I'm as eager as anyone to get to the next president. The only problem I have with the onslaught of "will they, won't they, and why would they" is that we do still have the current president for a couple of years. I would prefer if someone in the media continued keeping an eye on him.
But I'm a slave to the hype machine too. I have seen the candidate fields from both parties and listened to the media hype about how crowded they are (Am I wrong in thinking this seems like a pretty normal number of candidates heading into primaries?). [If there are any English professors reading this, I would love to know if I punctuated the last sentence correctly. I suspect not.] Anyway I think the biggest question has been missed. To me that question is, "Will anyone bother to vote?" We had a nice surge in voter turnout during the midterms, but that was an election where people really believed they could make a difference. I don't know that the '08 election will be the same. Here is my peak into voter minds that explains my reasoning:
Republican voter: I just can't vote for a Democrat, but the Republican I voted for last time made me feel as though I woke having traded my children for a six-pack of beer (not even good beer).
Democratic voter: I naturally don't like Republican candidate X, but when you compare him to George Bush he doesn't seem so bad.
Independent voter: Some combination of both above.
Libertarian voter: The only right I have that hasn't been trampled is my right not to vote, so I think I'll exercise it.
Green Party voter: Do you have any idea how much pollution is caused by people driving to the polls? Mother Earth wants us to stay home.
My worry is that Bush has gone so far over the top that he has broken down people's sense of presidential reality. Does anyone even remember what a president is supposed to do or act like? Do you ever watch speeches by any former president and think "My God, these guys used to have coherent thoughts!" You don't even have to look at big speeches, just some weekly press-conference of Reagan or testimony from Clinton. It is actually startling if Bush is the only president you have seen in a while. This, of course, will be a boon to the next president. Someone will say "Oh my God, I can't believe the president nuked all of Central Canada." And someone will respond "Yeah but he did say nuclear correctly, so..."