Let me state the obvious: This is shaping up as an election based solely on the economy. Other usual presidential topics trend toward foreign policy and social issues. Obviously they will be an important part of the presidential dialogue.
But nothing will frame the election nor the outcome more than the economic mess we're in.
You would think that following a series of marginal and failed economic policies, this administration would be on the defensive.
But a divided public will be told that these failures are somehow the fault of the GOP. And with a daily drumbeat of support from a fawning national media, those counter charges will find traction.
We will be instructed to ignore the obvious and instead give praise and support to those who "saved" us from an economic failure of historic proportions.
By pitting the haves against the have nots, this administration strives to divide to expand their power.
They fail to address the question of what happens when the producers are no longer willing or able to support the growing dependent population.
If the Republicans will accept that much of this economic misery was the fault of the Bush administration, will the Democrats accept that this administration has failed to make even marginal improvements?
Here's perhaps a central question: If you are more optimistic about your future and the future of your children, then continue to support our current administration policies.
If you grow increasingly concerned about those same issues, then help adopt another plan for improvement from fresh leaders.
During the upcoming months of presidential spin and personal attacks, look at these few economic issues as your yardstick to help measure your potential support for our current policies - unemployment, gas prices, disposable income, national debt, poverty rate, deficit spending, misery index and housing prices.
If these benchmarks show significant signs of improvement, we're on the right track. If not, we need a change.
There's a humorous line that floats around from time to time that says: "Who are you going to believe, me or your tired old eyes?" Be careful when this administration wants you to believe that which is so obviously incorrect.
And above all, be cautious of those who seek to multiply their support by dividing this nation. That approach is the proverbial "slippery slope" we're always warned of.