Of course, a few days before the NH primary, those same pundits had pronounced the Clinton candidacy DOA and were writing Obama's inaugural speech.
Things aren't much clearer on the Republican side, with McCain newly-reannointed as the frontrunner after winning in New Hampshire.
Of course, he won in NH in 2000.
In other words - it's not over.
...As in Iowa, the most disappointed candidate coming out of the New Hampshire primary has to be Mitt Romney. In addition to the vast amounts of money that he spent here and the hundred-something campaign events, he had home-field advantage - not only was he the governor right across the border, he even has a vacation home there.
He was practically a resident, and still couldn't win there.
His candidacy is definitely in trouble; on the other hand, he hasn't exactly been trounced in Iowa or New Hampshire, and he still has oodles of money.
Next week's primary in Michigan is his last stand. He has to win in his home state (his father was governor there for a while), otherwise his candidacy will lose whatever momentum and support it has left.
...The phrase "It's not over" may not apply to Fred Thompson. At 1% in New Hampshire, he has rapidly gone from "Republican savior" to "Are his SAG dues up to date?" He may try to stay in through South Carolina, but he's done.
...Michigan could cause a big headache for the Democratc Party leadership. It was stripped of its delegates as a penalty for holding its primary before February 5. Hence, most Democratic candidates aren't on the ballot there.
In fact, there are only four candidates, and one of them, Sen. Christopher Dodd, has already dropped out. In fact, the only major candidate on the ballot there is Hillary Clinton, and there lies the problem.
There have been strong rumors that Michigan would have some or all of it 156 delegates restored, rumors that weren't discounted by a highly connected former DNC member at last night's D17 meeting.
If that comes to pass, and the race is close enough for Michigan's delegates to make a difference in the nomination, expect some justified howls of outrage from the non-Clinton campaigns (and from Democrats everywhere) at changing the nomination rules after the fact.
It would look like 'insiders' protecting one of their own, which brings up another point.
Another possibility that the 'powers-that-be' of the national party would have to consider is that even the appearance of inappropriate activity regarding the nomination could give the Republicans the kind of issue that they could use to pry Independent voters away from the Democrats.
I honestly don't think that they really *want* to restore Michigan's delegates, but the longer the race for the nomination stays a race, the more pressureto do so will be brought to bear by certain elements within the Party.
Best scenario for the Democratic leadership: the eventual nominee pulls away before any decision is made regarding Michigan, so that a restoration of its delegates doesn't make any difference.
...In disappointing news, for me, anyway, Governor Bill Richardson is apparently dropping out of the race. While he is far and away the best-qualified and best-suited candidate for the job, he doesn't have the 'rock star' qualities of Obama or Clinton (or even Edwards.) Therefore, he hasn't gained much traction with voters.
Note to the eventual nominee: consider Richardson for the VP slot on the ticket or for the Secretary of State job in your administration. It'll be the best appointment you could make.
...Matt Benson of the AZ Rep's Plugged In has a report that Governor Napolitano "may" endorse a candidate prior to the Presidential primary.
She shouldn't - either she'll have to work with the eventual nominee as Governor, or she'll work for the eventual nominee in his/her cabinet.
Doing anything more than helping the eventual nominee in the general election campaign does nothing for her or for Arizona.
CD5 race news -
...According to PolitickerAZ.com (a relatively new site, so I can't vouch for its accuracy yet. It seems to be pretty decent, though.), Susan Bitter Smith, a possible candidate for the Rep nomination to challenge Harry Mitchell, is waiting until February 5th to decide whether or not to enter the race.
Her stated reason for waiting?
Bitter Smith, the Executive Director of the Arizona Cable Television Communications Association, says that her decision depends on what happens on February 5 – the day Arizonans go to the polls to participate in the state’s presidential primary. She said that a strong Republican turnout would be encouraging.Not really news that; rumors about a possible run have been swirling for months. What is interesting is the rest of the quote from the article -
Bitter Smith also said she was looking for a “strong Republican” to head up the Party ticket in November.
When asked which candidate she preferred, she laughed. “McCain, Rudy (Giuliani), Romney,” she said.
Well, at least she's consistent; once a corporate tool, always a corporate tool. Her public disdain of Huckabee, the least corporate of the Republican candidates, clearly indicates where her true loyalties lie.
Bottom line - she's not running to represent the residents of CD5.
...In other news from PolitickerAZ, Jeff Hatch-Miller, member of the Arizona Corporation Commission, will be entering the CD5 race, joining Jim Ogsbury, Laura Knaperek, Mark Anderson, and David Schweikert (and possibly the aforementioned Bitter Smith) in the race for the Rep nomination.
He's termed out at the ACC, and as no statewide offices are up this year, it's a run for Congress or two years of toiling in the private sector for him. The field is crowded, but his connections should generate enough in contributions to make him viable in the primary.