FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE TOO YOUNG TO HAVE EXPERIENCED PAUL TSONGAS-MANIA
A lot of the reaction has been snarky, but I actually think a third-party presidential bid by Sam Nunn could garner positive press -- at least it could if he weren't calling the Iraq War a "fiasco" and seeking a global ban on nuclear weapons.
If he were the guy he used to be -- a hawkish Democrat who threw Bill Clinton an anvil when Clinton struggled to keep his head above water after trying to overturn the ban on gays in the military early in his term -- the press would absolutely love him. Really, what the press wants is someone who'll bash the Democrats from the right on foreign policy and social spending while not seeming quite as ickily right-wing as the Republicans on an issue or two. Paul Tsongas filled the bill for a while in '92, as did Ross Perot until we all figured out he was crazy.
This year it would be pretty simple: Charge Democrats with recklessness on Iraq (while also criticizing Bush), say Democrats are going to spend us into the poorhouse with their universal health plans (while arguing that more tax cuts would blow up the deficit), and be pro-evolution and kind of pro-choice. That's what David Broder and other Unity '08 types want -- not a guy who's seriously proposing that we melt swords into plowshares. (Though he'll get points for his advocacy of nuclear power -- hating nukes is for hippies!)