"In Washington, Republican officials joke that they love all their potential opponents equally, but that is not quite true.
Republicans close to Bush said campaign strategists think Dean would be the easiest to tag with their preferred description and would play to the caricature they hoped to create of him. However, the campaign is concerned about Dean's proven ability to raise money, because he -- along with Kerry -- chose not to accept federal funds and the spending restrictions that come with them.
These Republicans said they worry most about Edwards, because he is so little known and has such a comparatively short public record. That combination would give him the easiest time morphing into whatever his campaign decides that swing voters want. "Personally, I'm the most concerned about Edwards, because he has a huge attractiveness to him," a senior Republican official said. "The only negative is the lack of experience."
Another Republican official who is worried about facing Edwards called him "Clinton without the scandal -- John Kennedy, from the South.""
And the Republicans will be making a big mistake if they run a "liberal, liberal" race. This is not 1988, and none of the nominees will respond like Dukakis.