But I can't get over the feeling that our elections, already rendered problematic by the need to raise massive amounts of campaign money, have changed irrevocably in the wake of what happened in Florida in 2000, the terrorist attacks of 9/11/2001, and the controversy surrounding electronic voting.
My mother used to say that Kennedy only won the 1960 election because of all the dead people who voted in Chicago, so perhaps my pessimism is unwarranted (or was already warranted before I was born.
I'm feeling pretty bleak right now, though. Howard Dean looks increasingly like the creation of a right-wing think tank. Wesley Clark changes his stance on a weekly, even hourly basis, and John Kerry is from a blue state.
If the Democrats have a chance still, I think it lies with John Edwards, who is A) from the South; B) a very good public speaker, with the sort of populist fervor that George W. Bush can't ever pull off convincingly; C) the product of an outsider background; and D) better looking that W.
Still, I can't help but think that we're entering a phase of our nation's history in which one party wins the big prize year after year, while the others come close but fall short. Think Japan and the post-war LDP. Think Mexico and the PRI before Vicente Fox.