With John McCain’s victory in Florida, it is likely - barring some unforeseen intervening event - that McCain will be the GOP nominee.

But, even if he does win the nomination, he cannot and will not be able to unite the Republican Party.

Conservatives hate McCain - and that antipathy will only increase the more they are exposed to him.

The so-called mainstream media has propelled McCain back into this race - even though the base of the GOP is opposed to him!

Beginning today, we will watch the spectacle of GOP leaders around the country fawning over a man they privately distrust and urging that the “party come together.”

OK. He got 36% of the vote in a multi-candidate GOP primary - with Huckabee and Romney dividing the conservative vote.

And he will win a ton of delegates next week. Then, the same so-called ‘leaders’ who traipsed down to Austin in 1999 to ‘beg’ GW Bush to run are now going to kiss the ring of John McCain and urge ‘unity.’

A disgusting sight.

But the GOP base - conservatives - will not accept him. They will either run a third candidate or, at the least, enough of them will sit it out (like they did in the 2006 congressional races) that McCain will lose in November. Hillary or Obama will paint McCain as a “Third Term of GW Bush.”

The Democrats have a similar problem: Hillary and Bill have launched a Civil Race War in their party. With the Kennedys joining on Obama’s side, that party may be seriously fractured.

The heart of the Democratic base - African-Americans - have always loved and adored the Clintons. But this Civil Race War threatens that harmony.

It is possible that the Democratic base will also be furious with their nominee - if it is Hillary.

It is assumed that the African-American vote will still turn out in lock-step for the Democrat in November.

But, like almost all assumptions this year, it may be wrong.

So we may face an odd spectacle: the two nominees - DC insiders - and the two biggest War Hawks in their respective parties - running in November in a nation that hates this war and with their own bases not too enthusiastic for them.


It is now clear: the liberal so-called ‘mainstream media’ is propelling John McCain to the Republican nomination.

And it is also clear that if McCain wins Florida tomorrow - a strong likelihood - the (pathetic) GOP Establishment will rush to McCain and embrace him as the inevitable nominee even before the February 5 Super Tuesday primaries.

In Florida the GOP Establishment there - Senator Mel Martinez and Governor Charlie Crist - have already endorsed McCain and pretty much guaranteed that McCain will win on Tuesday.

If and when he does win, the vanquished GOP candidates - Giuliani and Thompson - are soon to jump aboard the McCain bandwagon. And that will be followed by state party leaders all across the nation.

How sickening this spectacle is. What the GOP Establishment is doing is embracing someone totally out of step with the GOP voters. Just look at some recent events:

• McCain hired Juan Hernandez, the leading proponent of amnesty for illegal Mexicans living here in the US.

• On Meet The Press on Sunday McCain dodged the question from Tim Russert about whether or not, as President, he would sign his own McCain-Kennedy Immigration bill (which is, in fact, virtual amnesty for illegals). (He will give amnesty when in the Oval Office - especially with a Democratic Congress.)

• On Sunday in Florida, McCain promised there would be “more wars.” What a way to campaign! What a promise from a potential president! How about pledging to try to prevent more wars?

• He has already said that if it were up to him we’d stay in Iraq for “10,000 years.”

• He is unstable. He lies. He is a bad guy who, for a number of reasons, has the media eating out of his hand.

• He has a terrible anger problem; he is a spoiled, petulant, arrogant little man who has gotten away with his malfeasances for decades. (See Ted Sampley's excellent article at the US Veteran

• He is a Mad Bomber who wants to bomb all over the Middle East.

• Don’t be fooled by polls in January predicting what may or may not happen in November. The general election is a long, long way off.

• Campaigns are run to change polls. Someone may look ‘electable’ today but not be so in six months. Remember President Giuliani?

• The Democrats will have a field day with McCain: he’s a third term of Bush; he’s too old; he’s a Mad Bomber; he is unstable.

The Republican Party is about to compound the mistake they made in ‘begging’ GW Bush back in 1999 to run for President. He has been a total disaster for the country.

McCain will be even worse.


