I note John’s post below that Dean will not be the nominee. I think he is probably right; I have been pushing myself toward this position for days, as you know. More ammunition for this position: ARG tracking poll says Clark continues to gain in New Hampshire (another two points since yesterday). L.A. Times says that Clark has the momentum, and the other candidates know it. That explains yesterday’s NY Times artcile about Dean having to watch his words now. Mickey Kaus has a few nice paragraphs on Dean and ends by saying this: "Dean’s certainly comfortable as a moderate--check out his old pundit tapes. His dilemma--the real Dean Dilemma, it seems to me--is that unless he keeps popping off, unless he maintains the mischievous posture of slightly irresponsible anger, when he moves to the center he threatens to bore everyone to death." On the other hand, the AP reports Senator Tom Harkin just endorsed Dean.
Having said all that, I don’t think anyone else but Clark is possible. John’s right that there is a remote possibility that it will have to be decided at the convention, but that means that 1) Clark will have to self-destruct, along with Dean and 2) Gephardt would have to win Iowa first and then come in at least third in New Hampshire and win in South Carolina. Although then he would have a chance, I dont think he could carry it out in the end; then the convention choosing would be possible. But then it would be a brand new ball game, and Hillary would become the nominee (and she would have to be forced into it), probably with Clark as a runningmate. None of the other candidates have a chance, although I hear that the Kerry people are claiming that there will be a surge for him. I don’t believe it. This Austin Bay essay on the Mad How, not Cow, but, How, as in Howard Dean, disease in the Democratic Party is pretty good.