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"Predictions are not just a straight line from the present. Anyone making predictions has to have taken into account events that are likely to occur."

Surely you're right about this, but the argument seems a bit too formal. We might be confident that X will happen, but as long as we're talking about politics, how and when X happens matter quite a bit. Finding Saddam alone and disoriented in a hole strikes me as just about perfect for the administration, and much better than asserting that the DNA from some bit of ash left over from a bomb strike belonged to him. X happened, but politically, it sure looks like X+2. On the other hand, finding him so long before the election seems politically unfortunate. However one chooses to weight the variables, they do have weights that can't be calculated until the even occurs.

(This isn't to defend the view that Bush is now more likely to be elected. I think it's far too early for that kind of talk.)

Joey Giraud

Well, it certainly seemed possible that Saddam might elude capture indefinitly. Our people-intelligence in Iraq is extremely poor, and Saddam had a reputation as a survivor.

Then again, he is still alive, eh?

The capture story is informative: Saddam's reign was a fragile thing. He was never going to be able to waltz back in and restore his dictatorship.

Cowboy Kahlil

Actually, polling suggests the best move Bush could make is to have Cheney step down for health reasons in midsummer, and appoint Colin Powell as VP.

The GOP Senate would rubberstamp it. Powell would remain for the Fall campaign, and despite the white supremacists in rock solid red states, he'd lose no states for doing this. As liberal as I am, that's the scenario I fear as the unbeatable team that the Dems couldn't touch.

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