The Republican ‘winnowing’ has happened - and more winnowing will soon happen:

As predicted here, Fred Thompson, who never seemed to enjoy campaigning, is gone. Duncan Hunter is gone. And Rudy Giuliani is soon to go as he is collapsing in Florida, in New York, in New Jersey - and nationally.

The race is now a two-man race: the media’s fave - John McCain vs. Mitt Romney, who is becoming the default conservative candidate.

Most conservatives detest McCain. They’re not in love with Romney but they’ll support him if only to stop Mccain.

To watch the liberal media pump up McCain’s campaign is a disgusting sight. They make no effort to hide their pro-McCain bias.

Now they will try to destroy Romney in order to help McCain. The problem with that is the more the media hates you, the more the Right likes you!

Florida next Tuesday is a huge contest because it is a test of McCain in a primary where only republicans can vote. So far - like 2000 - McCain only wins GOP primaries when Independents and Democrats can cross-over and vote in a GOP primary.

Romney has the Jeb Bush machine working of him plus tons of money. The polls show these two tied - and tonight’s debate will have a big impact.

Huckabee is broke and can’t expand his base from the Religious Right - and not al of them support him.

Giuliani is toast. Perhaps the worst run campaign of all time. What arrogance! What an ego!

Ron Paul makes his points. But he is mired at best at 10%.

So it is McCain - a vile, arrogant, horrible, untrustworthy little man - vs. Mitt Romney, a not-too-great candidate who most Republicans will choose to vote for if only to stop McCain.

What a way to pick our nominee!

But it is what it is. And McCain must be stopped. If he were to be the GOP nominee, he would ruin what’s left of the Republican Party - and he would damage conservatism, too. If he were President, we should all fear for the country. He is unstable. He is a Mad Bomber. He is dangerous. He cannot be allowed to control the Executive Branch.

What a mess we are in!


There is exactly one year to go until Inauguration Day.

After Saturday’s three contests - in Nevada and South Carolina - the races in the two parties are coming a bit more into focus. First, let us examine the GOP race:

• Romney’s campaign was smart to ditch South Carolina - where he wasn’t going to do well anyway - and grab all the attention from winning the heretofore unheard-of Nevada Caucuses.

• Plus, they were smart PR-wise, too. Those caucuses were a mid-day affair in Nevada so they were able to dominate the afternoon and evening news cycles by proclaiming, “Romney Wins Nevada.”

• Plus, Romney actually won more delegates in Nevada than were up-for-grabs in South Carolina.

• So - as of today - Romney’s argument is that he is ahead in delegates, has won three contests - to McCain’s two and Huckabee’s one. Plus he has - by far - the most money to continue on for the coming long months of slogging.

• Look for Fred Thompson to withdraw - within a day or so. His heart was never into this race. His goal? To be McCain’s running mate. And that is a distinct possibility.

• Look for Rudy Giuliani - remember him? - to continue to fade away after his one day in the Sunshine State on January 29th. He is not going to win Florida - McCain or Romney will. And that will be the end for one of the worst-run, most ill-conceived presidential campaigns - ever!

• It is a delicious irony to see this arrogant man - who months ago demeaned Ron Paul - lose to Congressman Paul three contests in a row!

• Rudy will be gone after February 5.

• Now, onto McCain: the mainstream media falls all over themselves to drag him across the finish line. Watching them slobbering all over Mcain after his close win in the Palmetto State is - frankly - humorous, predictable and disgusting. And it hurts him with many GOP voters.

• The base of the Republican Party - conservative primary voters - does not like — and isn’t voting for him, either. He only got 33% of the vote; that means two-thirds - 67% - of the GOP is against him.

• The animosity against McCain inside the Republican Party is palpable; people actively dislike him.

• It is hard to believe that this man can - in the end- win the GOP nomination. He just has too much baggage for the Right to accept him.

• His biggest asset is the belief by some that he is the ‘most electable’ Republican.

• This race will go on for months. It will be a three-man race: McCain, Romney and Huckabee. Each has baggage - lots of baggage - and each has Big Problems uniting a fractured GOP.

