With the 2008 presidential race beginning to warm up, Republicans will soon have to answer this question. While party moderates such as John McCain and Rudy Giuliani appear to be the early frontrunners for the nomination, there is yet to be a strong conservative who can rally the Republican base. Mitt of Massachusetts? He might have a hard time explaining his flip flop on gay marriage and abortion. And what about Rudy? America’s Mayor will need to go to Confession several times before he can whitewash his history of extramarital activities.

No, the darkhorse who will prove to be the constant thorn in the side of every other Republican candidate is Senator Sam Brownback. The man Pat Robertson calls the “outstanding senator from Kansas” was recently in South Carolina, an early primary state that he will be a definite factor in. Brownback scores a perfect hat trick on the crucial base issues of gays, guns and God, and has the potential to be the Right-Wing version of Howard Dean in 2008.

This will of course complicate matters for all of the other Republican candidates. It should be entertaining (particularly for Democrats) to watch Brownback ride it out as far as he can. While the GOP often loves to talk a good game for the base, Brownback will force them to run towards the Right during the primary season. The Kansas conservative, who says he wishes to rebuild and support families (presumably the heterosexual kind), will have the Republican horses walking on egg shells all the way to the national convention.

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