Former Health and Welfare Secretary and four time Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson formally announced his candidacy for President on George Stephenopolis' show Sunday morning. And, before I could organize my post, Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo launched his bid on Monday. With Vilsack out for money reasons, my count is now eleven declared Republicans and seven declared Democrats. However, I think both Newt Gingrich and Al Gore are running stealth campaigns, so I now call it a whopping 19 candidates. Have there ever been that many? I wonder....certainly not anything like that in my memory.
The last couple of weeks have brought some interesting, if very predictable, developments. First, Obama's poll numbers have stalled. Second, all the possible Guilani negatives are coming out. Both of these are predictable; as candidates get some momentum, the press begins snooping for any scandal, or just anything. Guilani's third wife seems to be the news generator on that side (after all, everyone already knew he is "pro-choice", so attempts to generate some religious conservative opposition don't seem to have gone very far). I'll admit that I only knew of two of the wives. Busy man.
Apparently Obama had his share of drug experimentation, which is beginning to surface.
At the end of the day, I could care less about either of those issues. I do continue to think that Obama is too much too soon.....
And Hil is raising money like a hedge fund.
Mitt isn't doing too shabby on the fund raising front either. He made a lot of millionaires at Bain Capital, and generated hundreds of millions in fees for Ropes and Gray, Price Waterhouse and Goldman Sachs. So he has some big IOUs to call in.
This looks to me like a tough time to run as a small state politico - e.g. Huckabee and Biden.
Nonetheless, I think this is more wide open than most people think ( and that I thought a few weeks ago...)