From the AP:
Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton and Republican John McCain are considered the front-runners for their parties' presidential nominations in 2008. "They're 800-pound gorillas," says one Democratic consultant.
It's interesting that the two 'front-runners' don't seem to enjoy a whole hell of a lot of support from the 'rank and file' of their respective parties. Some lefties (including yours truly) are extremely skeptical of, if not outright opposed to, a Hillary candidacy, and most others don't seem to have any particular desire to see her nominated.
As for McCain, you all know that the guy is the subject of some pretty intense hostility from the Right. Hell, McCain made the top 20 in John Hawkins' survey asking right-wing bloggers who was 'screwing up America'.
Unless some seismic shift happens in the GOP base, there is no way that McCain will make it past the primaries.
800-pound gorilla? About 750 pounds of that is an ego that gets stroked regularly by media reports like this.
I'm not so sure about this. The biggest foreseeable challenge for McCain is no doubt the GOP primaries, but I can see a scenario playing out where party leaders realize that they've got a formidable candidate in McCain and decide that they need him to carry their banner if they are going to hold on to the White House. And the party establishment of the GOP seems to get its way in such matters.
Don't get me wrong; I'm not predicting that McCain will get the nomination. But we definitely can't rule it out. And if he does get the nomination, we've got a real problem on our hands, because the media and some Democrats have spent the last five years licking the guy's balls, which has allowed him to establish quite a reputation in the public mind. It's going to be hard to undo all that.