A scrumptious steak dinner is in the balance. One of my savviest drinking buddies and an all-around great guy who knows more about Inside the Beltway politics than most people I know has bet me that General Wesley Clark will defeat Governor Howard Dean for the Democratic nomination. I think Dean will win, not only because I want him to—as a charter member of the 2004 Anybody But Bush club, I think the Vermonter stands a better chance of defeating Piehole* than any other Democratic presidential candidate to date—but because I think he has it locked up. Failing, of course, some future scandal involving cats, herpes and hair spray. My best guess is that Clark, a registered Republican until 25 days before his declaration of intent, is running for the vice presidency. Frankly, I think the only guy who can give Dean trouble now is John Kerry–and he’s pretty much toast. Still. My friend’s a smart guy. Does he know something I don’t?

*Piehole = my term of endearment for the man who plays the president on TV. Also known as Shrub, Bush 2, Bush 43, the Resident, Thief-in-Chief, Generalissimo El Busho, That Idiot.