21 December 2007


It's been nearly nine months since PrezPolitics went on a somewhat involuntary hiatus.

With too much going on I had to give up the blog or publish it at a quality level below my satisfaction.

So shut 'er down we did.

But things have calmed a bit and it's time to take another shot.

A lot has happened - obviously - since the last time we posted back in April.

Back then Hillary Clinton had a comfortable lead in all the polls and an air of invincibility. Today she finds herself in a dead heat with Barack Obama in polling in Iowa, the state that will weigh in first in the race with its caucus on Jan. 3. John Edwards is very much a factor in Iowa as well and could be poised to surprise.

Things have also tightened in New Hampshire, the second state slated to render a verdict on the presidential hopefuls with its primary on Jan. 8.

The Clinton campaign has been on the defensive for weeks now, with the first tests of the political season on the horizon.

Some things don't seem to change however. Dennis Kucinich is still polling in the single digits, as he spreads his left-wing gospel to a small group of fiercely loyal supporters.

For whatever reason, Bill Richardson's campaign never took off like I thought it might. Richardson has been a cabinet member, a congressman, a diplomat and a governor. He has a sensible, middle-of-the-road message. He is of Hispanic heritage, a factor you might think would help as that sector of the electorate continues to grow. But his poll numbers are not much better now than they were in the spring and he stands precious little chance of being around for Tsunami Tuesday at the beginning of February.

The same can be said for two veteran Democratic senators in the race, Chris Dodd of Connecticut and Joe Biden of Delaware. The two of them, along with Richardson, appear to be running for vice-president in reality.

On the Republican side, Ron Paul didn't even register on the political radar when we went on hiatus in April. Today, while still in the single digits in the polls, the Texas congressman is drawing crowds and raising record amounts of cash from small donors. He is the only anti-war Republican and he is riding that and his populist, libertarian appeal to heights no one expected of him.

When we last posted there was one Republican in the race named Thompson. Tommy. Now the Thompson in the race is Fred, the actor-turned-senator-turned-TV star-turned presidential candidate. Back in April he was playing it coy, waiting for the draft-Thompson movement to swell to the proper size before getting into the race. Today, after a quick burst as he entered the in September, he is looking like a tired, also-ran. How quickly they come and go.

Nearly every candidate on the GOP side has seen his fortunes rise or fall since the spring.

Mike Huckabee, the former Arkansas preacher-turned-governor, was polling at about 2 percent back then. He was mostly known as the candidate who once weighed over 300 pounds. Now, with strong poll numbers in Iowa and North Carolina, Huckabee is seen by many as the man to beat in the Republican race.

Rudy Giuliani has ridden his 9/11 fame throughout most of the year, but his appeal seems to be wearing thin at just the wrong time. He's invisible in Iowa and nearly so in New Hampsahire. His strategy was to write-off those small, early-voting states and go for the gold in the larger, more moderate states on Tsunami Tuesday. But recent national polls have shown Giuliani slipping and he is no longer seen as a clear front-runner.

John McCain, looking scorched around the edges back in April, is no longer toast. He's made a bit of a comeback in national polls and is looking strong in New Hampshire, the state that made him a very temporary front-runner back in 2000. A good showing there could keep him viable for the big payday on Feb. 5.

Mitt Romney seems to be the only GOP candidate whose fortunes haven't changed all that much since April. He's still in the mid-teens in national polls but putting up strong numbers in the early-voting states. His strategy of winning early and riding the momentum still seems to be intact.

So, that pretty much brings us up to date. Rather than report the tit-for-tat and play-by-play of each day on the trail, we hope to report and comment on the bigger events in the campaign.

Come back and watch it with us won't you?

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