• The odds slightly favor Romney in the long haul. Because he has the most money and the mainstream Republicans seem to be coming to him bit by bit. And he is the only candidate with an iota of business and economic experience - which fits with the growing fear of a recession.

The Democrats:

• Hillary is back in front. Since getting off the mat in New Hampshire she has won each day and is exerting her will on the party.

• Obama must win South Carolina now.

• The race is slipping away - and fast - from Obama so he needs some wins and some debate knock-out punches to revive his chances.

• He needs to get aggressive with Hillary - and also to propose 3 innovative things he would do as President. He needs some beef! Some flesh on the bones of his candidacy.

• Edwards? Why is he still in the race? Maybe he hopes either Hillary or Obama will make a huge error and he can be elevated into the ‘other’ choice. Or he wants to cut a deal for Vice President with one of them.

• Plus he must know this: this is his last rodeo. Two runs for the White House is all you get in modern-day politics. Any more than that - without winning - and you are seen as a joke.

So that is where we are. Rest assured: some Big Surprises are coming - soon.







Here are some quick thoughts just after the Michigan GOP primary:

• Romney is re-energized by his huge victory - and is now a better candidate. He now knows the economy is his issue and he needs to speak to the voters’ anger and angst by using his thirty years as a turn-around expert in the business world. It worked in Michigan - and he’ll be smart if he uses it in other depressed areas such as South Carolina.

• Romney is now in the race to stay. That means he’ll open his substantial personal check-book to keep spending for his campaign while his GOP competitors limp along financially.

• Romney is aiming to be the alternative to Huckabee, who is the ‘religious candidate’ in the race. Romney beats McCain among non-evangelical GOP voters. Now if Rudy and Thompson leave the race - likely after Florida - those voters may come to Romney.

• McCain suffered a huge defeat in Michigan. With all the free media coverage from his buddies in the so-called mainstream media, he couldn’t repeat his 2000 Michigan GOP primary victory.

• McCain only does well with ‘cross-over’ voters - independents and Democrats who can vote in some states’ GOP primaries. But among registered Republicans, McCain is a loser. So - as previously stated here - he cannot be the GOP nominee if rank-and-file GOP primary voters don’t want him.

• South Carolina is McCain’s key state: if he wins it on Saturday then he’s alive; but if he loses it then he will be seen as a one-state (New Hampshire) wonder and his presidential hopes will be finished. Kaput. Done. Over. Period.

• The Jimmy McCain Satellite Photo story is certain to grow today and tomorrow in South Carolina - and many political observers believe McCain will blow his top over it. His anger and temper are, after all, his Achilles heel. (Go to to read about it.)

• Huckabee is getting fat again. Have you noticed? He is ballooning on the campaign trail. He says he’s put on 12 pounds; it looks more than that - and he is gaining by the day. This means binge eating, a lack of discipline. This is reflected in his occasional - and damaging - oral excesses. He allows himself to be seen as too religious - and that is bad politically. He ought to cool it on the religious talk and focus more on the economy so as to grow his base.

• Thompson is on life support. He must do surprisingly well in South Carolina to survive; he did do well in last week’s debate but now he needs to get some real votes. If he doesn’t he will withdraw next week.

• Rudy of course is betting everything on Florida. If he loses by one vote there he, too, is finished. If he wins he lives through Super Tuesday. But have you looked at the polls around the country? Rudy has shrunk into single digits. His support has gone to others. And people don’t much like him anymore.

• So, South Carolina on Tuesday is huge for McCain and Thompson. Huckabee, too, needs another victory and is poised to win the Palmetto State. If he does, he gets new momentum - and he finishes McCain off. Romney does not need to win South Carolina; he is aiming at winning next week’s Nevada caucuses.

• Romney, by the way, has the most GOP delegates so far with Huckabee second. McCain is a distant - and fading - third.

• Let’s hope we can rid ourselves of this arrogant, awful little McCain this weekend. He has treated too many people badly to earn the nomination of the Republican Party.


