Visitors in the Metro Center area this weekend might hear some mooing coming from the JW Marriott Hotel, site of the first cattle call of the 2008 presidential campaign.
Technically, this first '08 campaign event is the bipartisan meeting of the National Governors Association. But as many as 15 of the nation's 50 governors are considering a bid for the presidency, and both parties have learned the benefits of nominating a governor.
The defeat last year of Sen. John F. Kerry (D-Mass.) extended a losing streak for sitting legislators that has been going since John F. Kennedy's 1960 election. As Kerry, Robert J. Dole (R-Kan.) and others know, those decades-long voting records can be hard to explain.
So here's a scouting report on the guvs of 2005 -- and the would-be presidents of 2008:
Arnold Schwarzenegger (Calif): Needs constitutional amendment -- quickly.
Mitt Romney (Mass.): Prettier than John Edwards.
George E. Pataki (N.Y.) : He'll have to outfox Rudy.
Jeb Bush (Fla.): Many hope he'll break his promise not to run.
Haley Barbour (Miss.): Deep ties to Washington steakhouse of dubious value.
Mike Huckabee (Ark.): Recent weight loss increases speculation.
Mark Sanford (S.C.): Can't run if his friend John McCain does.
Bill Owens (Colo.): Embarrassed by Democratic victories in his state in '04.