Obama on Oprah?

Taegan Goddard says that Obama Barack [Correction: Barack Obama. D'oh!] might announce his Presidential candidacy this coming week on Oprah. Expect a blitz of online fundraising in the first 24 hours of that, I would think.

So, where does the field stand? New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, just back from negotiating a truce in Darfur (and, less attention-getting, finally declaring himself opposed to legal cockfighting in his state), is expected to announce before the end of the month. Word is that Hillary is a done deal, and her announcement is just a matter of timing. John Kerry is said to be making up his mind, and leaning toward running again, but who the hell knows? Vilsack, Dodd, Biden, and Edwards are all in, plus Kucinich and Mike Gravel.

That strikes me as a remarkably strong field of 7 or 8 candidates plus the hangers-on, and we could still see Wes Clark and others jump in. (And perhaps Al Gore, although I don't think that's likely.)

Meanwhile, the GOP side continues to look awfully weak to me -- especially for a party that's had control of the White House, Senate, House, and majority of governorships for the last six years.

The only declared candidate is John "who's that again?" Cox, but we can safely count John McCain and Mitt Romney as running. Kansas Senator Sam Brownback plans to declare on Jan. 20th. I still make Rudy Giuliani 50/50 at best to officially run. Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee -- who I think could be a very good candidate -- has been so slow to gear up it's unclear whether he'll actually run. Ditto George Pataki. Word is that Chuck Hagel will not run. And it looks like we'll have several candidates out of the grab-bag of Congressmen Ron Paul, Duncan Hunter, and Tom Tancredo and former governors Tommy Thomson, Jim Gilmore and Frank Keating. And of course there's the very real spectre of Newt Gingrich threatening to join the fray in the fall.

Suffice to say that very few of the GOP candidates rate a segment on Oprah.

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