Check that. Dean and Edwards just stomped all over Clark on the podium. Yes, when it comes to choosing a presidential candidate, one must look at the issues and the merits of the person, but when it comes to electing any figure to public office they must in these times be able to impress us at the stump. Of course the pimply geek has the best plan for spending the student council's money, but the Jock will always win in a vote-off because people instinctively trust their eyes to tell them the truth, and they believe anyone who looks good must be good.

The Handlers were the downfall of Gore in 2000, and they will ensure Clark's defeat in the middle stages of this contest. That will leave us Kerry, Edwards, and perhaps Dean, if his money spigot can be unfouled. Edwards has the lamest tag line I've yet heard, ("We can do it, yes we can!") but his speech is fueled by real energy and intelligence. Shit, even Leiberman sounded better than the General, but Joey is so busy admiring the rust on his ship that he's failed to notice it's been sinking for six months. He will be stomped in NH by the four top dogs, and perhaps Kucinich and Sharpton will take the opportunity to leave gracefully.

Or maybe not. They're both convinced that by simply being in the race, they're doing good things for their party. And maybe they're right, who knows? The one thing that we should have learned from the last presidential installation is that no matter how good you think the point spread is, you're wrong. Long odds don't make anything impossible, just unlikely.

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