Will we have “Unity” in 2008?

Ordinarily I wouldn’t give too much credit to this effort because it sounds like a lot of talk without much to back it up. However, the involvement of former Governor Angus King (Independent-Maine) makes me wonder a bit.

Specifically I wonder if this is a front for an Angus King presidential campaign, which might be a very interesting situation!

It’s not a bad strategy either. Create an organization that claims a membership of millions of people… and then have those millions of people demand that you run for President. Perhaps a little bit like how “the volunteers” from around the country “drafted” Ross Perot into the 1992 race.

(Note: This is all blind speculation on my part.)

From The Boston Globe...

A handful of political veterans envision a new look to presidential politics in 2008—a bipartisan ticket.

“I never recall our politics being as bitter and partisan and polarized as now,” independent Angus King, the former governor of Maine, said Tuesday. “Presidential elections are about the middle, but the current atmosphere turns elections into Armageddon.”

Called Unity08, the group is trying to come up with an alternative presidential ticket headed by either a Democrat, Republican or independent. The ticket would be chosen online at a Unity08 convention in the first half of 2008.

Joining King are Hamilton Jordan and Gerald Rafshoon, former aides to President Carter, and Doug Bailey, a former staffer on President Ford’s 1976 campaign. The group plans to build an online community of millions of registered voters who would participate in the online convention. Recruitment has begun on college campuses.

The idea stems from conversations last year about the partisan divide in politics and where the country is headed.

“If we keep on the same path for eight or 10 years, I don’t know what kind of country our children will have to grow up in,” Jordan said.

The founders of the group say that candidates of the two main parties focus increasingly on issues of narrow interest to their base voters. The online involvement of millions will be critical to Unity08, headquartered in Denver, Colo.

“When the parties pick their nominees, they are picked by a few hundred thousand voters in Iowa, a few hundred thousand in New Hampshire, and a few hundred thousand in South Carolina,” Bailey said.

The Unity08 online convention “would involve the people in the picking of finalists for president,” he said.

“For young people, this is their world,” Bailey said. “We are now into a whole new set of technologies. How can we make them serve our democracy?”

7 Responses to “Will we have “Unity” in 2008?”

  1. ms Says:

    This project is doomed to failure. When it comes to deciding on a platform and debating the issues it will be very hard to maintain the middle ground. Most political extremists will flock to the site and attempt to have their views be declared the middle ground of US politics. As soon as they pick a candidate all the other factions will return to their regular parties.

  2. mike grimes Says:

    I disagree the partisans will look at this as a 3% endevor and ignore it. The partisans because of election success seem smart, but these people are really pretty dumb. There are enough people out there looking for this sort of thing and willing to take ownership of it. As for the platform, that will depend on who leads the ticket. We won’t be endorsing Ralf Nader and Alan Keyes, it will be more like Angus King and Tim Penny. There are enough high profile independents to make a strong effort work. Fact of the matter is we would have a great independent ticket every election if the ground work was done by someone else. Thats why the Minnesota Independence party works, because the first 3%, ballot access, and likely debate access are free, and the platform is already there for a candidate to build off of.

    The system for endorsing is a detail in potentially a much bigger project. I’ve seen big ideas fail before and won’t be shocked if this one does too, but I would be ready to vote Angus King no matter how we get to that point.

  3. Kyle B Says:

    seems like a very interesting idea to me

  4. Kyle B Says:

    the politics 1 site mentioned another possible candidate that could take advantage of this movement, NY Mayor Michael Bloomberg. Like Perot he has the personal resources that run a national campaign

  5. Citizens For A Better Veterans Home Says:

    Citizens For A Better Veterans Home (and some voices in New York’s Independence Party/ Integrity Party) like Donald Trump with CNN’s Lou Dobbs at VP!

  6. SC Independent Says:

    Judy Woodruff interviewed Hamilton Jordan and Doug Bailey on the News w/Jim Lehrer tonight—first I heard of Unity08. It seems that they are trying to motivate voters who are not on that “fringe” which (they said) determines the agenda for the two major parties. If Unity08 helps heretofore frustrated or previousy uninterested voters to get involved, I’m all for it. Not sure how successful they will be, though. Jordan and Bailey noted that the frustration level with the current Administration and the availability of the Internet may help their cause; but then, Judy noted that counting on the Internet would pretty much eliminate poor people from the process. Not sure I agree that this is the reason the poor can’t or won’t get involved; I live in one of the most conservative cities in America, and our public libraries all offer a decent level of access to computers and the Internet.

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