Two candidates have officially announced, and many others are exploring a run for the nomination:
- Tom Vilsack, Governor of Iowa, announced he was running earlier this year. His website suggests he is running a high tech campaign, utilizing his blackberry, videoblogging, and social software to connect to possible supporters. His website, though, lacks any indication of why he's running for Governor or what his major issues are.
- Dennis Kucinich, the anti-war candidate in 2004, has announced a second run at the Democratic nomination, continuing his anti-war message.
- Bill Richardson, Governor of New Mexico, has declared that he will form an exploratory committee to investigate a run for the nomination.
- Joe Biden, Senator from Delaware, said he would seek the Democratic nomination.
- Evan Bayh, Senator from Indiana, had announced plans to form an exploratory committee at the beginning of December, but has since decided not to run.
- Mark Warner, former Governor of Virginia, had explored a run, but announced he would not seek the nomination. What was interesting about Warner was that he held a townhall forum in the 3-D sandbox, Second Life. I'm disappointed he dropped out, only because I was curious to see what he would do with his digital self.
- Hillary Clinton, Senator from New York (and former First Lady, in case you've been living on a deserted island for the past 14 years), has been visiting New Hampshire and Iowa, and making noise about an exploratory committee. I must confess that I'm not eager to see her run. The days of Hillary hating were painful, and they will be back in force when she throws her hat into the ring.
- Barak Obama, junior Senator from Illinois, has been the media's baby, creating quite a splash on his visit to New Hampshire last week. Will this media darling sustain the withering scrutiny of an attentive press?
- Al Gore, former Vice President. I throw his name into this simply because there has been much speculation that his movie An Inconvenient Truth was his entry back onto the political scene. I'm not sure myself. I suspect he's quite happy beating the drum of global warming and not the drum of president. But, we shall see.
As far as I can tell, no one has yet declared him or herself a candidate for the nomination, but here are a few who are exploring:
- John McCain, Senator from Arizona, created an exploratory committee a month ago. The news media has been running polls with Hillary as his Democratic opponent. McCain does not have much support with the Republican base, but wide-spead popularity with independents and Democrats. For Hillary, it's the opposite: strong support from the base, and weak support from independents and Republicans.
- Rudy Giuliani, former Mayor of New York, established his exploratory committee in November. He has widespread popularity as America's mayor given his remarkable performance during and after the days of the terrorist attacks.
- Mitt Romney, former Governor of Massachusetts, is considering the nomination. Romney is interesting, because he's not a traditional Republican. His state was one of the few to declare gay marriage a legal right for lesbians and gays. His state pushed for comprehensive health care.
- Tommy Thompson, former Governor of Wisconsin, says he will form an exploratory committee in January. All I know of Thompson is that he's a good conservative.
- George Pataki, soon-to-be former Governor of New York, has been visiting New Hampshire and Iowa, but I'm not sure if he's actually formed an exploratory committee yet. Pataki is, like Romney, a moderate conservative, and I'm not sure he's got wide-spread support from the Republican base. He also has about as much personality as milk toast.
- Bill Frist, former Senate Majority Leader, has declared he won't seek the nomination, although he had made noises of this sort earlier this year. Thank goodness. I will never forgive him for his arm-chair assessment of Terry Schiavo. For that, he should have lost his medical license.