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2008 Presidential Race Gets Its First Cattle Call

Tom Vilsack (Iowa): Early favorite to win the Iowa caucuses.

Mark R. Warner (Va.): A southern Democrat.

Canadian-born Gov. Jennifer M. Granholm (D-Mich.) faces the same barrier as Schwarzenegger.

Phil Bredesen (Tenn.): Could do better in his state than Al Gore did.

Bill Richardson (N.M.): Dogged by his Energy Department tenure.

Jennifer M. Granholm (Mich.): Waiting for the Schwarzenegger amendment to pass.

Janet Napolitano (Ariz.): Her home state may be too red for Democrats to win.

Rod Blagojevich (Ill.): His home state may be too blue to matter.

Schwarzenegger Has Early Edge

In other gubernatorial news, a Field Poll in California shows that Schwarzenegger holds a lead of 15 to 19 percentage points over prospective Democratic challengers in advance of next year's race. Meantime, former Pittsburgh Steelers wide receiver Lynn Swann has announced that he is considering a bid to become the Republican challenger next year to Pennsylvania Gov. Edward G. Rendell (D). Unclear what Philadelphia Eagles fans will think when they learn that Swann's campaign committee is called "Team 88," using the number he wore for Pittsburgh.

Ridge Joins Home Depot Board

Orange alert! The do-it-yourself Home Depot chain may be ready to drop that ubiquitous orange for something more color-coded. The company has appointed just-departed Homeland Security secretary Tom Ridge to its board of directors. Unclear how Ridge's previous job will help Home Depot, but he does have experience marketing duct tape and dust masks.

Anti-AARP Ad Gets Plenty of Mileage

Talk about return on investment. Industry experts say it cost less than $1,500 for the conservative group USA Next to put on the American Spectator Web site for a few minutes last week an ad attacking the AARP over Social Security. But the ad was so incendiary -- it asserted that "the real AARP agenda" is to promote gay love and to belittle American soldiers -- that it caused a media sensation. CNN, MSNBC, Fox, the Associated Press and a wide range of newspapers covered the ensuing fracas, as politicians such as Sen. Jon S. Corzine (D-N.J.) weighed in.

As it happens, the anti-AARP group is being advised by some of the same people who counseled the Swift Boat Veterans, whose initial ad buy of $550,000 against Kerry had a greater impact than the tens of millions of dollars spent on ads by the Democrats. But that's just coincidence: The former Swift Boat advisers say they weren't involved in last week's ad.

Nader's Birthday Wish -- Money

Sunday Politics would like to wish a happy 71st birthday to Ralph Nader, who is marking his big day today by, well, pleading for money. In its ongoing effort to retire its debt, his former presidential campaign sent out an e-mail last week listing 71 reasons why supporters should give money. Reason 10 cites "his non-stop advocacy for the legalization of industrial hemp." Reason 65 says he "is the driving force behind the Tort Museum in his hometown of Winsted, Connecticut."

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