Conservative columnist Bob Novak took a year-end look today at the political landscape ahead, with the 2008 presidential race getting a fair amount of attention in his column.
I don't usually put much stock in a lot of what Novak has to say on partisan matters, but he seems to be looking at the '08 race with a pretty clear eye.
Among some of his conclusions"
"There is no viable conservative Republican presidential hopeful at the moment."
Novak says the conservative crowd doesn't seem to be buying into Sam Brownback and, he says, no one is taking Newt Gingrich seriously.
Novak also says McCain appears to be the leader in the GOP race, but has slipped noticeably lately; Mitt Romney was making strides until his I'm-better-for-gays-then-Ted-Kennedy remarks surfaced; the Republicans are quite concerned about the recent Newsweek poll that shows McCain trailing Hillary Clinton and Rudy Giulini appears to be McCain's toughest competition on the Republican side.
As far as the Democrats go, here's Novak's assessment:
"Clinton and Sen. Barack Obama seem to be taking up all the oxygen, which explains why Sen. Evan Bayh bowed out last week. However, there remain doubts about Clinton's electability and rookie Obama's ability to handle the rough road ahead. Former Sen. John Edwards should not be written off. He is working hard, is the apparent front-runner in Iowa and is ahead of Clinton and Obama with key labor unions.
CLINTON SUPPORTS BOOST IN SIZE FORCES
Sen. Clinton's office today released a statement announcing Clinton's backing for President Bush's plan to increase the size of the armed forces. This is not to be confused Bush's expected plan to boost troop strength in Iraq in the near future, but is, instead, a call to boost the size of all the armed forces for the long-term.
Clinton said she will make the request for more troops "a top priority."ON TO SOMEONE NEW
Until last Saturday, Nancy Jacobson was the head of the Evan Bayh campaign's finance team. But, with Bayh dropping out, Jacobson has moved on to a similar role in Hillary Clinton's not-as-yet-announced campaign. That word today from Hotline On Call.