I mean, I get that on the GOP side it turned out to be safe to bet that McCain was going to get the nomination in 2008 after losing out to GWB in 2000, and that Romney would get it in 2012 after losing out to McCain in 2008. But the assumed Democratic nominee for 2008 in 2005 was Hillary Clinton, and the assumed 2004 nominee in 2001 was Gore, and… I don’t remember who the assumed Dem candidate was in 1989, but I’m pretty sure it wasn’t Bill Clinton. For that matter, the assumed GOP candidate in 1997 wasn’t GWB (can’t remember if the assumed GOP one in 1993 was Bob Dole: wouldn’t surprise me either way).
My point is this: don’t assume inevitability. Particularly on the Democratic side. The whispering campaigns have already started about Hillary Clinton – and unlike Barack Obama in 2008, the Clintons in 2012 have a history.