The contrast between presidential candidates from the two major political parties just grows more stark by the day. From the Democrats, you have a wide range of old and new faces with varying degrees of experience and philosophical ideology. From the Republicans you have the same or more of the same.
Case in point: Rep Duncan Hunter (R-S.C.) launched his campaign this week. The 14-term conservative from California set up a presidential exploratory committee earlier this month. And who did he cite as his inspiration for this run? Guess. Yep, Ronald Reagan.
"I want to lead that policy of peace through strength," said Hunter, a strong supporter of the Iraq war.
Funny how the Republican party has ONE source of inspiration and it was a President who left office three administrations ago. How come nobody harkens back to the Bush Years (I or II) as their rallying cry? Why no mention of Richard M. Nixon, who won the largest landslide election in history while steering the US through an incredibly unpopular war? And what happened to the Goldwater Republicans? Oh yeah, they're now considered "liberals."
Duncan joins fellow GOPers, including Sens. John McCain of Arizona (most often found clinging to George W. Bush's hips) and Sam Brownback of Kansas (a non-starter social demagogue), former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney (a once liberal Republican turned reborn social conservative crusader), and former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani (the one true black sheep in the race who won't get past the Iowa caucus because of his support of gay rights and his own nasty, rumor-filled divorce).
On the other side is the first real African-American and female contenders (Obama and Clinton), the first Hispanic (the hugely popular Bill Richardson), a lawyer and senator turn class warrior (John Edwards), the Elder Statesman with decades of foreign policy experience (Joe Biden), and...Dennis Kucinich. Cute, little Dennis Kucinich.
This is going to be a great race.