"Is Democrat Howard Dean President Bush's biggest competition?" I'm sure the Bush folks hope so, because Dean is a real lame-o, in my opinion. Not surprisingly, these guys don't much care for Dean either. Uh Oh. Rush Limbaugh is after the guy, too.
I think that Bush wants to run against someone at least generally perceived to be far to the left [it doesn't matter what he really is; perception is everything in politics]. Dean is that candidate. Personally, my gut just doesn't like the guy; maybe it's his excessive opportunism leading up to the Iraq war.
What the Repubs fear, I would think, is a centrist democrat who can get traction with the current Administration's shockingly cavalier attention to the economy. Foreign policy is fine, but I'm betting that people will be asking themselves the penultimate question at election time: "Am I better off now than I was four years ago?" There are a lot of folks out there who decidedly are not. Say what you will about his taste in women, Clinton's attention to domestic affairs -- and his track record in that area -- beats Bush's, hands down.
Now, I was a supporter of war in Iraq, based on two factors, mostly. First was the Administration claim of WMD. Second was the realization that the Administration's sabre-rattling had put us in a no-back-down situation; we couldn't gear down without losing complete credibility at home and in the world community. So, I said, let's go clear Saddam out, because of the WMD threat and because we have backed ourselves in a corner. Now, months after combat ops have ended, there is nothing more than a hint, if that, of WMDs in place at the time the war began. Bloggers are relegated posting to stories about finding detritus back in 1995
If it turns out that we led down a garden path to war and military occupation by misstatements and -- dare I say it -- lies by our government, then God hel George W. Bush. To paraphrase the famous Nixon line, "You're entitled to know whether your president is a liar. Well, I'm not a liar." Well, Nixon was a crook, and Bush may well be a . . . .
While there is some level of mistruth in a lot of political statements, lying to push us into war -- no matter how desirable it was to oust Saddam -- is simply unacceptable, especially given the result in U.S. lives and depletion of treasury.