Here I offer my insider analysis on the odds of each of the two major party's candidates winning the Presidency next year:
HILLARY CLINTON: Back when Clinton first won her Senate seat, "Hardball" host Chris Matthews stated, "I hope she doesn't think this Senate seat is springboard to the Presidency; no way will the American electorate vote for someone they think might have had a penis in their mouth." I'm not one to argue with Matthews' assessments- he's usually spot-on- but recent totally trustworthy news stories suggest that this might not apply to Clinton. Accordingly, I'd say she's got about a 1 in 3 chance.
BARACK OBAMA: This candidate really rose in the estimation of the voters last week when a high school student in New Hampshire asked him if he'd ever done drugs. His reply, that he'd done drugs for many years and enjoyed them, but eventually decided they just weren't for him, was a phenomenally fair-minded one. He should have added that he was thankful that he lived in a country with a sensible drug policy that allows people to make their own decisions about what to put into their own bodies without worrying that policemen might break down their door and throw them in prison just for making a "mistake," and "experimenting." Odds of winning are about 1 in 4.
JOHN EDWARDS: Here is a candidate of rare dignity. Of modesty. A man who understands that the biggest threats this country faces are from lobbyists, and Ann Coulter. Did you know that his wife has cancer? He never talks about it, because he's too much of a hero to try to exploit his own wife's life-threatening illness. That's because he is a serious candidate who speaks eloquently and from the heart, without any cynicism or guile, about the serious policy positions he's arrived at based on rigorous study. 1 in 5 chance.
BILL RICHARDSON: He personally travelled back in time and rode on a horse into some town in New Mexico and shut down more than 400 meth labs. I give him a 1 in 16 chance.
JOE BIDEN: Like the great Roman orator Loquatius, Joe Biden is a great orator. Tens of people all over the country have fallen under his hypnotic spell, and the man is clearly just "Biden" his time until he becomes President. Odds: Long.
DENNIS KUCINICH: His wife is quite attractive, and has a tongue stud, which probably means that, according to Chris Matthews, she couldn't be elected President. We should give the man who can land such a woman serious consideration. Odds: Longer.
CHRIS DODD and MIKE GRAVEL: Honestly, before I set out to compose this Presidential odds blog posting, I did not know who these men were, or that they were running. I learned something new today, and for that, I sincerely thank these two presidential candidates, who I am sure have a great chance of winning. Odds: A fish.
RUDOLPH GIULIANI: This former mayor of New York was practically at "Ground Zero" when the World Trade Center towers fell on September 11, 2001. You might not have known about that, since this modest man with a thick skin and great sense of humor about himself rarely mentions it. He's also a great decision maker with a laser-like focus, who chooses his friends and business associates with the same acumen he would display in the White House, if only given a chance. Odds: 1 in 4.
MITT ROMNEY: Though he resembles a game-show host, he is actually a really sensitive, caring guy. He also loves dogs, which is a quality he shares with former game-show host Bob Barker. Odds: 1 in 6.
JOHN MCCAIN: This staunch defender of the First Amendment is renowned for his "maverick" persona. He definitely thinks for himself. And he's so often right, it's kind of scary. McCain's record definitely speaks for itself. Odds: 1 in 10.
FRED THOMPSON: It's his oozing confidence that gets you. Oh, and his voice. Wouldn't it be interesting if he won?
MIKE HUCKABEE: It will be interesting to see how the American people react to him. In our secular society, in which church is clearly separated from state, we've never really had a candidate like this former Baptist minister, who believes he has a Biblical responsibility to reshape the world in a way that will be pleasing to God. As we all should know, nothing could possibly go wrong if we elect an ethical man who wants to make the world a better place because God would want him to. Odds: Unfortunate.
TOM TANCREDO: Oddly enough, Representative Tancredo's last name means "muy bien" in Spanish. But I still think his odds are pretty long.
ALAN KEYES: This impassioned man's run for the White House took an improbable turn when he actually declared as a candidate. His appearance in the Borat film has definitely helped him connect with the youth of America, but I expect he's less likely to be elected than the pile of leaves one of my neighbors raked yesterday.
DUNCAN HUNTER: Who? Okay- whatever.
RON PAUL: Ron Paul is the only candidate running in either major party who is not a complete douchebag, and nothing I write here could be as absurd or ridiculous as the way he's actually been treated by his own party, who should consider themselves lucky to have him. I say his odds of winning are 100%, and he will be the next President of the United States.
UPDATE 1/9/08: Oops. Turns out Ron Paul's a douchebag, too. Now no one will win the Presidency!