Democrats: Hilary brought in Bill far too early. She could very easily become the Howard Dean of this election cycle, a task made even easier by the widespread... hatred isn't too strong a term for the emotion engendered by the mention of her or her husband by those on both the left and the right. She's running this race as though it were a 400m sprint, but elections these days are more like an Ironman triathlon.. She's peaking far too early, and I predict she'll be out of this race in everything but name by January. I see it being between Obama and Edwards, and Obama has a decisive advantage. He has greater charisma, minimal baggage, and is generally far more likable than Edwards. Also, he would be far tougher to beat by a Republican because they wouldn't be able to successfully use a large number of Rove's dirty tricks. Prediction: Obama by a whisker.
Republicans: I agree that Fred Thompson is the 800-lb. gorilla in the mist for the GOP, though recent revelations hurt his chances of winning the GOP nomination. McCain's campaign is only waiting for a physician to call the time of death. Giuliani has done a fair impression of the Hindenberg. Romney isn't looking much better, and will continue to have trouble with the evangelical wing of the GOP because of his faith. Brownback's campaign is rotting so badly it's drawing flies, and the rest of the GOP field isn't worth mentioning. The hour groweth short if Thompson wants to enter the fray. Prediction: If Thompson enters, he still wins by a mile. If not, too close to call between Giuliani and Romney.
Wild Card: Mayor Bloomberg of NYC could be the spoiler for the Democrat candidate, perhaps this year's Ross Perot in reverse. However, this would be mitigated substantially if Obama gets the nod. He's a businessman first and foremost, and I don't see him entering if he doesn't think he has a real chance of winning. Prediction: He enters only if Hilary wins the Democratic Party nomination. I get the sense that he hates the Clintons as much as Perot hates the Bushes.
My thoughts on the GOP and politics in general: With Romney, I have little doubt that he may be a good father and husband. He certainly did good work as the governor of the state of Masochism, er, Massachusetts. If he were running on his record as governor, I would have absolutely no problem voting for him with a clear conscience. His latest move to the right, however, has left a very bitter taste in my mouth, and I'm not sure I like anyone running any better, certainly not among the front runners. Perhaps it's because I'm more of an anti-federalist than a classic libertarian, although I am very libertarian on social issues. Fiscally, I advocate the government pinching pennies so tight Lincoln's beard comes out the other side. The evidence is clear. The Emperor is bare-assed NEKKID, and if we don't financially clothe him (to abuse the metaphor even more), it will be our children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren who will pay a terrible price.