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The Natives Are Restless

One of the thoughts I've seen repeated numerous times by Democrats is that folks uniformly believe we've got a great field of candidates for 2008 - you've got racial diversity, gender diversity, fresh faces, old hands, senators, governors and a general. On the Republican side, there is clear disappointment from the wingnut base.

Many conservatives say they pick "none of the above" when faced with a choice of Arizona Sen. John McCain, former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney and former New York Mayor Rudolph W. Giuliani as the 2008 Republican presidential nominee.

"When I look at these top three guys, I think of Shania Twain singing 'That don't impress me much,' " said former House Majority Leader Dick Armey, referring to the popular country singer.

Such dissatisfaction with the leading Republican presidential candidates is widespread among the party's conservative stalwarts, including many of the 150 alumni of the Reagan administration who attended an annual reunion at the Heritage Foundation on Tuesday night.

"We are without a viable candidate for 2008 at this point," said Mary Ann Meloy, who was an official in the Reagan White House.