Who could still enter the race?
The Democrat hopefuls are former Vice President Al Gore. After "winning" an Oscar for his "green" documentary, his stock has risen....I'm sure he still feels he was "robbed" in the 2000 election.
The Republican hopefuls are former speaker of the House, Newt Gingrich, Nebraskan Senator Chuck Hagel, Fred Thompson, former Tennessee Senator, and New York Mayor, Michael Bloomberg (The moderate Republican was a lifelong Democrat before he changed parties to run for mayor in 2001 and avoid a crowded Democratic field).
From the NY Sun, one longtime Washington observer, Stephen Hess of George Washington University, noted that some who don't intend to run toy with the public in order to bring attention to themselves or particular issues. " Richard Nixon said virtually the same thing to me in '64. ‘Let them think I'm a candidate for a while. It gives visibility to things I want to say,'" Mr. Hess said. "
Here's a quick look at some of the most-discussed presidential prospects not currently in, or firmly out of, the race.
Contender: Vice President Gore
Chance of entry: less than 10%, according to a former aide.
Selling points: Hugely popular with the Democratic base; seen as soothsayer on global warming; could raise quick cash.
Drawbacks: Could be tied to scandals of Clinton era; anti-Bush and anti-war rants might alienate swing voters.
Contender: Fred Thompson, former Republican senator from Tennessee
Chance of entry: 50%, according to a source close to Mr. Thompson quoted by National Review
Selling points: Widely known from movies and "Law and Order," could rekindle
Reagan magic; acceptable to moderates and GOP base.
Drawbacks: Only eight years in the Senate but nearly two decades as a lobbyist; support for campaign finance laws could irk some conservatives; presence in race of Wisconsin governor with the same last name could confuse headlines and debates.
Contender: Mayor Bloomberg
Chance of entry: 80%, if Democrats and Republicans nominate candidates such as John Edwards or Mr. Romney, according to a former mayoral adviser, Ester Fuchs.
Selling points: Can bankroll campaign from Bloomberg LP fortune; record as get-it-done manager in unwieldy New York; running as an independent could make him the ultimate outsider.
Drawbacks: Shares some "nanny-state" tendencies with Mrs. Clinton; New York sensibility might not play in Peoria; untested in national politics.
Contender: Newt Gingrich, former House speaker.
Chance of entry: 30% (Sun estimate)
Selling points: Conservative icon with a national following; future-focused; has built ties with some Democratic leaders
Drawbacks: Still detested by many Democrats; lacked political savvy during government shutdown and impeachment crises; tends to make provocative off-the-cuff remarks.
Contender: Senator Hagel of Nebraska
Chance of entry: 40% (Sun estimate)
Selling points: Could consolidate Republican anti-war vote and pick up
Reagan Democrats; Vietnam background adds credibility
Drawbacks: Path to GOP nomination not apparent; advocacy for immigration
reform could neuter effort to win Buchananite constituency; talk of impeachment puts him to left of Democratic leaders.