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The first game I played, other than slots, in Las Vegas was at Ballys, was Craps. I learned how to buy-in, where to place the chips, the first win on the dice and the first losses. That night I won $500.00 from a nut of $60.00, but in the current Presidential campaign, there are bigger stakes.
First, the Primary Calender has moved up to the point where America will learn who the candidates are by the Ides of March. Growing up in the 1970's, there was a gap between New Hampshire, Iowa and Super Tuesday. In 1976, Jimmy Carter didn't have name recognition of large amount of funds, but he made it to the convention because of that gap. In 1980, Reagan was able to focus on New Hampshire because of that time Gap before Super Tuesday.
The front loading process destroys that "Black Sheep" of both parties. They can't raise funds or build name recognition after coming in Win, Place or Show. Two traditions have been fully broken in time for '08: Joining in matching campaign funds and releasing tax returns.
Where am I putting my chips for the Presidential Campaign 2008? There is precedent which I follow:
1) The last sitting Senator elected was in 1960. Since 1968, only Governors and Vice Presidents have made the cut because of Executive experience.
2) Since 1972, no President has been elected from the North east. The even money is on Southern, Western or South western states.
3) The last president to only have a B.A. was Lyndon Baines Johnson. Every President since then has had a post-Bachelor's degree in Law.
4) At heart, most Americans do not have Royalist tendencies (except if you swoon over the names Kennedy or Clinton, but that would make you a member of the Press or the Democratic party, but I repeat myself).
Where will I place my bet? On a future gap between New Hampshire and Iowa and Super Tuesday. Oh, 2008? Keep reading.