I think I wrote this before (I shall certainly write it again), I have a recurring nightmare of an all New York Hillary-Rudy presidential election in the Fall of 2008. A too conservative Democrat versus a too liberal Republican. Dear God. I can think of worse things for the nation to face but not without being deliberately perverse.
Same rules as before, I'll be offering my odds and, for comparison, in red the odds calculated by the Intrade Trading Exchange.
Hillary Clinton (Sen-NY) - 1 to 2 (1 to 2)
She has run an extraordinarily good campaign. She has pitched her issues with finesse. She has not been wasting her money of a surfeit of over-price, under-skilled consultants. Her major flaw to date has been a tendency to laugh at inappropriate times; rather than humanizing her it makes her sound a tad creepy.
The Al Gore Factor (Award Winner-TN) - 3 to 1 (6 to 1)
The only horse with both the legs and heart to beat Clinton is still in the stable. He is a non-candidate and the betting has him second on the Intrade tote board. Gore can seismically shift the campaign by accepting the Draft Gore movement or subtly influence it by endorsing someone else. I don't believe he will run.
Barack Obama (Sen-IL) - 12 to 1 (8 to 1)
Falling faster than a lead sinker to the bottom of a fishing hole. Just three months ago he was neck-and-neck with Clinton. Has plenty of money but has hurt himself with overly belligerent saber rattling towards Iran. Trying now to define himself as the anti-Clinton but it may be too late.
John Edwards (former Sen-NC) - 13 to 1 (24 to 1)
Has been solidly unspectacular. If Clinton breaks down (stumbling won't be good enough) because of another fund raising scandal look for Edwards to leapfrog into the lead.
Bill Richardson (Gov-NM) - 200 to 1 (125 to 1)
The falloff from the top tier is steep. Bill Richardson is campaigning like he needs a change of medication. The only news play he gets anymore is when he makes another boffo blunder. Forget the presidency, his tendency towards monumental cock-ups would make him a liability as a vice-presidential candidate.
Chris Dodd (Sen-Conn) - 500 to 1 (1000 to 1)
I like Chris Dodd. I am pretty much alone there.