• So an Iowa poll comes out over the weekend that shows Hillary Clinton getting bested by John Edwards. And this poll comes little more than a week after a Michigan survey that shows none other than illegal immigrant basher Tom Tancredo bashing a pretty impressive pack of popular Republican candidates.

    I know polls mean nothing right now, but I think they do us some good right now.

    For one thing, they make us question the validity of consensus wisdom right now — wisdom that says Hillary's a lock for the Democratic nod and either John McCain or Rudy Giuliani is the most likely Republican to oppose her.

    Says who?

    All I'm saying is be careful of experts — the same ones who said Scoop Jackson would easily win the 1976 Democratic presidential nomination. He didn't. A fellow named Jimmy Carter did. Or George Bush Sr. would easily win re-election. He didn't.

    I remember the Carter folks hoping Ronald Reagan would be the Republican nominee in 1980, that they'd trounce the right-wing nut, as they called him. Turns out, they were the nuts.

    I could say the same of the inside Beltway crowd that said Richard Nixon could never come back after losing the presidency in 1960, then the California gubernatorial race in 1962. He did.

    Look, I don't put any more stock in polls and tracking surveys done now than I do real close to the actual vote a long time from now.

    But they are telling. And they're telling me, be careful of sure bets. They're almost always sure — to be wrong.

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