3.12.2005

Blogging the Future Wisconsin Conference, pt 7
Presidential Politics

Daniel Schnur is last up before coctail hour. He came in from California, but hails from Wisconsin originally.

He starts with a few Governator jokes, and the crowd likes it. Then a few good words for us UW-College Republicans. Nice!

Schnur sees a bifold opportunity - there will be no sitting President or VP running for election. That means it's a wide-open field. There is also a large number of very talented leaders from across the spectrum in position to be able to run for the presidency. He doesn't see a good contrast with the left, except Republican hate-object extraordinaire Hillary Clinton. He's really gearing for a fight with Hillary: "What Hillary Rodham represents is the saintliest of saints. But to us, of course, she's a sinner. But go to those salvagable voters and ask them what they think of her, and get out of the way."

And just like that, he's done. He says Hillary is up in polls right now because she is more visible right now. But the conservative candidates will be just as well known after the primary season.

Somebody wants to amend the Constitution for Arnold to run - there are shouts of "no" and laughs from others in the audience. Schnur says that truly good candidates only come along rarely, and the others should be given a chance in the meantime. Somebody else likes Rick Santorum better, and Schnur says that he probably won't run in 2008. Then he criticises the way Republicans talk about values - he says it should be proved by actions, not said in words. "You can't proclaim that," he says. I worry, though, that the religious wing of the party believes the only way to win is to talk about nothing but values.

Question about the '06 Senate races, and Schnur likes Republican chances in Maryland. He says Dems have more turf to defend than Repubs.

A question on the Supreme Court - Schnur doesn't think it'll change much. Bush will replace liberals with other relative liberals, conservatives with conservatives.

One prediction he gives: the new Attorney General (Alberto Gonzales) will be the first Hispanic American Chief Justice. He talks about the Hispanic swing toward Republicans over the past few elections.

And that's the show. Now to the drinks! More after dinner...