jersey senator Jon Corzine, the so-called human ATM, who spent some $60 million on his successful 2000 Senate run. New Jersey, of course, is a solidly "blue" state. So Schundler faces an uphill battle. But he's learned from his mistakes in 2001. And he has a compelling three-pronged campaign message: lower property taxes, spending caps, and anti-corruption reform. These are salient issues for all New Jerseyans. (For that matter, roughly half of all registered voters in New Jersey are independents.) Should Schundler--a pro-life, Reaganite conservative--win, it would be a victory of titanic proportions for Republicans. And maybe--just maybe--it would produce another contender for the 2008 (or 2012) GOP presidential nomination.
 

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DADDY WARBUCKS
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If you are not familiar with him, start paying attention to the AG from New York state, Eliot Spitzer.

He will no doubt be governor there in 06 (IIRC) and there is no doubt he will become the darling of the national Dems very soon for 08 and beyond.

This is a guy Dizzy would love.
 

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You all better keep an eye on Barack Obama. First time I heard of him I looked him up on the Internet and read some of his speeches, my guess was that he?s a Leftist Communist at best or a Leftist Communist and Racist at worst. During his run for office he never said much about race, but in his acceptance speech it sure came up, suddenly it?s about how black he is and how much his win means for his race. He?s very pleasant when interviewed and such a great family man, but he?s also 100% anti-gun and will become the most liberal guy in Congress pushing Kerry into 2nd place. I have nothing against there being a black President someday but this better not be the one. If he runs as VP with Hillary he?ll be just a bullet away from the oval office, even Hillary may be better than this guy. Let?s hope someone comes up with some crap on him and screws-up his political future.
 
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