The Long March (no connection with Chairman Mao)
Politicos talk about the perils of "peaking too early" before an election. They know that support rarely stays stable in a campaign; it either goes up or it goes down.
Now, with the likelihood that both parties -- especially the Democrats -- may have their Presidential candidates locked in by the end of February, thus launching a nine-month General Election campaign (ugh), ask yourself: which of these candidates can sustain the excitement they generate, and grow their following, over that long a period.
Right now, the compressed schedule means whoever grabs the lead surges in the next contests. But with a terribly de-compressed,
never-ending slugfest between rival candidates, well, that's a different sort of game. Can you imagine how tired we're going to be of these bozos by November? And can't you already see the fault lines beginning to show?
For all the excitement they've generated, I doubt that either Barack Obama or Mike Huckabee will wear particularly well. The only bright spot for either, if he is the nominee of his party, is that in a long, long, looong
campaign, there might be time to recover from a stumble or two.
In a long campaign, Hillary's support is probably the most stable. She is incapable of embarrassment, no matter what tawdry details of her life or career may be disclosed. And she will stay on-message and plod forward until she is blown up for good. Which is why I'm hoping that Obama kills off her candidacy now, and then buries her political corpse at a crossroads with a stake through its heart.
After that, I'm thinking that any credible Republican can spot Obama a pile of points and still pass him just before the election.