Peter asks for predictions. Try these:
The economy will continue to grow fast--4.5 to 5.5 percent over the next two quarters. The Dow Jones Industrial Average will top 12,000 before the year is out. Unemployment will drop below 6 percent by election day in November.
Geragos goes 0 - 2. Both Michael Jackson and Scott Peterson will be convicted. In Jacksons case, after a long circus-like trial where O.J. will make a cable TV talk show appearance commenting on the case. Geragos will get a show on MSNBC after the trials. It will be cancelled after three weeks.
The terror network will attempt to destabilize Egypt and Jordan, including probably an assassination attempt on Mubarak.
The Olympic games in Athens will see an attempted terrorist truck bomb, probably directed at Israeli and US athletes, emulating the 1972 Munich attack.
North Korea will resume negotiations over their nuclear program in a conciliatory mood, but wont make any real concessions until after the election, waiting to see if Bush is re-elected.
Barbara Streisand will make a big stink about being denied a prime-time speaking slot at the Democratic National Convention.
Campaign spending will set a record, with independent expenditures by left-leaning 527 committees exceeding spending by Democratic candidates and official Democratic party committees. The invincibly ignorant will declare that campaign finance reform has failed; therefore, we need even more reform!
Howard Dean will wrap up the nomination by the end of March, after a boomlet for Gephardt and/or Clark fails in the South Carolina primary.
The media will float rumors about Dick Cheneys health, mostly to cause trouble in the GOP. Look also for an attempt to manufacture a scandal involving Karl Rove, in an effort to distract the White House.
There will be a running mate boomlet in the early summer for Californias Dianne Feinstein and Washington Governor Gary Locke, partly to keep up interest heading into the Boston convention. In the end, however, Dean will pick either Evan Bayh or New Mexico Gov. Bill Richardson as his running mate. I lean to Richardson. He is a person to watch for 2008 in any case. Heres why: The conventional wisdom is that only a southern Democrat can win the presidency any more (think Carter and Clinton). But there arent any southern Democrats of stature left. The next most likely winner for the Democrats will come from the inter-mountain west, where Dems are nearly as weak as thay are in the South. The Dem bench in the west is almost as thin as the South. Richardson is the most plausible; as a Hispanic with an Anglo name, he offers major cross-over potential. He creates a rival to Hillary for 2008 should Dean lose. As a former UN ambassador, he gives Dean some foreign policy help.
Last but not least, the Big One: Bush will be re-elected with 52 percent of the vote. Though thin, it will be a widely distributed majority, making for an electoral college landslide for Bush. Dean will carry New York, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Maryland, New Jersey, Washington, Wisconsin, and one or two more. Bonus prediction: Dean will lose his home state of Vermont. Republicans will gain 8 seats in the House, and 3 in the Senate.
I dont disagree with most of your predictions, but I am not sure about Babs.
As to a thin 52% Bush victory, I think the percentage is about right (which, naturally, means it will be something else), but I dont think a 52% to 46% with 2% for others can be considered thin. Rather, it is solid. And if it is as broadly dispersed across the nation as you predict, with the strength down ticket you predict, it may well be considered the strongest victory since 1984.
There is one Southern Dem you neglect to mention: John Breaux. I dont know if hed consider the offer, but it couldnt hurt his political career given his retirement announcement, and it wont hurt his legacy (Louisiana folk would probably be delighted to see their favorite son get the nod, even if the head of the ticket doesnt excite). Otherwise, yes, Richardson would be the logical choice.