Terrific headline and great graphic showing the street-legal hot rod (google it) version of McCain's Straight Talk Express flying into nowhere as he waves good-bye!
Agree that voters should look at general election electability as well as imagine what sort of president each candidate would likely be - at least in terms of competence, style and management.
McCain is probably the most vigorous and active senior candidate around. The Arizona senator's been up and down so many times that Phoenix is properly his home town. (Sorree!) John fulfills Arizona Senator Barry Goldwater's desire to give the voters a choice, not an echo.
Rudy's a cross-over vote-getter. He's also a cross-dresser as seen in the many photos of him in drag taken at New York City Gay Pride celebrations. A thrice-married with the first being a 14-year hitch to his second cousin. Talk about keeping family secrets - didn't someone tell him and Regina? Pro-choice and pro-gun control, choosing Huckabee as his V.P. could silence the screamers and discourage Ron Paul or someone else from bolting to form a pro-life "family values" third party.
Edwards is a Southerner, OK, but incumbent Southern governors have been the Democrats elected - Clinton and Carter. John's being out of office since January 2005 will haunt him. The GOP made points in '04 by citing Edwards' one U.S. Senate term as indicating his lack of political experience. Still only one term. Hasn't changed. Edwards likely facing his last campaign as he'd be a 2012 non-factor. May as well go for it all in any way he can.
Hillary's campaign theme could be "forward into the past" as she constantly revisits the prior century - Bill's presidency. Were she the nominee, she's already enabling the Republican desire to make the '08 election a referendum on her and, by extension, the less attractive aspects of her hubby's presidency. Not a good idea to take responsibility for something someone else has done - especially eight years worth. She's the nostalgia candidate. Persons who want to vote for Bill may do so by proxy in voting for her. Kinda like voting for Teddy Kennedy as a way of fulfilling a wish to vote for John F. Kennedy and bring back the good old days.
Huckabee is a good VP nominee to balance either Romney. McCain or Giuliani. His "cross to bear" is moving toward the Judeo-Christian-all-of-the-above socio-religious center so as he doesn't scare the hell out of people.
Barack has a "win-win" in '08. The candidate in training, as you've noted, can build a national donor, data and media base for a future campaign - 2012, '16 or '20 when he'll still be less than 60 years old (Hillary's age). Can also explore how he may strategize against race as a political issue. If Hillary wins in '08, Barack may find himself frozen out as her supporters will be in charge of the Democratic National Committee and all important positions. The times are ready for a Barack Obama but Barack is not ready at this time.
Willard Mitt's well-described as the man of a thousand faces who coulda brung a business executive's sensibility to managing the federal government. Interesting how he makes almost no mention of his being in charge of the 2002 Salt Lake City Olympics and how he straightened out their management and finances. He blew it in not making his business background and executive expertise key campaign issues and not things referenced in passing. Not many polls have asked about "private sector" experience as influencing voters. Does Mitt have the corporate sectors - both big business and small - locked up? Romney may yet again re-invent himself to disprove F. Scott's Fitzgerald's observation that, in America, there are no second acts.
Thompson has got to be the campaign's biggest disappointment. The mountain labored and brought forth a mouse. Old Fred can join Old Thompson on the shelf.
Veddy veddy good end-of-the year news summary and story. After months of mulling, miles of paper and tons of type, all the predictions and all the polling, all the hype and all the tripe, no one has yet to cast a vote! THANK YOU for being here for us and inviting us to join in the pleasure of your company. Happy New Year, kiddo!