Note to The New York Times: Timothy Dolan does not have a snowball's chance of being pope
Now that handicapping the papal election is underway (Benedict who?), The New York Times is out of the gate with its short list, upon which, of course, they have put New York's own Cardinal Timothy Dolan, along with fellow North American Marc Ouellet of Quebec. Angelo Scola of Milan leads the Italians, with Cardinal Peter Turkson of Ghana as Africa's candidate and the Argentine Cardinal Leonardo Sandri as the Latin American contender.
I don't know who is doing the handicapping here, but there is absolutely no way that the consistory is going to elect an American of all things to be bishop of Rome. (God, I hope I don't have to eat those words.) But I do think they would worry about having too much American influence. Marc Ouellet seems an odd choice as well--a French Canadian would be kind of an "out there" choice. Turkson could be an interesting choice for his social justice profile; Sandri is Argentine, and his name is Italian-ish, so I suppose he might draw a few votes.
But it seems to me the consistory has to either go big or go home. The living center of the church is shifting South, and a non-European choice, if he is any good, would at least signal a new direction in thinking. I still think Manila's Tagle would be an inspired choice, but I, of course, don't get a vote.