Free-For-All 2008: Something Old, Something New

The best news article of this month’s presidential pretension is Mother Jones’ Diddly Awards. My favorite was the anecdote about Condi Rice, whose rumored presidential ambitions simply won't die:
Condoleezza Rice (Secretary of State), who experienced a moment of candor when a Russian radio interviewer asked if she would run in 2008. "Da," replied Rice, who speaks fluent Russian, before adding, "Nyet, nyet, nyet, nyet, nyet, nyet, nyet!"
That kind of denial won't get her taken off the chatter rankings any time soon. The biggest news this month is that no one has yet been kicked off: the field is getting wider still, not narrower. Also, Senators Frist and Clinton have remained atop their respective columns for a few months now. The new faces include Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee - "the other man from Hope" - as well as Democratic Senators Harry Reid and Barack Obama and Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack. Obama edged his way into the rankings slowly, having been tested but not quite qualifying in previous months. Huckabee dieted his way in: last week he announced that he had lost 100 pounds, making a big news splash. It may not be a presidential moment, but face (and figure?) recognition are always good at this stage. As for Vilsack and Reid, I was simply remiss in not testing them in previous months. If I'm missing any more candidates, please tell me! Besides Huckabee, the other artificially high candidates are Governor Pataki, who announced that he will not run for another term and, as always, those in high-profile positions.
Rank Candidate ChatterRank Change
R.1 Sen. Bill Frist 1,5000
R.2 Gov. George Pataki 1,100+10
R.3 Gov. Mitt Romney 9320
R.4 Sen. John McCain 751-2
R.5 Newt Gingrich 387+6
R.6 Gov. Mike Huckabee 317new
R.7 Sen. Sam Brownback 314+1
R.8 Secy. Condoleezza Rice 276-3
R.9 Gov. Jeb Bush 273-2
R.10 Sen. George Allen 2490
R.11 Rudy Giuliani 203-2
R.12 Sen. Chuck Hagel 173-6
R.13 V.P. Dick Cheney 158-9
D.1 Sen. Hillary Clinton 1,9200
D.2 Sen. John Kerry 6630
D.3 Gov. Mark Warner 655+3
D.4 Gov. Tom Vilsack 619new
D.5 Sen. Harry Reid 468new
D6 Sen. Evan Bayh 434-3
D.7 Howard Dean 4250
D.8 Sen. John Edwards 387-4
D.9 Gov. Bill Richardson 304-1
D.10 Sen. Joseph Biden 158-5
D.11 Sen. Barack Obama 153new
Notes: The Chatter Rankings are created by searching each candidate's name plus "2008" in the Google News database. This month's tested-but-not-qualifying list is Russ Feingold and Dick Gephardt. Compare this month's results to those of July, June, and May to get an idea of candidate trajectories.