Brett Arends put out another great piece today that asks whether we're in a Hillary Clinton "bubble." It's important to ask tough questions.
I feel comfortable offering an unconditional answer. No, Clinton's candidacy is for real. I would be very careful shorting her chances at winning the Democratic nomination and possibly the presidency. Rhetoric about politics often uses sports and betting metaphors. We love to look at the polls and see who's "pulling ahead" and who has "fallen behind." You can't bet on politics in the U.S., but in England they will bet on anything -- especially politics. Sports and politics do have a lot in common. But Arends misses one aspect that they do not share. I can't just walk onto the baseball diamond and start playing for Yankees, although they needed me last night. In politics, however, everyone gets to participate -- yep, it's called voting. The first few polls of the fall have been demoralizing for Sen. Barack Obama (D., Ill.) and John Edwards. Clinton has extended her big lead in New Hampshire, where independents can vote in either a Democratic or Republican primary. Obama supposedly has strong support among independents. Edwards, on the other hand, has seen polls showing his lead Iowa evaporate - some in favor of Hillary and some for Obama. The biggest statistic in a poll, however, is strength of support. A poll this week showed Clinton's supporters felt strongly about her candidacy and were unlikely to change their vote. She leads Obama in this category by about 10%. And she now enjoys more than 50% of Democrats supporting her -- a first in this campaign season.