Get the feeling that when the first presidential debates are held for each party that there will be more candidates on the stage than people in the audience. Brownback. McCain. Richardson. Dodd. Obama. Add a Clinton to the list.
Hillary Clinton takes first step for 2008 race
Normally the Pilgrim doesn't deal in horserace politics. Focusing on the issues is what matters. Clinton is a unique case, however.
Putting it bluntly: she could be the nominee, but she cannot win the general election. In poll after poll her negatives are simply too high.
Think about the last 2 elections. In 2000, Gore won the popular vote narrowly, and Bush won the electoral vote narrowly. In 2004, Bush won both narrowly (Ohio could have changed the outcome). The nation is virtually 50-50.
Hillary has negative ratings in the 30% range- even 40% range. That is unfair, but it is reality. She simply has too much baggage to carry.
Remember that whatever negative numbers a candidate enters the race with, that number will go higher due to negative ads. And nobody will bring out the attack ads like Hillary. The Right, simply put, hates her, her husband, and what they are presumed to stand for. They will show no restraint.
Too many Americans who might be open to other Democrats simply will not consider a vote for Hillary Clinton. A Hillary campaign may be fun for the media, and may be fun for the purposes of speculation (what will Bill be called? First Man. First Philanderer?). And, given that the nation is 50-50, the election will be close. She won't win, however. If the Democrats want to win and not just put in a good showing (again), then they will need to look to another candidate.