Robert Novak

 Former Michigan Gov. Jim Blanchard has not yet decided to wage an all-out campaign to be chairman of the Democratic National Committee (DNC), but he has support from three important governors: Mark Warner of Virginia, Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania and Jennifer Granholm of Michigan.

 Where the governors will go is complicated by the alliance of New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson, chairman of the Democratic Governors' Association, with Senate Democratic Leader Harry Reid and House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi in the quest for a new party chairman.

 In the meantime, many of the 447 DNC members are not happy about the intervention of governors and congressional leaders. They are anxious to make their own choice this time after Bill Clinton, in his closing days as president, dictated the selection of his fund-raiser, Terry McAuliffe, as chairman four years ago.


 Sen. Sam Brownback of Kansas is clearly interested in the Republican presidential nomination for 2008, running as the candidate of social conservatives.

 Brownback, who came to the House as part of the 1994 Republican takeover, was elected to Robert J. Dole's Senate seat in 1996 despite Dole's opposition. He has been a leader on the stem-cell research question, as well as other social issues.

 Two other sitting Republican senators -- Majority Leader Bill Frist of Tennessee and George Allen of Virginia -- are also possible presidential contenders. Frist has announced he will not seek a third term in 2006.

Robert Novak

Robert Novak (1931-2009) was a syndicated columnist and editor of the Evans-Novak Political Report.

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