President George W. Bush on Monday distanced himself from his confident prediction late last year that Senator Hillary Clinton would win the Democratic White House nomination.

“I predicted the Detroit Tigers to win the American League pennant last year, too,” Bush told ABC television. The Boston Red Sox won the pennant and the World Series of baseball.

“So I’m not a very good political forecaster. We’ll let the Democrats decide. I predict John McCain will be living up there,” at the White House, he added, referring to his fellow Republican, the party’s presumptive nominee.

An early favorite for the Democratic presidential nod, Hillary Clinton is locked in the fight of her political life — a steep uphill battle with Senator Barack Obama to lead the party in the November elections.

Bush had bet in late 2007 that Hillary would win the nomination, saying in excerpts of a new political book by journalist Bill Sammon that “she’s got a national presence and this is becoming a national primary.”

“And therefore the person with the national presence, who has got the ability to raise enough money to sustain an effort in a multiplicity of sites, has got a good chance to be nominated,” Bush told Sammon.

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