One of our community journalists provides these notes from the America Votes conference Friday sponsored by the State Legislative Leaders Foundation and the University of Arkansas Clinton School of Public Service.
1. Panelists Mike Huckabee and Lottie Shackelford, DNC vice chair, were asked to name the strongest 2008 Presidential tickets. Huckabee was asked to name the Democrats and Shackleford the Republicans.
Huckabee: Hillary Clnton and Barak Obama
Shackleford: John McCain and Mike Huckabee
2. Saturday night key note speaker Jeff Greenfield of CNN said he thought 2008 was ripe for an independent candidate to make some real headway like Ross Perot did when he got 19 percent of the vote in 1992..He said he thought Colin Powell and Bill Bradley would have been a perfect ticket in 1996, but not now....the name most frequently mentioned as an independent for 2008: New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg who spoke at the Clinton Library Sunday night as part of the Slate 60 conference.
3. Conference continues through noon today. Among the speakers Thomas Mann of the Brookings Instutue and political anaylst Charlie Cook. .Response from attendees has been favorable that the StateLegislative Leaders Foundaton and the Clinton School are already in discussions about hosting another one in 2008 -- focusing on all races -- State Legislature, Governor, Congress and Senate except the Presidency which will be discussed at the every four years gathering at Harvard's Kennedy School.
Huckabee also took a poke at McCain over finance issues.