A new, interesting blog -- Wonkosphere -- monitors how much 'buzz' is flying around the blogosphere on the various presidential candidates. Interestingly, Ron Paul places second at the moment behind front-runner, Hillary Rodham Clinton. Obama is third.
Chris Dodd runs in seventh place but beats Giuliani, Huckabee, McCain, Brownback, and Kucinich. Gravel is not on the list -- and oddly, neither is Joe Biden.
But one must guess that Chris Dodd's "Wonkosphere Ranking" will probably surge given the just announced endorsement of him by the International Associaton of Firefighters.
The most recent analysis of the Dodd endorsement came to me from an observer of unions and politics who has given me permission to quote his comments from a private listserv:
My theory [on the Dodd endorsement]? It's a case of the Althusserian "absent center" with Dodd as the donut hole.
The Firefighters don't want to make the "wrong" choice between the three candidate that can win -- Clinton, Obama, and Edwards.
They like Edwards like the rest of the movement but don't think he's going to win, and don't want to piss off the Hillary machine. But they also don't want to seem paralyzed and ineffectual. They want to be players. So they pseudo-aggressively endorse someone, but don't piss off any of the big three by picking one of them against the other two.
After Dodd drops out following Iowa or New Hampshire, they see the lay of the land and jump to the likely winner.
Sounds very plausible to me.