There can be no letdown after Iowa and New Hampshire; this week - Michigan and South Carolina for the GOP and Nevada for the Democrats - is as important as the tumultuous first week. Here is why:

GOP Race:

Michigan’s Republican Primary is make-or-break for Mitt Romney. It’s simple for him: win and he’s back in contention for the GOP nomination. Lose and he’s all done; stick a fork in him.

McCain and Huckabee don’t have to win Michigan but they’d love to knock Romney out of the race and thus shuffle the deck.

The polls are all over the place: some indicate that Romney, who is from Michigan, has pulled ahead of McCain, with Huckabee in third place. Zogby - the best pollster - shows McCain slightly ahead.

The issue in Michigan is clear: the economy and lost jobs. This should be ideal for Romney: the state of his childhood, where his father was a popular governor, and a topic - jobs and business - which is his strong suit.

So if he can’t do it there, he clearly can’t do it anywhere.

Then, on Saturday, is the crucial South Carolina GOP primary. This is where McCain stumbled in 2000 against GW Bush. The re-written - by McCain - history of that race is that the Bush campaign ‘slimed’ McCain and that is why Bush won.

The truth?

Yes, he was ‘slimed.’ But McCain would have lost anyway because GOP primary voters don’t like McCain. And they don’t trust him. His strength is among the (suspect) media - Chris Matthews, Imus, Russert etc. who fawn all over him - and he does reasonably well among Independents and Democrats who vote in some open GOP primaries - like Michigan.

Just hitting South Carolina voters this week is a powerful article in the US Veteran Dispatch by publisher - and former Green Beret and two-tours-in-Vietnam veteran - Ted Sampley about John McCain’s past and perhaps future judgement in a time of war. In a hypothetical situation, Sampley asks McCain what he would do if he was President and his own son, Jimmy - who McCain announced to the press in Iowa was now in Iraq - was Missing-in-Action and a E&E (Escape and Evasion) code was spotted by a US spy satellite in the desert?

What would McCain do?

Ted Sampley asks this question because we already have evidence of what John McCain did do in a similar situation!

In 1988 a US spy satellite photographed a 39-foot long E&E code drawn by a downed US pilot in a rice paddy in Laos. The Department of Defense told the US Senate - and McCain - in 1992 that it “had to be considered valid.”

But, no, that wasn’t enough for McCain.

He claimed it was “the handiwork of a young Laotian boy who copied it off an envelope.”

This is the judgement of a man who wants to be our Commander-in-Chief?

Oh, my....

This must-read article can be found at :

In South Carolina, Fred Thompson - suddenly awake and on attack against Huckabee - needs to do very well or else he’s finished. He will then drop out and endorse McCain, hoping to be his running mate in the fall.

Huckabee is HOT in South Carolina among the evangelicals and is hoping McCain loses Michigan so he can then knock McCain out in South Carolina.

If McCain were to lose both primaries this week, he would be seen as a one-state wonder - New Hampshire - but incapable of winning anywhere else.

So, this week is crucial for Romney and McCain. Not as crucial for Huckabee. Thompson is almost-toast. And Rudy is fading fast in Florida with his odd “I don’t run so I don’t lose in any primaries” strategy.

The Democrats:

A big debate in Nevada tomorrow and then the Nevada Caucuses on Saturday. This race is turning nasty - and may polarize blacks vs. whites inside the party.

Ignore these national polls which say Hillary is going to be the nominee. We do not yet know that; the voters are roiled. There is angst out there. Obama may tap into that better than Hillary.

There is a long, long way to go in both races.

Many unexpected twists and turns.

We may not know the nominees until the late summer.

Oh, and forget Bloomberg. He is irrelevant, billions or not. And if he does run he takes votes away from the Democrats because he is a liberal Democrat.

There will be unbelievable surprises in the near future.


Let’s look at the post-New Hampshire races in each party. The GOP first:

• McCain still has little or no support among registered Republican voters; his strength is among the So-Called Mainstream Media (one of the reasons GOP voters deeply distrust this man), independent voters and a slice of Democrats.

