2010 and On: Pundits Get Ready for Their Close-Up

Pundits are turning media stardom into political power. How far will it take them?

Francisco Caceres for TIME

When Lou Dobbs announced in november that he was quitting CNN after nearly 30 years, his decision was surprising. More so were reports that the outspoken Dobbs was considering running for Senate or even for President as an independent. Is he leader material? Could he become America's most beloved cranky old xenophobe since Jack Albertson's character on Chico and the Man?

Dobbs could be a credible spoiler. One poll showed him attracting Perot-like presidential support, in the low teens. And the temptation is understandable, because the barrier between politics and media stardom has been getting more porous. Al Franken went from...

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