Thomas Sowell

Apparently there is nobody among either the Democrats or the Republicans who is going to cause a runaway stampede like that which toppled all the Republican front-runners in 1940, when the convention delegates began loudly chanting "We want Wilkie!"

It is a struggle to keep awake during most of the so-called "debates" among the small army of candidates in both parties. At least the primaries will put an end to those awful spectacles.

It is much too early to try to guess who is going to win either party's nomination. The most we can have at this point are some general impressions.

None of the candidates looks truly inspiring at this point. I wouldn't buy a used car from most of them, nor a brand new car from some of them.

John Edwards is the easiest to peg. He looks just like the phony that he is.

His talk about poor children going to bed hungry may rouse the far left in his party but in fact the lowest-income people are even more obese than the rest of us, not that the facts make the slightest difference to Senator Edwards.

As an attorney, Edwards conned millions of dollars out of gullible juries, using junk science to create the impression that it was the fault of doctors when babies were born with birth defects.

Republicans, as usual, seem to have more people who would make good presidents than people who would make good presidential candidates. Unfortunately for them, we have elections instead of coronations.

Fred Thompson seems to have the best policy positions and the best political track record among the Republican candidates -- and the least effective presentation of himself.

If Senator Thompson can beat the odds and become president, he would probably be better than most of those who have been in the White House in recent times -- though that is not extravagant praise.

The only candidate of either party who truly looks presidential is Mitt Romney. It was unfortunate that Mike Huckabee and others have tried to make his religion an issue.

John F. Kennedy was supposed to have taken that issue out of politics -- and Huckabee's bringing it back in ought to disqualify him for a shot at the White House, even aside from Governor Huckabee's wholesale pardons of criminals and his raising taxes.

Romney and Giuliani are both articulate Republicans -- and it is rare for the Republicans to have two at one time. Some presidential election years they haven't even had one.

If Romney's and Giuliani's track records in office matched their ability to talk, either of them could unite and lead their party to victory. But that is no small "if."

Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

Creators Syndicate