Both Republicans and Democrats are offering up Populists to counter the overwhelming influence of the corporatist politicians who have the bulk of the power in both parties.
We've got Populist Huckabee on the R side, Populist Edwards on the Dems'.
Both seem to be rising in their respective parties. There is even a chance that both will come out on top in the Iowa caucuses in January.
Huckabee is being lavished with a lot of media attention just now, much of it in the form of "scrutiny" -- ie: criticism -- by the Political Press, so as to sully and eventually demolish his campaign. Rs are not going to allow a real populist -- which Huckabee seems to be -- to rise too high in any case. They are determined to follow their bliss: Autocracy united with Corporatism. They may try to put on a show of popular appeal, but they aren't about to turn over their successful overhaul of the American government to a real Populist.
On the other hand, Edwards is largely ignored by the American political media. It appears that the Spite Girls of the media -- whose job it is to demolish uppity candidates -- believe they already accomplished that task by 1)trivializing Edwards himself (haircuts, mansions, etc.) from the get, and 2)demonizing him (and his wife) for not quitting his campaign when Elizabeth Edwards was diagnosed with cancer. They believe they can ignore Edwards now because their job is already done.
If Edwards takes Iowa, though, that would be inconvenient for the Court Circular and Palace Media, and they'd have to take him down again -- which they would do in a heartbeat.
Dem and/or R voters may want a Populist in the White House, but our entire political class would gird their (bi-partisan) loins to prevent it.
Wild cards in all of this include the freakish campaign of Ron Paul and the largely quixotic efforts of Dennis Kucinich.
The vast amounts of money Paul is raising (despite being at low single digits in all the polls) suggests that he's headed for a third-party run, financed by... ?? ¿Quién sabe? The point of a Paulista third-party insurgency, however, is obvious: peel off enough anti-war Dems to ensure a plurality victory by the Corporate Republican (who I predict will be Mitt). This is a repeat of the 1992 strategy in which Crazy-tinker Ross Perot served to peel off enough Rs to give Clinton a plurality victory.
For my money, a general election contest between Edwards and Huckabee would be ideal, and perhaps one of the first truly honest election contests (if not an honest election) in generations. The People are being intensely propagandized to accept a Hillary/Mitt "contest." Or if Hillary falters significantly, a Barack/Mitt contest. For either contest, the winner is already chosen: Mitt.
But if the People can and do intervene on their own behalf, we could be in for a historic upset.