Maybe I should’ve made numeric predictions after all.

What’s utterly hilarious to me about the current political situation is how the script of what’s going on ratchets back and forth so quickly. Two weeks ago, this was Hillary’s nomination to lose. Now people are depicting her as some sort of underdog candidate who came out of nowhere to triumph against incredible odds.

Really?

The thing is, it’s still probably the Dynasty’s presidency to lose. And I really don’t see them going down without a fight. It occurred to me yesterday for the first time (you heard it here first [TM]) that if Obama seems poised to actually grab the nomination, they will probably shoot him before the convention. When the two big people you’ve been compared to are JFK & MLK, and the person you actually most resemble is RFK, those just aren’t good odds.

But don’t worry, it’s just a wingnut lone gunman. Scout’s honor. I love this country (TM).

Despite my lampoony cartoon today and the incredible details of the exit polling, no one really asked the question how many people were impacted by yesterday morning’s papers’ top story being the trumped-up showdown between the US and Iranian navies in the Strait of Hormuz. It was well-documented that many people decided yesterday who they’d vote for, making the day’s news pretty significant. And Hillary’s late campaigning was playing a whole lot of the fear card, which seems to be as close as she comes to having a theme (“Eight More Years of Bill” coming in a close second). And if you don’t think Hillary Clinton and the Dynasty can coordinate with the US Navy, you’re really not paying attention.

What’s interesting about this race is that while everyone’s claimed that it’s going to be a sudden burst of voting, it’s still a pretty protracted process. Everyone just started earlier. It’s a lot like malls starting to put up Christmas decorations in July… it doesn’t mean Christmas will get done differently, it’ll just start sooner. Michigan is next week and has been so utterly desanctioned that the media isn’t even acknowledging that the state (America’s 8th-largest) is voting at all. Then we have Nevada and South Carolina, the latter of which will bury John Edwards for good (not that it’s good so much as permanent) when he gets third-place with about 20%.

The thing is, Super Tuesday is still a full month after New Hampshire, and more than a month after Iowa. In 2004, it was six weeks after Iowa and four after New Hampshire. So functionally, Iowa has been pushed back a week and then everyone jumped forward. Oh, the momentous change!

Granted, four years ago a lot fewer states were clumped on Super Tuesday, and even fewer in 2000. But the election was over a week after Super Tuesday last time, with everyone else dropping out. You have to go back to 1992, in the early days of the Dynasty, to see a primary process that was still up-for-grabs post-Super Tuesday.

But, I maintain, the Republicans will break that streak. The factions, both regional and issue-based, will continue to divide them until the Convention, leaving a tremendous amount of time for the Democratic nominee (who will be sealed up at Super Tuesday) to take the lead in the general election.

So very little has changed since my pre-Iowa thoughts, except that the Dems will be a little closer for a while, but probably still end up with Hillary. Not that long ago, almost no one took Iowa that seriously. Rudy and Hillary are still hoping this ends up being true. It probably will be, all told. Heck, if Dean hadn’t whooped, Iowa would still probably be seen as entirely meaningless.

I’m getting all of this political posting out of the way now, since I won’t even be in country for Super Tuesday. I’ll be trying to find a paper in New Delhi that’s covering the story. And while it will probably be a disheartening Hillary-romp that I won’t be sad to miss, I will miss the pundit head-scratching as at least five distinct Republican candidates win primaries.

In the meantime, watch the media trying to consolidate behind the Hill’. She has Fear and Tradition in her court, classic bastions of the American voter. And she’s now, almost unthinkably, grabbed the “underdog” label. And if there’s something Americans like voting for more than a pure winner, it’s someone who has made themselves look like they’re in a trite kids’ underdog sports movie. Only in America would people buy that someone so steeped in power, influence, and string-pulling as Hillary Clinton is reminiscent of the Mighty Ducks or the Bad News Bears.

It’s bad news, all right. Makes me wonder why I let myself hope in the first place.