• McCain cannot be the nominee of the Republican Party precisely because GOP primary voters detest and distrust him. He is pro-amnesty for illegals, has treated many people with arrogance and a mean sarcasm and has happily attacked conservatives for over two decades.

• Yes, the media - Tim Russert, Chris Mathews and others - love him because he attacks Republicans and thus does their work for them.

• But the Republican Party Base is not going to accept John McCain as their nominee.

• So, if not this arrogant little spoiled brat of a churlish man, who?

• Romney: has proven to be a poor candidate, an empty suit, a total fraud. But he may have learned something Sunday night in the Fox debate: McCain will blow his top - he has an awful temper which he has decidedly not controlled despite what he says - when pushed hard on the fact that he is for amnesty for illegals. That two-some - amnesty coupled with the curtain pulled back on McCain’s temper - may be the key for Romney to fight back in Michigan next week.

• But who know about Romney? He just doesn’t have it. A plastic man. A nothing man. Trying to be all things to all people he ends up being nothing to anybody.

• Huckabee is a damn good candidate but he hasn’t yet shown that he can be a candidate of more than just the evangelical Christians. His performance in New Hampshire shows his appeal - so far - is limited to the Values Voters only.

• Ron Paul? He has yet to translate his online success to getting real votes. Doesn’t look like he’s getting anywhere as New Hampshire’s unique brand of Republicanism was tailor-made for him. He is destined to hang around the single digits - at best.

• Rudy? Fuggheddaboutit! He is fading away with his crazy back-and-forth strategy of playing in a state and then dropping out and then going back. A weird, crazy campaign - and an accurate reflection of this weird man. He is un-nominatable - if that word exists.

• Fred Thompson? One percent of the vote last night means he’ll drop out after South Carolina. He’s toast...a political Dead Man Walking.

• I’ll write it here again: the ultimate GOP nominee may not yet even be in the race yet.

The Democrats:

• We have to remember something basic: Iowa and New Hampshire Democrats who caucus or vote in a primary are the most left-leaning of all American voters. These are not middle-of-the-roaders; they are liberals!

• So Obama’s success and now Hillary’s so-called ‘comeback’ are products of the often-odd thinking of liberals.

• The notion that a community organizer from Chicago who has done nothing substantive in his life can be President is laughable. But this doesn’t bother the Left.

• The idea that a little weepy talk/crying jag can become an asset is also a window into the feminization of the Democratic Party. They aren’t the Democrats of New Hampshire who ruined neighbor Ed Muskie when he cried back in 1972.

• The odds now favor Hillary’s nomination. It is not over, but this huge comeback win for her will re-energize her campaign like nothing we have seen before. They will now try to move in for the kill of Obama. They think their tough talk Monday in New Hampshire had a lot to do with it. The Clintons don’t like Obama; they see him as an ungrateful upstart - and how dare he challenge Queen Hillary and King Bill - the Royal Family of the Democratic Party?

• But, the Clintons better be careful: too much savaging of Obama may alienate the African-American community. Bill is going to try to slice and dice; we’ll see how that goes.

• Obama needs to get specific about what he’d do as President. All his “Yes we can” talk only goes so far. He needs to supply the ‘beef’ - and soon.

• Edwards will stay in as he has no other option. This is the last rodeo for him so why not keep going? He can’t really run again for President - two times and you’re out - so he might as well hang in and see what will happen.

Conclusion: in both races, we could be in for a long, protracted race. And it is entirely possible that the next President is not yet in the race.


Why did Iowa end up the way it did? Some Big themes. Let us examine them:

1) On Obama’s victory:

The Mirror Opposite Theory: Draw back and take a look at what has happened in this country over the past two decades: the Clintons, Hillarycare, the GOP Revolution, Monicagate, 9/11, lies about WMD to get us into a now-despised and never-ending war in Iraq, the mismanagement of Katrina, the constant lies from both parties in DC about everything.

A friend of mine draws this analogy: today feels like 1975-1976 after Vietnam and Watergate. He says, “This nation is as traumatized by recent events as we were thirty years ago.”

