If 83% of Americans say the Democratic-controlled Congress is doing only a lousy job, and 66% give low marks to the Republican administration (Zogby), isn't that like a massive S.O.S to an independent like Michael Bloomberg?
These historic levels of unhappiness with the president and the congress gives an opening to beltway outsiders with genuine independent streaks.
Unfortunately, the rigged rules of the two party system will also promptly dispose of such candidacies within the parties--and make it nearly impossible for people working outside of them. The major parties prefer to serve up the uninspiring candidacies of the common-denominator types, e.g., Kerry, Bush I, Bush II, Dukakis, Mondale, et al.
But this year could be different. The independent vote within across party primaries will be more formidable than ever due to state balloting changes--and there's a strong possibility for truly competitive independent candidacies to emerge.
The bottom line? If the public's current 'pox on both houses' sentiment holds through next year's federal elections cycle, we may well see the first real boomlet of independent victories of this century.