High-Powered Punditry

PUBLISHED: May 12, 2008

In the unlikely event I'm ever asked to write a book called "The Audacity of Punditry," I've prepared a handy guide to major political news that will occur between now and September:

May 13: Hillary Clinton wins the West Virginia primary, telling supporters that although she was born in Illinois, raised in Pennsylvania, and lives in New York, "I've always considered West Virginia my true home."

May 14: A red-faced Bill Clinton scolds reporters for suggesting Hillary should drop out. He insists Hillary actually leads nationally among Democrats who say they have not read a newspaper during 2008.

May 16: Ignoring the advice of campaign aides, Barack Obama plays darts in the campus lounge at the University of Kentucky. Two students are treated for puncture wounds.

May 18: Campaigning in Pembroke Pines, Fla., John McCain drives the pace car in a race of Rascal-brand mobility scooters.

May 19: Fox Television announces a summer reality series called "Are You Dumber Than Reverend Wright?"

May 20: Obama scores a narrow win in Kentucky and a landslide victory in Oregon. Watching the returns at the San Juan Hilton, Hillary Clinton tells bar patrons she is focused on the Puerto Rico primary June 1, and that Bill's face is redder than usual because he fell asleep at the pool.

May 21: In a press release stating, "Four years is simply not enough time to mount a campaign," John Edwards announces his candidacy for president in 2012.

May 22: Figures for April show Obama raised $47 million from 3.1 million contributors; McCain, $9 million from 1,280 contributors; Clinton, $7 million from the Clinton Library's Global Outreach Fund.

May 26: In a surprise announcement, John McCain picks Democrat Robert Byrd of West Virginia as his running mate. Pundit Pat Buchanan tells Chris Matthews the move is "brilliant" because Byrd will help with key southern states, while "removing the spotlight from McCain on the age issue." Byrd, who will turn 91 two weeks after the election, says he is proud to run with a "whippersnapper" like John McCain.

June 1: Clinton wins the Puerto Rico primary giving her a net gain of two delegates. A red-faced Bill Clinton sends an e-mail to contributors insisting that no Democrat can win in November without Puerto Rico.

June 2: John and Cindy McCain begin a four-week vacation in Sedona. Barack Obama, campaigning in Montana, joins a neighborhood bocce game but the crowd scatters when his Punto shot ricochets off the leg of a Secret Service agent and breaks a nearby store window.

June 3: Voters in Montana and South Dakota give Obama his biggest wins yet, as the primaries come to a close. In Billings, Hillary Clinton unveils a new plan in which a "tax holiday" of up to $10,000 would be given to all undeclared superdelegates.

July 2: CNN presents the first debate of the '12 campaign, featuring John Edwards, Dennis Kucinich, Al Franken and Jeremiah Wright.

July 27: Matt Drudge reports Bill Clinton has privately told undeclared superdelegates that Obama has "no chance" of giving them the high-ranking government posts after the election that Hillary would.

August 25: Nancy Pelosi bangs the gavel to open the Democrats' convention in Denver. Outside, delegates from Michigan and Florida stage what they call the Great '08 Tailgate Party.

August 26: Hillary Clinton tells NBC's Andrea Mitchell that she is proposing a Constitutional amendment to allow a president to select up to 250 vice presidents - and that she is willing to give the positions to undeclared superdelegates.

August 27: Governor Deval Patrick of Massachusetts delivers a rousing keynote speech, but The Huffington Post reveals entire phrases were lifted from Obama's speech in '04. Meanwhile, Candy Crowley of CNN reports that Bill Clinton is personally phoning all superdelegates offering them "speaking engagements in Saudi Arabia for fees beyond their wildest dreams."

August 28: Barack Obama is nominated on the first ballot and introduces Bill Richardson as his running mate. Clinton pal James Carville says on CNN that, "Richardson is the Beelzebub of the Democratic Party." Hillary Clinton announces a 12-state campaign swing.

September 4: After a last minute appeal to GOP delegates from Bill Clinton to consider throwing their support to Hillary, Republicans nominate John McCain as the party's candidate for president. "Thank you, Milwaukee!" McCain tells the crowd, but Robert Byrd whispers that the convention is actually being held in Minneapolis.

© Peter Funt. This column first appeared in The Monterey Herald.

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