I’ve kept pretty quiet about Allen’s chances in ’08 for a while now. I’ve been shopping the idea around to some friends on Capitol Hill, and their unanimous bipartisan reaction is the following: “ARE YOU KIDDING ME???” None of these people are from Virginia, but their impression of him is that he’s a lightweight (mentally and in the Senate), that he’s a pretty poor speaker, and that I’m trapped inside of a Virginia politics bubble. No one cares about this guy outside of the state! Let me say that I loath George Allen. There is no other politician besides George W. Bush that I hate more. I think he was one of the worst Governors in Virginia history. He filled the executive branch with his “goonies”, “henchmen” and “lackeys”. But my own feelings and the analysis of my Hill friends aside, I still think he’d be a strong conservative candidate for President. He says the right things to please the Republican base, and his “affable” personality can convince many moderates that he’s not a far right guy. Allen has two problems: 1. If he runs nationally, the Democrats will use the confederate flag issue to call him a racist. This won’t help him… 2. The prospect of a Hillary Clinton presidency will scare conservatives into nominating a moderate Most conservative elites (see: bloggers, pundits, politicos) realize that Hillary Clinton resembles John Kerry more than her husband. Most admit that she can win, but not by much. However, amongst the conservative base, Hillary Clinton is feared. These people are paranoid and panicked about the prospect of a Hillary Clinton presidency. She’s the Hildabeast from the East. Stopping her assent to power is more important than outlawing abortion, keeping gays from marrying, or any other conservative issue. She is their #1 concern in ’08. Ask a arch-conservative about abortion. They’ll get angry and tell you it’s murder. Then ask them how they’d feel if Hillary Clinton was elected president. Blood will come out of their ears. Because of this passion and fear on the Right, I’m open to the idea that even the most diehard conservatives in the Republican base will become pragmatic and decide to turn to a moderate as their nominee in ’08. I’m talking about McCain or Rudy. Both of these guys are really good friends, and I honestly doubt that both will run for the nomination. They’ll work it out and one or the other will run. Either one of these guys would automatically win the presidency in the general election in a huge landslide. If the Republicans are reeling after an ’06 midterm loss, this will add to to McCain and Rudy’s chances.