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Scouting report.

The World Series of Presidential politics is a whole eighteen months down the road, but the major players are already lacing up their cleats. Yes, my friends, it's spring training for the Presidency. Again.

This time, the field promises to be more crowded than the trainer's table after the first day of wind sprints for pitchers. Besides, this is America. Where any Dominican can grow up to be shortstop and any American can grow up to be President. A fact recently immeasurably reinforced by George Bush.

On paper, conventional wisdom tells us we'll see a championship final of Clinton versus McCain, but they don't play on paper because if they did, their cleats would tip it all to shreds what with the running and the sliding.

So here is our scouting report on some of the announced and presumed contenders for the upcoming season, in which, for once, everybody has a chance. Except the Cubs and Dennis Kucinich, that is.

Democratic League Donkeys

7 to 2. New York Senator Hillary Clinton.

Like the Yankees she claims to be a fan of, she behaves almost like she's miffed the crown isn't just handed over to her.

6 to 1. Illinois Senator Barack Obama.

Rookie just called up from Triple A. Might not be ready for the hardball style of the Bigs. Already got into a pimp-slapping contest with Hillary and lost.

10 to 1. Former North Carolina Senator John Edwards.

Still clinging to a lineup featuring his trademark "Two Americas" pitch. Another four years of Bush might mean the public finally catches up to his message.

50 to 1. Delaware Senator Joe Biden.

Back on disabled list due to persistent bout of foot-in-the-mouth disease. A little too comfortable flossing with own shoelaces.

500 to 1. The Field.

New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson. In it for the Vice Presidency.

Connecticut Senator Chris Dodd. In it for the parties.

Former Alaska Senator Mike Gravel. Who? Gravel? Alaska? Cool. In it for Secretary of the Interior.

8,000,000 to 1. Ohio Representative Dennis Kucinich.

Worries abound that in the Iowa straw poll this summer he might lose to the straw.

Gone but not forgotten: Al Gore. John Kerry.

Gone and forgotten: Evan Bayh. Dropped out before people knew he was running. Tom Vilsack. Dropped out before people knew how to pronounce his name. Russ Feingold. Dropped out but still has a better chance than Kucinich or Gravel.

Republican League Elephants

3 to 1. Arizona Senator John McCain.

Wily veteran. Lost a few miles on his fastball.

9 to 2. Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

Would have an easier time winning the World Series than getting to it. Wearing Al Gore's flip-flops.

10 to 1. Former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney.

Got the Mormon thing to get past. But for casual fans, might be a positive.

20 to 1. Former Governor of New York George Pataki.

Bad timing. Country not ready for another President named George. Severe third-degree George fatigue.

40 to 1. Former Arkansas Governor Mike Huckabee.

Bad timing. Country not ready for another President who was governor of Arkansas. Arkansas fatigue. 500 to 1. The Field.

California Congressman Duncan Hunter. In it for 2012. Texas Congressman Ron Paul. In it for Texas. Kansas Senator Sam Brownback. In it for the babies. Colorado Congressman Tom Tancredo. In it to screw illegals. Former Wisconsin Governor Tommy Thompson. In it for the cheese.

Gone but not forgotten. Dick Cheney. Condoleezza Rice.

Comic, writer, actor, former radio talk show host and sod farmer Will Durst picks the Brewers and the Red Sox to get to the World Series.
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Title Annotation:Off the Map
Author:Durst, Will
Publication:The Progressive
Date:Apr 1, 2007
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