With the first Democratic presidential debate coming up next week, and two Republican debates already done and gone, it seems like it's time for me to go out on a limb and predict who will be each party's nominees for President and Vice-President.
Naturally I'm doing this for bragging rights in case -- wonder of wonders -- I actually turn out to be right.
In case I'm wrong, which is much more likely, I'll either do my best to forget that I ever wrote this post, or take solace in the possible fact that I got one or two of the four nominees correct.
2016 is a tough presidential election year for prognosticating. Pundits have been spectacularly wrong so far, expecting Donald Trump to self-destruct (he hasn't) and Hillary Clinton to waltz to her coronation (she isn't).
So I suspect that unforeseen surprises -- are there any other kind? -- are going to make these predictions seem ridiculous in retrospect. But like I said, there's a small chance I'll end up being right. In which case I will trumpet my brilliance, a blogger's favorite activity.
OK... let's get to it.
Being a proud progressive, I find it easier to predict the Democratic nominees. Rather uncreatively, I'm going with Hillary Clinton for President and Julián Castro as her VP running mate.
I just don't see anyone beating out Clinton.
Bernie Sanders isn't going to have much momentum once the Iowa and New Hampshire primaries are past. Martin O'Malley is, well, Martin O'Malley. Enough said. There's a few other candidates, but since I can't remember who they are, I assume nobody else will either.
On the Republican side, I had to do more pondering about the likely nominees. In the end I decided to go with Marco Rubio for President and Carly Fiorina as his VP running mate.
Personally, I don't find Rubio very appealing, even when I try to put myself in a conservative frame of mind. Rubio always sounds like he's reciting canned lines when I hear him speak. I don't feel much of a real person behind his candidate persona.
But Tea Party types like him.
And that counts for a lot in today's Republican Party. Florina makes sense as a vice-presidential candidate. She's aggressive and (duh...) a woman. Nice qualities if Hillary Clinton is the Democratic choice for president.
Part of my reason for choosing Julián Castro as Clinton's running mate, an utterly unoriginal idea, is that the Dems need to counter the possibility of Rubio siphoning off much-needed Latino/Hispanic votes.
Well, like I said, I'll probably be wrong. If I'm right, though, GENIUS!