1. I apologize for being mostly AWOL recently. Releasing a new hardcover this fall, plus a paperback, and being the author of a seasonal Christmas novella has stressed my schedule and hair line more than I expected. Assuming anyone is still publishing my books in 2012, I think I’ll plead for spring releases.

2. Can you believe Stephen and I began ranking the horses more than two years ago? And now here we sit, hours from polls opening, with the single most unexpected outcome. Not only did most of us doubt Obama could win the nomination, but who thought he’d beat the Rudy, the surefire GOP nominee?

Ah, the good old days, I remember fondly my first appearance on Fox News. Not only did I look like a dope with a goofy mouth and proceed to maul Obama’s name, but Judge Napolitano scoffed at Obama being ranked #2. Wonder how he’s feeling today.

3. I am terribly disappointed that our liberal contributors have all petered out. We’ve made great efforts to recruit and encourage liberals to contribute to the site and take part of fair and friendly debates. For some reason over the last two years they’ve almost all lost interest and disappeared. So without meaning to, Stephen, David and I have become Editors of a site that tilts 95% to the right. And it shows in the comments that most readers are moderate to conservative as well. I won’t theorize on why liberals don’t bother to stick around, but I suspect being challenged on a daily basis by the likes of RedStateEddio, Alaina and Cordeiro frightens them away. Facts are tricky things, after all. (Uh oh, I theorized. My bad.)

4. Now a subject that’s likely to be touchy for some PD regulars. The day Gov. Palin was picked as McCain’s running mate, my brother called me from work and said, “Are you as depressed as I am?” I convinced him to give it time. I truly believed she could energize the base in a way that McCain was simply incapable of doing on his own. And either Liebermann or Ridge wasn’t going to help.

I was impressed with Palin’s introduction to America in that initial OH rally. I thought her speech at the convention was a solid A. Her stump speeches have been fine, the base has been energized, and there’s no doubt they’re going to turn out tomorrow. (I think they would have turned out anyway, but that’s another story.)

I now believe Palin was a mistake.

The argument that she had more executive experience than Obama and Biden “combined”, as McCain/Palin/Surrogates liked to say, might have been technically correct, but politically it was ridiculous. Yes, I know the media has eaten her alive, but she’s given them plenty of ammo. What was she thinking when she suggested that because Russia was a neighbor she had ample foreign policy experience? And why has she continued to rip the Bridge to Nowhere when she initially supported it? And, by the way, Alaska took the money anyway and kept it.

There are more examples than we have time for, and I wouldn’t call her a “disaster”, but I think she’s been a liability with moderates and independents. To put it bluntly, she just wasn’t ready for prime time. Will she cost McCain the election? Probably not. Do a lot of conservatives wish he’d picked Sanford or Romney? Well duh.

A closing question: If the McCain/Palin ticket wins and he drops dead in his first 100 days, would you honestly, in your heart of hearts, feel 100% comfortable with Sarah Palin as president?

5. I am torn on the legacy of President Bush. Part of me cringes when I see him being thrown under the bus over and over again. He’s become the reason the economy is tanking, the stock market is down, gas prices (were) high. Not to mention the guy who single-handedly created the housing crisis and the Commander-in-Chief who personally let Bin Laden escape. Heavens, at this point he’s probably responsible for the wart on my…

There is plenty for Bush to be proud of and I honestly think he’s not gotten enough credit for the good he’s done. On the other hand, he’s grown the government, created a new entitlement that can never be killed, and generally spent money like Serena Williams on an eBay binge. So my sympathy is muffled by the broken promise of a Reagan Legacy.

6. What’s the most likely outcome tomorrow? I think Obama wins the Electoral College comfortably and the popular vote by a less impressive margin. People keep telling me McCain can pull this out, the race is tightening, Obama always polls better than his actual vote totals, blah blah blah.

Let’s be blunt. For McCain to win he needs to prove dozens of polls wrong in places like Virginia, Florida and Ohio. But even if he does that, he needs to carry the Bush ’04 states and at least two of the following where he trails badly: Iowa, New Mexico, Colorado and Nevada. The other option is winning Pennsylvania, where they claim to have a shot despite polls saying they don’t. If he wins PA he only needs one of the four listed.

More blunt you say? If McCain wins tomorrow it will be the most surprising political victory in US history. It would put Truman vs. Dewey to shame.

Can it happen? This is America, where anything can happen.

Will it happen? No.

Would I love to be wrong? Heck yes.