Doesn't it border on silly that we are having a Presidential debate 18 months before the election? Especially since most of these guys are Senators and could be proposing their ideas in Congress instead of theorizing for a TV special. Why don't we have the candidates for 2008 declare now too? We could run the debates back to back and let an internet poll decide who won. The winners of each debate could then debate each other later in the summer.
Or even better, why don't we hold a Democratic debate tournament every Saturday night with only two of the candidates per night. Viewers can decide who won, and that candidate will move into the winner’s bracket. Losers move into the loser's bracket where viewers can decide whether they are potential Vice-Presidential candidates (yea) or ambassador material (ho hum). We could spice it up a little by offering challenges, like the baby kissing contest, or speech opening joke contest if the ratings don't take off right away.
Bill Clinton won in 1992 because it looked like Bush 41 couldn't be beat, so none of the top tier Democrats ran that year. That's why so many of the big Democrats aren't taking any chances this time. But the public is going to burn out on them way too soon. If it looks like Bush is vulnerable in January, Hillary Clinton will probably enter the race and become a frontrunner. She’ll have the advantage of being someone new to talk about and being a Clinton will make her more formidable than these guys here.
One thing I am sure about this campaign is that there will be a lot of books written by and about these guys that will have the remainder mark on them before the 2006 election.