Friday, October 12, 2007

Handicapping the Presidential Race - Democrats

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.

1 comment:

PoliShifter said...

OT Knighterrant,

you have done a great job covering Blackwater...I thought you might like to read these articles

Newsweek - Blackwater Is Soaked

An arrogant attitude only adds fuel to the criticism.

By Rod Nordland and Mark Hosenball

Oct. 15, 2007 issue - The colonel was furious. "Can you believe it? They actually drew their weapons on U.S. soldiers." He was describing a 2006 car accident, in which an SUV full of Blackwater operatives had crashed into a U.S. Army Humvee on a street in Baghdad's Green Zone.

The colonel, who was involved in a follow-up investigation and spoke on the condition he not be named, said the Blackwater guards disarmed the U.S. Army soldiers and made them lie on the ground at gunpoint until they could disentangle the SUV. His account was confirmed by the head of another private security company.

Asked to address this and other allegations in this story, Blackwater spokesperson Anne Tyrrell said, "This type of gossip has led to many soap operas in the press."

Blackwater Guards Fired at Fleeing Cars, Soldiers Say

By Sudarsan Raghavan and Josh White
Washington Post Foreign Service
Friday, October 12, 2007; Page A01

BAGHDAD, Oct. 11 -- Blackwater USA guards shot at Iraqi civilians as they tried to drive away from a Baghdad square on Sept. 16, according to a report compiled by the first U.S. soldiers to arrive at the scene, where they found no evidence that Iraqis had fired weapons.

"It appeared to me they were fleeing the scene when they were engaged. It had every indication of an excessive shooting," said Lt. Col. Mike Tarsa, whose soldiers reached Nisoor Square 20 to 25 minutes after the gunfire subsided.

His soldiers' report -- based upon their observations at the scene, eyewitness interviews and discussions with Iraqi police -- concluded that there was "no enemy activity involved" and described the shootings as a "criminal event." Their conclusions mirrored those reached by the Iraqi government, which has said the Blackwater guards killed 17 people.