The Chicago Tribune's Eric Zorn is convinved Obama will run for president in '08, despite Barack's emphatic protestations to the contrary, and lays out the reasons why
The column is wholely unpersuassive, making only one, good, point:
5. A long voting record in Congress has a way of muddying the track for presidential hopefuls.
We're often reminded that, though many have tried, only two men in history--Warren G. Harding, in 1921, and John F. Kennedy, in 1961--have moved directly from the U.S. Senate to the White House.
A big reason seems to be that the legislative process demands significant compromises and yes/no votes on often complicated proposals--all of which opponents then twist, chop into misleading sound bites and throw back in your face during campaigns.
The Senate is just about the worst launching pad toward a presidential bid. Votes can be twisted so completely out of context that they provide plenty of "I voted against it, then I voted for it" moments.
It seems Obama's better track would be to run for governor in 2010, then president after a term or two. As even Zorn notes, Obama will only be 54 in 2016. He's got time. No need to pull a John Edwards.