MR. RUSSERT: Give me the nominees of the party.The Clintons are fighters and will not give up easily. However, Obama seems to be doing what Howard Dean hoped to do in 2004. Interestingly TC has learned that almost all of the New Hampshire Dean team from 2004 are working for Obama.
MR. MURPHY: Oh, man. Obama.
MR. RUSSERT: Yeah.
MR. MURPHY: And the Republican one’s a lot looser, and it could go—it could still get unraveled. But if you put a gun to my head in the hot seat, I’d have to say John S. McCain.
On the Republican side it is clear that the party establishment can't stand Huckabee and will do all it can to defeat him. At the same time it isn't clear (as Murphy's comment reveals) that they will embrace McCain. In fact the Republican process looks decidedly scrambled. Ordinarily the nomination process is quite Darwinian forcing out candidates early. However, if the early primaries and caucuses go in different directions (already Iowa has supported Huckabee while Wyoming went for Romney), TC holds out hope (albeit faint) that the race might go all the way to the Republican Convention in Minneapolis in the first week of September thus forcing the eventual winner to start the fall campaign exhausted from the nomination battle.