At the YDN Magazine, we have a great deal of sympathy for all you political junkies out there who just don’t know what to do with yourselves now that the 21-month festival of Electoral College Analysis is over. That’s why we searched high and low through the depths of the YDN building to find a long lost relic: the YDN Political Crystal Ball. Behold: the Politics of Tomorrow.

The Republicans

Sarah Palin – The Ball shows great sadness for Alaska Republicans: Palin decides not to run for reelection in 2010 so as to get a head start on her presidential campaign. The stars seem to be aligned for her, but her downfall is not long in coming after she instigates an international incident by shooting a Russian man she discovers in her front yard. Todd divorces her, marrying the President of the Alaska Independence Party. Luckily, her daughters (perhaps son-in-law?) are able to help her hone her new slogan: “Do you want fries with that?”

Mitt Romney – Romney must have his own Crystal Ball, since he desperately tries to remain politically relevant by appearing on Hannity and Colmes. Every single day. However, internal strife within the party appears when Republican insiders realize that Romney actually wants people to have health care. Romney disappears faster than Sarah Palin’s expense account. Utah cries itself to sleep. The Crystal Ball says, “Ask again later.”

Mike Huckabee – Ah, at last the Ball has good news for someone… sort of. Huckabee struggles at first, benefitting from neither the popularity of Palin nor the big-money backing of Romney. However, after each of them shoots themselves in the foot (literally, in the case of Palin), Huckabee steps up as the undeniable front-runner. Not wanting to waste a viable young candidate against the Obama-behemoth, Republican bigwigs decide that Huckabee is the perfect lovable loser to cut their Election Day loses. John McCain feels a definite sense of déjà vu.

Joe the Plumber – The Jack of Coins sits next to The Fool. In other words, the financial future looks grim: Joe still doesn’t make more than $250,000, but at least he still does not pay more taxes under Obama than he did under Bush. He does, however, have to place a restraining order on John McCain and Greta van Sustren, who “just want to be his friends.” Changing course, he cuts a rap album under the name “Si’Pac.” He changes his name again in an attempt to escape the public eye, but unfortunately finds little solace after opting for the last name “Six-Pack.”

The Independents

Josh Brolin – Past Lives: The award-winning actor runs as a man’s man. Democrats can’t handle the testosterone. Republicans are confused because they thought Dubya already served two terms. Nation strings him along for a little while, mostly because they want Diane Lane to be first lady.

Joe Liberman – Karma: Once the party’s Vice Presidential candidate, Lieberman finds it difficult to re-assimilate into the Democratic Party following his McCain endorsement. The other Senators begin picking on him in the hallways between Committee meetings, calling him mean names like Benedict Lieberman and Joseph Iscariot. In a desperate attempt to make friends, the Connecticut Senator tries to get himself on the ballot as the running mate to every third-party candidate he can find. Only the Free Soil candidate accepts.

The Democrats

Hillary Clinton – Enlightenment: To the surprise of cynical Democrats everywhere, Hillary actually doesn’t challenge Obama for the nomination in 2012.

Chris Dodd – The Winds of Change: The Democratic Party very quickly becomes uncomfortable with the dynamism and youth that have come to define it under the Obama administration. They hastily nominate Dodd, who is as interesting as wet tea

leaves left out after a reading. The New York Times columnists return happily to flagellating themselves.