My Mantra: Nobody Knows Anything (a review here).

Having said that, again, here goes nothing:

1. Barack Obama and Hillary continue to hammer at one another. Smart people continue to say watch for Edwards. NPR did a friendly piece on Edwards this afternoon (NPR feature here). The gist of the story was that Edwards is doing better in Iowa than his two larger-than-life opponents. Is that true today? Probably. Will it continue? Maybe. Will Iowa determine the eventual nominee this time around? Not so certain. The race among the states to front-load primaries may make Iowa much less significant than in times past.

I don't like Edwards (some previous unfavorable thoughts on him here). He strikes me as a trimmer. On the other hand, as I say, smart people continue to point to Edwards. I agree that he is brilliantly stroking the base. Moreover, I see clearly the possibility of Hillary and Obama dealing one another mortal blows, and a winner emerging from the pack. Notwithstanding, I have a hard time seeing Edwards in that role.

2. I like Barack Obama. A few weeks ago, I came across a cartoon depicting an Easter-Island-like sculpture in the likeness of Obama with the caption: "I don't know what it is, but I am strangely attracted."

3. The best thing that could happen for the Obama campaign is a tiff with Al Sharpton. Is this it? Obama is a viable candidate because white America likes him and trusts him. They don't feel the same way about Reverend Al or Jesse Jackson. Even more than Bill Clinton did in 1992, Barack Obama will, at some point, need and greatly benefit from a "Sister Souljah" moment of his own.