Nobody knows anything.

Why? We have never done anything like this before.

For all the historians who point out historic parallels to this presidential election (Michael Kazin here), I say: rubbish!

Yes. Andrew Jackson started positioning himself for the 1828 race as soon as the dust cleared following the Corrupt Bargain election of 1824. Yes. William Jennings Bryan started campaigning for 1900 only weeks after he lost in 1896. Notwithstanding, those examples are of a completely different character.

This campaign is unlike anything we have ever seen. Even more modern comparisons are meaningless. Yes. Jimmy Carter began his 1976 campaign for the presidency in 1974. But Jimmy Carter toiled in obscurity for a full year. Howard Dean: similar story arc.

Never in the history of the American presidency have we had this kind of campaign, with so many candidates, with so much money and media attention on this kind of scale at this point in the cycle. Never. Therefore, there are no historical parallels. There are no good models. Nobody knows anything.

This week's rush to anoint Rudy is premature. We are just getting started. Rudy may win; he may prove a wonderful, resilient and tireless campaigner--but right now he is a two-week wonder. He is a novice at this level of competition. He has not even weathered his first media crisis. He is a great prospect, but only in the same way a triple-A phenom is a great prospect in spring training for a major league club. This is going to be a long season. Sometimes rookies win twenty games. More often they don't. Sometimes they don't even make it out of camp.

This week's storyline is the demise of John McCain. It may prove true. On the other hand, McCain survived eight years in the Hanoi Hilton, and seven years in the on-deck circle waiting for his final at-bat. I would not underestimate his patience or discipline. He strikes me as unlikely to get depressed and go home in the face of this most recent adversity. But we'll see.

Nobody knows anything, and I count myself in that category--but my sense is that Mitt Romney does not have IT. I wouldn't count Newt out--but he is still a long shot. He has a lot to overcome. We'll see.

Nobody knows anything, but George Will is awfully damned smart. Read his latest column here. He makes a lot of sense.