An upredictable GOP race
Check out the Republican hopefuls Wednesday night in St. Petersburg for the CNN/YouTube debate and you'll see four or five candidates with plausible paths to the nomination. A Republican primary so volatile and unpredictable is practically unheard of in modern political history. So let's step back and review the long, strange trip that has taken us to this point. "They say in politics that a week is an eternity. In this case, a year has been a century because of all the changes we've seen," marveled Republican consultant Adam Goodman, a former Rudy Giuliani adviser who's unaffiliated this cycle.
The most important day of the 2008 GOP primary? Consider Aug. 11, 2006. Virginia Sen. George Allen calls a Democratic staffer of Indian descent a "macaca," starting the demise of Allen's re-election campaign against Democrat James Webb and snuffing the presidential aspirations of a man widely seen as a conservative superstar. More here.
Handicap the debate field here.