With the 2004 campaign finally ending, the 2008 campaign has finally begun. Naturally, pundits are floating one name after another. Some of those names -- Frist, Bush, Clinton -- may well end up on a monument or a stamp someday. But others will never make it. So here's my preliminary list of People Who Will Never Be President:
1. John Kerry.
Much to my surprise, Kerry actually does want to run again. Unfortunately for him, he's the only one dreaming of Kerry '08. While Kerry hasn't inspired the same vitriol that onetime nominees Al Gore and Michael Dukakis did, few people actually think he was a good candidate. At best, he tried hard and worked to overcome his limitations. At worst .... ugh. Other candidates -- Hillary, John Edwards, Evan Bayh, to name a few -- will pick up his consultants and fundraisers. And there is no identifiable "Kerry constituency" that will support him against all foes.
2. Rudy Giuliani
If Rudy was realistic, he would run for governor of New York in 2006. Instead, he has convinced himself that he can be elected president. He certainly could be elected; he might even make a good president. But to be elected, Rudy first needs to be nominated. And the Republican Party is not going to nominate a pro-choice (including partial-birth-abortion), pro-gay-rights (including domestic partner benefits for city employees), pro-gun-control, thrice-married, opera-lover for president. If nothing else, the South Carolina primary would wipe him out. Conservatives are starting to make their opposition clear. If the issues don't do it, his crossdressing will.
3. George Pataki
All of Rudy's problems, none of his assets. Could be Secretary of Transportation someday.
4. Mitt Romney
See 2 & 3.
5. Arnold Schwarzenegger
See 2, 3 & 4. Plus he's constitutionally ineligible. And he's got a ribald personal history that puts Bill Clinton's to shame.