USAToday Piece On Unity '08
by robliberal, Thu Mar 22, 2007 at 04:05:45 PM EDT
Chuck Raasch has a story in USAToday asking the question on whether a third party candidate could succeed in 2008. While Unity '08 is seen by many political observers as a vehicle for NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg the article floats the names of some other possible candidates who could be nominated for the ticket including Al Gore, Sandra Day O'Connor, Joe Lieberman, Chuck Hagel, Fred Thompson, and Wesley Clark.
Bailey thinks the Democrats and Republicans will have an especially vulnerable period of voter weariness and wariness between Feb. 5, when it is likely both parties will know their nominees, and the national conventions in late August and early September. So many states are moving up their primaries and caucuses to Feb. 5 -- as many as 24 may vote that day -- that it could make the Democrats' and Republicans' primary campaign a mad three-week sprint between Iowa's anticipated Jan. 16 kickoff and the Feb. 5 mega-Tuesday.
After Feb. 5, Bailey said in an interview, "there is no contest except for those two (nominees). It creates a void, if you will, where Unity '08 is the only game in town. Plus, there has historically been something called buyer's remorse that sets in after the parties have made their choices. People say, 'oh my God, did we really do that?' ... And the fact that there is, four months later, a (Unity '08) convention at which every registered voter in America, without leaving their party and their own home, can participate in nominating another ticket might seem reasonably attractive."
There are huge obstacles for any outside challenger, for sure. Getting positions on state ballots requires the gathering of tens of thousands of verifiable signatures under onerous deadlines. And, as Bailey points out, some state ballot deadlines are triggered by primary dates, meaning the push to move to Feb. 5 means Unity '08 must ramp up ballot access work in '07. And as Ross Perot's mighty flameouts proved, even well funded outsiders with mega-media coverage can have trouble winning.