So, in 1976 - after years of LBJ’s lies about Vietnam and then Nixon’s Watergate Scandal - the voters looked for The Mirror Opposite of these perfidious, duplicitous DC insiders.

And they found him: Jimmy Carter.

He was everything LBJ and Nixon were not: an outsider with absolutely no DC experience, a smiler, a promise “to never tell you a lie,” and another promise to “have a government as good as the people.”

Never mind that Carter turned out to be one of the worst, most incompetent presidents in our history. We are just talking about the election process - and analyzing why Obama did so well.

Obama is indeed The Mirror Opposite of the Clintons and the Bushes and the rotten DC Establishment: he is new, fresh, young, optimistic, positive and - most importantly of all - he was against the Iraq War from the start. To Democratic primary voters - and to Independents, too - this war is an abomination and they want it stopped.

Forget this media nonsense that the war has “receded as an issue.” It has not. It is the biggest issue of the year - and will remain so until the 65% of the American people who want us to leave get their way.

And they only trust a ‘pure’ opponent of this war to end it: Obama. Edwards and Hillary were both for the war and that has dogged them among the dominant liberal wing of their party.

2) New Hampshire and beyond: Obama will win New Hampshire - by a large margin. Those Independent voters there will now flood into Tuesday’s Democratic primary and push Obama to another victory.

Afterwards? Will Democrats rally behind either Hillary or Edwards to stop Obama? Or does he cruise to the nomination?

It is hard to believe that Hillary can be the nominee. 70% of her party is against her.

The Clinton Machine may be finished.

Edwards? Do you realize that this is the second time he has run for President - in 2004 and now in 2008 - and he has never won even one caucus or primary. Not one!

2) GOP: Huckabee won mainly because he has great candidate skills and the Iowa GOP is comprised of 60% evangelical Christians. And because all the other GOP candidates are fatally flawed frauds who have no business running for president.

But Huckabee, too, is flawed. He cannot and will not be able to unite the GOP. We are a shattered party. The Bushes - for the second time in the past two decades - have crippled the Republican Party and opened the way for the Democrats to seize full power again in Washington.

The only thing that can save the Republicans is a new candidate - a ‘Republican Obama’ - new, fresh, and not saddled by Bush Baggage - to appear on the scene. And time is running out for that to happen.

Romney is limping into New Hampshire and will now lose there to McCain.

The so-called Mainstream Media will back McCain all the way once he wins New Hampshire. They’ll try to make it a Huckabee-McCain Race. The problem is that GOP voters despise McCain and will not vote for him in subsequent primaries. These voters do not hate Huckabee. But they don’t love him either.

In sum, GOP voters remain lost at sea looking for their Savior - their Reagan - to ride to the rescue of not only their party, but their country, too.

And in Huckabee, Romney, McCain and Rudy, none of them can re-unite this broken and dispirited party. They all have major problems; they all are phony conservatives who have switched positions to portray themselves as real conservatives.

3) The General Election:

The Republican Party faces a huge Enthusiasm Gap. This was seen in Iowa in the much larger-than-expected-Democratic turnout. New voters did indeed flood the caucuses. This rarely happens. But it did this time - and that portends badly for Republican hopes in November. Yes, GOP turnout was up a bit, too, but not as much as the huge Democratic turnout. This - coupled with the huge disparity in fundraising and the number of donors - shows that the Democrats are angry as hell and determined to win the White House back. The Republicans, meanwhile, are divided and dispirited. And Iowa and Huckabee’s rise only makes this situation even more muddled.

Democracy works. The people are now speaking. The media are foolish filters who do not understand what the people are saying - or why. The media, in fact, is part of the problem. That is why ratings and circulation are down. The American people don’t trust either their leaders or their news-providers.

More next week.


Thursday it begins. ‘It’ is the 2008 Presidential election.

With just over 24 hours until the Iowa caucuses, let’s catch up on the latest ups and downs:

• Huckabee’s star rose like a rocket and is seemingly now descending almost as quickly. His foreign policy ignorance and last-minute back-and-forth with that anti-Romney ad has hurt him and taken the shine off his other-wise exciting candidacy.

