With Sens. McCain and Clinton likely to hold onto their frontrunner slots for the foreseeable future, the Invisible Primary largely becomes about the other would-be candidates maneuvering to be viewed as the alternative to them, and about consolidating their positions so that if or when either pace setter falters, or decides not to run, the others can be ready to step into the vacuum.
And the possibility that either or both of the frontrunners ultimately decide not to make the race is real.
Despite the omnipresent reminder about how no sitting president or vice president is running for the first time since 1928, it is important to note that McCain, Clinton, Kerry, and Edwards have all been through at least one presidential campaign in a central manner.
All the other hopefuls will be having their first real exposure to what is quadrennially a very tough and unforgiving process.
We have scrutinized the candidates in 19 different categories, so stop whatever it is you are doing right now and go look at the entire first installment of our 2008 Invisible Primary Ratings here: LINK
Remember, though, there are about three years left to the current Administration. As for the man who President Bush "41" refers to as "THE President," he will kick off his day with a 10:00 am ET meeting on immigration reform in the Roosevelt Room. At 10:45 am ET, President Bush is expected to authorize the extension of "Nondiscriminatory Treatment to the Products of Ukraine." Later this evening, President and Mrs. Bush host a social dinner in honor of Ben Franklin's 300th birthday.
Gov. Mitt Romney (R-MA) holds a 2:15 pm ET press availability at Logan Airport before traveling to Vatican City to attend Archbishop Sean O'Malley's elevation to cardinal.
This evening, Rudy Giuliani (R-NY) headlines a fundraiser for Tom Kean, Jr.'s (R-NJ) campaign for the US Senate. (We wonder if those traffic congested Garden State highways will prevent Tom Kean from appearing side by side with "America's Mayor.")
Sen. Clinton (D-NY) -- in conjunction with Stony Brook University -- is hosting "'Equity Pay for Women,' a seminar regarding gender equity salary issues for young women entering the workforce" in Stony Brook, NY at 10:45 am ET. Later today, Sen. Clinton delivers the keynote address at the Long Island Board of Realtors in Melville, NY at 1:00 pm ET.
Americans United hosts an "experts briefing" conference call on the Medicare prescription drug benefit at 10:00 am ET. Last week, Americans United launched its "Campaign to Fix the Bush Part D Disaster."
We look forward to hearing Guy Molyneux's take on those Pew Research Center numbers released yesterday. LINK
Vice President Cheney delivers remarks at a fundraiser for Sen. Jon Kyl's (R-AZ) reelection campaign at 8:05 pm ET in Tucson, AZ.
RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman is in Madison, Green Bay, and Spooner, WI today raising money and meeting with activists.
Looking specifically at Sen. Feingold, Sen. Kerry, Dr./Sen./Leader Frist, the "subtle" Sen. Bayh, and Sen. McCain, Time's Perry Bacon Notes that "the place dubbed the World's Great Deliberative Body" resembles of late "a political laboratory where potential candidates trot out different ideas that may have little chance of becoming law, but will help them with their parties' bases leading up to the 2008 primaries." LINK