Sunday, February 19, 2006

US Presidential Hopefuls Hit The Trail - Politics: "Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney, a presidential hopeful noted for his charm, good looks and political pedigree.

Meanwhile, Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee, less hunky but more connected to the religious right, will be in nearby Spartanburg, S.C. Sen. George Allen of Virginia, sometimes seen as heir to Ronald Reagan's conservatism and affability, will be working Jefferson County, Colo.

While Massachusetts Sen. John Kerry visits Colorado next week, his former running mate, Sen. John Edwards, heads for Iowa. Hillary Rodham Clinton's Senate re-election race, meanwhile, will take her not to Chappaqua, Manhattan and Ticonderoga, but to Charlotte, Miami and Tampa.

On the Republican side, the dominant figure currently is Sen. John McCain of Arizona. As the party's 2000 runner-up, Mr. McCain in some ways fits the Republican tradition of elevating the candidate next-in-line. Celebrated as a maverick, he fits the Republican zeitgeist of the moment: hawkish on Iraq like the party faithful, tough on spending as conservatives sour on the administration's fiscal record, capable of attracting the cross-party support that Mr. Bush now needs.

Yet lingering distrust among conservative activists leaves an opening for an alternative. Insiders view the orthodox Mr. Allen, son of the famed football coach, as most formidable. But Mr. Romney's pizzazz and Mr. Huckabee's earnestness also make them contenders in a race that often rewards the executive experience of governors.

her polarizing image prevents her from carrying swing states such as Ohio, Florida and New Mexico. The same Journal/NBC poll shows her losing -- narrowly -- in a hypothetical matchup with Mr. McCain."

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