the media loved John McCain ( and were his largest contributors), but he didn't have the kinda support he needed to run in 2000. Come 2008 that role will be filled by Chuck Hagel. as Chuck will be the "sensible" republican who tried to stop the madening rush to war.
In the Role of "Moonbeam" Brown 1992: John McCain
Jerry Brown was the Proto-Deaniac. but he wasn't going to win in 1992, his ideas were in advance of the base. the "To Old" and "to ahead of his time" role in 2008 will be played Masterfully by John McCain.
Bill "Heir Apperent" Frist:
Assuming the GOP events are as they are currently set, Dr. Frist is the inside man for being the offical administration legacy. Even his appointment in an almost parlimentary manner shows him to be a creature of George W. Bush
In the Role of John Edwards 2004: George Allen
He's hugely popular with the base, a solid southerner, and has religous-right credentials to help keep down anyone else. and as a former governor he has the administrative experience to highlight his senate time. I think he and frist will tussle, and we may see Senator Allen do alot better then the Heir apparent, but in the end he'll fall by the wayside.
"The Dark Horses" Condi Rice and Collin Powell
In another age the Secretary of State's office was a great jumping off point into the whitehouse..... this is not that age however. If a possible Cheney departure in 06 or 07 occurs this could allow either to fill in the "Heir" role for the president in a much more clean manner. Now we have rumors of Rice going to California to fight for a potential open senate seat ( less likely) and rumors of Powell V Clinton for the New York senate seat ( also less likely) but either's entry into the field would be a dark horse race. But with the change of American political Pardigm's maybe the Secretary of States office isn't a bad launching pad.
All things Moderately : Pataki and Owens
Governor Owens has had rumors of sexual indescresions hitting the table.. this may cancel out his chances (*unless the religous right is divided) george pataki is an east coast liberal in the republican party. For either man to win the fight has to be contensious and splitting many consituantcys along fault lines. this is not normal for the GOP, nor is it normal for regular gop politics.. but anything is possible.
Mitt "Sorry about Gay Marriage" Romney: a few things are on the table here, does he run for a second term in 06 ( or try to unseat ted). either of these options makes it harder for him to run for the whitehouse in 08. In a state that isn't solidly republican he'd have to much in the way of resources to spend. His chances are slim.. but he'll probably stay in till New Hampshire then back whomever is the winner.
The Religous firebringer: Lindsey Graham
Yes he is a religous conservative, but he will probably have some fight over that corner of the vote. and he hasn't really distinguished himself a great deal in the Senate. So he has 2 years to start getting attention to himself. Frankly he is less well known among the religous conservatives then George Allen.... a man with far less bonifides with them.
"The Nemisis" Rudy Guilianai:
This Canidacy will only take off if Hillary does as well as her billing is giving her. The Man Hillary is afraid to face, or the "2006" rematch paring will set the stage for this billing. But if Rudy wins the Senate seat in 2006 ( or the state house) this simply won't happen.
Bob Ehrlich-the giant killa-
He beat the Kennedy family machine, when it frankly didn't seem possible. If he wins re-election he can forge a moderate yet conservative case more on the "compassionate conservative" Line