My personal musings about anything that gets on my radar screen--heavily dominated by politics.


Going Out On A Limb . . . Blindfolded 

Everybody seems to be weighing in on the Iowa caucuses.

Robert Novak predicts Romney and Obama wins, with Thompson and Clinton third.
Powerline is predicting a Romney win in Iowa, with McCain in N.H.
Generalissimo makes a good case for two Romney wins in the nest several days.
My brother also jumps in the game, predicting a close Romney win with Thompson third.

So, since it costs me nothing, and means nothing, I'll go ahead and make my prediction.

I think Romney's superior organization will carry him to victory on caucus night--he's a man who's made a career of covering tough bets, and with Huck's recent help, he should take care of business. Of more interest is the very real possibility that Fred Thompson manages to pull out a third place finish, which gives him a ticket to move forward.

On the Democratic side, I think it's almost impossible to know how that's going to play out. Hillary[Bill] knows Iowa and how to organize a victory here, so I think it's foolish to count her[them] out. But the vagaries of the Iowa Dem caucus [second choice voting, etc] probably give a structural advantage to Obama and, to a lesser degree, Edwards. So I'm going to join Novak in predicting a narrow Obama victory over Edwards and then Clinton.

Which puts things moving forward in a very strange state. Suddenly, a near-certain strong showing by McCain in New Hampshire leaves the GOP with four viable candidates heading into the other small primaries that prelim Super Tuesday; and then Giuliani jumps into the fray with his strategy, making for for five candidates alive at that point. Of course, weak Huckabee showings in NH and Michigan probably eliminate him from the race, and either Thompson or McCain will have become the strongest representative of that wing of the Party, so that probably leaves three. And once that is established, the free-for-all will be a circus.

And on the Dem side, the fall of Hillary from the role of Crown Princess leaves that race in complete turmoil. She's still plenty strong to challenge Obama everywhere, but now the establishment vote can feel free to jump to Edwards. You want to see a free-for-all? Wait until Hillary starts to feel like she's in jeopardy of losing. The three-way on that side of the aisle will be even more fun than on the GOP side.

So there's my prediction: weak Romney and Obama victories in Iowa, which be be completely forgotten in six weeks amidst the chaos of this year's election cycle.

Whatever else it is, it should be lots of fun.

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