A question on a discussion board asked a good, interesting question: will Pelosi be a factor in the 2008 election?
I don't think Pelosi will be a factor. The Democrats will win or lose on their long-term strategy regarding a president.
Iraq will be a non factor, since all the major Democrats are in agreement about the essentials. Where they can lose depends on who they send to the November election. I do not believe Hillary can win in 2008, even if she wins the primary by a landslide.
Against Hillary is the gender card, her own legend, and her Clinton legacy. I do not believe, when the election comes around, she can overcome this enough.
The primaries will isolate some of these factors, and, if Obama drives to win, he will need to exploit all of this. He will go indirect on the gender issue, since he himself faces the race card. To prove he is man enough for the job, and that she is not, I expect we will see him chopping wood, hunting, or playing some football, all while wearing flannel and looking good in it.
1.5 years exists between today and 11-08. If the economy gets better, the Republicans could pull off what should be an easy win for the Democrats.
If, by April 2008, Iraq has had major questions settled, no matter which party forced the resolution, the Republicans will also be better off. We will be trying to imagine which party, and which leader can lead us more effectively through a post-Iraq America. Resolving Iraq will take away a lot of campaign speech fodder, and focus discussion on other issues.
All we have thought about Bush points to things involving the war on terrorism, Iraq, and military things. As the USA defers fighting terrorism, sending that responsibility elsewhere, and, as, it seems, we will be getting a timetable for leaving Iraq, where does this leave us?
Domestic economy, trade issues, moral v. legal issues like abortion and homosexuality, and hope. If the Democrats want to win in 2008, they need a US presence in Iraq. They need to say, "We can fix this." If it is fixed, they need a new song.
Since the Democrats (both voter and officials) do not want us in Iraq, and because they dare not (and will not) play politics in such a high-stakes issue, they might, as it were, work themselves out of a job if they re successful.
Since Congress is part of the process in getting out of Iraq, Pelosi will make a difference in 2008, but not much.