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There will be no bigger topic during the 2008 year than the U.S. Presidential election. No matter what else happens in the world this year, the selection of the person who will lead the greatest nation on the planet at this time in our world’s history is going to have far-reaching effects. Those will be not just for our country, but for the entire world.

As the year moves forward, this blog will take regular looks at the candidates, their activities, their positions, and their lives as a whole, and will provide commentary and analysis with honesty and candor.

Let’s start off with a fairly basic assessment: every single major Republican candidate is better for the country than any of the leading Democratic candidates. A Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama, or even John Edwards for that matter, Presidency would be a near-disaster for the country.

Higher taxes, radically increased spending and debt, weakened defense and anti-terror initiatives, liberal Supreme Court nominations. The list of ruinous actions against our nation, the future of our children and grandchildren, is almost endless.

The good news is that the entire Republican field is strong, despite the fact that there is currently a lot of inside political maneuvering and fighting. Rhetoric aside, every one of these principled men is a stronger candidate than any of the Democratic possibilities.

Picking a winner from among Mitt Romney, Rudy Giuliani, Mike Huckabee, Fred Thompson, and John McCain is essentially impossible at this stage. All have shown strengths and weaknesses, all have surged and dropped back in polls.

The buzzword floated by the Obama camp has been “Change”, harping endlessly on the belief that the American people want major changes in how things are done in Washington. Many in the press have taken that to mean generically that the public is going to vote in a Democrat just for change sake.

Fact is, this is President Bush’s final year in office, so there will be change, no matter which party candidate wins. When specific Dem candidates are matched up against specific Republican candidates, the polls show a close vote, and that will get only closer as the actual candidates emerge by summer.

In recent months, I have written that Mike Huckabee is not just a shooting star. That he can hold his place in the race for the long haul. I have also stated that I believe the final battle will find Romney taking a Veep role. I am absolutely hedging those predictions now.

Events of the past couple weeks show that anything goes this year, and I am not yet prepared to toss my hat into anyone’s ring. When I am, you will know.

So here is where we start 2008: a strong, diverse Republican field that is better than anything the Dems have to offer, and that I believe will yield a winning candidate in the end. But that will only be after one of the most interesting in-party scrambles in GOP history unravels. I will attempt to cover it all here for you, every step of the way, on a near daily basis.Stay tuned, it’s gonna be a great race!