• Many conservatives have been “lying in the weeds” to nail a mean Huckabee. Yes, it is true: over the years Huckabee has been like McCain: they both have an arrogant “it’s my way or the highway” attitude and have demeaned those who dared to disagree with them. Payback is a *itch, eh?

• McCain is HOT again - not among GOP voters - but among self-elected liberal media types and newspaper editorial writers. Among the GOP rank-and-file, McCain has virtually no strength and has not risen in the polls other than in New Hampshire, which he won in 2000 because Independents voted for him.

• McCain may win New Hampshire again - and if he does it is because of the so-called Mainstream Media yanking this guy across the finish line.

• However, McCain is not going to be the GOP nominee. His pro-amnesty position on illegal immigration - and his years of treating conservatives and POW families like dirt - will prevent the GOP base from ever accepting him as the nominee.

• For an incredibly insightful peek into McCain’s odd, irrational, angry and bizarre behavior, please read Ted Sampley’s piece in the US Veteran Dispatch:

This is a must-read!

• Fred Thompson? Remember him? A soggy candidate; a lethargic, un-inspired campaign. Going nowhere. No one will even pay attention when he drops out. Which will come sometime after South Carolina. If McCain beats him for third place in Iowa it is a pathetic show by Thompson.

• Rudy Giuliani? An ego run amok. He thought he could blow off Iowa and New Hampshire and still be relevant. Ain’t gonna happen! You gotta participate in all the contests - beginning with the Iowa Straw Ballot in August. It’s no coincidence that McCain and Rudy are hurting in Iowa - as they both arrogantly blew off the Hawkeye State.

• The phony, staged, cutesy “I love you, Honey” phone calls from his wife interrupting speeches, the improper use of New York City cops to protect his mistress and his friendship with the indicted Bernard Kerik have destroyed Rudy’s once positive image. His 9/11 so-called heroism is an ancient - and over-used - memory.

• Ron Paul? An internet fundraising phenomenon. A disgrace that he isn’t being included in future TV debates. At least wait until Iowa and New Hampshire and let’s see some evidence of his strength or weakness before winnowing down the field!

• Romney has rallied in Iowa and will probably hold off Huckabee. That will be a Big Blow - almost fatal - to Huckabee - and Romney can then execute his original momentum plan: win Iowa, New Hampshire and Michigan - and then have a real shot in South Carolina.

• But Romney is in Big Trouble in New Hampshire because of the newspaper endorsements there for McCain. An Iowa comeback win may be enough to re-launch Romney’s Big Mo Plan.

• Huckabee, by the way, has totally lost his chance at being the Vice Presidential nominee - no matter what happens in Iowa. His ‘weirdness,’ foreign policy ignorance and liberal positions on illegal immigration have undermined his national future.

• On the Democratic side, I cannot run away from my November 12, 2007 column and prediction: 1) Obama; 2) Edwards; 3) Hillary. Lately I have flip-flopped Edwards and Obama in my mind for numbers one and two - but I still think Hillary is in trouble. A third-place finish for her would be devastating. Not long ago we were told she was ‘inevitable’ - remember?

• Keep one basic thing in mind: if Hillary wins Iowa, she is the de facto nominee on Friday morning. Period. The dominoes fall and the party coalesces around the Clintons all over again. And then she is but one day - next November 4th - from becoming President. One day. Period. What a nightmare for this nation if she somehow won the presidency.

• The Democrats would be idiots if they nominate Hillary. She is despised by half the electorate. No one - not even most Democrats - believe a word she says. She would be a cause to rally the GOP against in November 2008. And I doubt Obama can win a general election either after a tough campaign and media scrutiny. Do they really believe this nation is going to elect an exceedingly leftist African-American man - with the middle name of Hussein - with virtually no experience and who has taken no positions on anything?

• John Edwards is their best candidate in a general election. If nominated, he would defeat any of the current Republicans. But

• Who elected the media to make these choices anyway?

• OK. 24 hours to go - and counting.

• Happy New Year to you all!!!

• More to come - soon! And more predictions, too!