Hillary Clinton has been in the lead for Democratic nominee for President. She has four years of Senatorial experience, but more importantly has that formidable machine behind her called Bill Clinton. He is not only experienced, shrewed and Soave but he also relates to people in a very positive way. But he is not running for President, Hillary is and at the end of the day she will have to prove that she can win the Presidential race. Also her initial support for the Iraq war and subsequent silence may come back to haunt her. Republican long knives are already out for her. So they will malign her every which way that only Republicans know how to.
Barrack Obama has thrown his hat in the ring. He is fresh, is a terrific orator and brings excitement to the race. He is also very bright and intelligent, has not voted for the war (as he was not a Senator then) so unlike Clinton he does not have to defend his position. He is already generating tremendous excitement and could create a new wave of voters who are fed up with more of the same hypocritical Washington politics. But it is too soon to say if he will conquer the deep seated prejudices that exist in some states to this day. It will all depend on how the South views him and if they are buying then he will be a formiddable candidate.
But what about John Edwards, the Vice Presidential candidate in the 2004 He is young, smart, experienced and has that captivating boyish smile. He could have been more effective in the 2004 race had Kerry's handlers not pushed him into the background for fear of overshadowing their candidate. Edwards has that Kennedyesque charm, friendly demeanor and an approachable personality. He is already setting the agenda for the campaign which may force other candidates to respond to. He charms the North while he is from the South and that is a valuable combination. So while Clinton and Obama may slug it out with each other, will the man with boyish smile steal the candidacy?
Then there is also Jo Biden. He may not be making much noise right now, but he will get a lot of TV time in the next few months in his capacity as Chairman of Senate Foreign Relations Committee. The committee will shortly start hearings on Iraq war and many an Administration officials are likely to be on the mat. Joe Biden is a class act on his own and may not wish to run a gruelling race. But he is likely to play an important role in a Democratic Administration. He will make an excellent Secretary of State.
Whoever wins the nomination (and barring any unforeseen circumstances - skeletons in the closet etc.) it seems that at least two of the first three names are likely to be on the Democratic ticket in 2008.