So, which triangulating centrist do you prefer?
First, Edwards says he's still in. Excellent. The way he's been fucked by our famously free press, I'd still be in. Maybe at the end of the day, they won't be picking our Presidents for us after all.
That said, Ian:
CNN is calling it for Clinton with 50%, Obama 45% and Edwards at 5%. ... Clinton was the frontrunner coming in, and even after Iowa. She's still the frontrunner, and while certainly Obama could take it in a number of scenarios, my money is on Clinton. Clinton's electability numbers are the lowest of all 3 democratic candidates, however they aren't likely to go lower--every piece of mud that can be thrown at her, has. Obama, if he gets it, would undergo vicious attacks he hasn't yet had to weather, and his electability numbers would drop.
I'd sharpen what Ian said like this:
Hillary is all about having no downside risk; Obama, about upside potential. Meaning:
Like Ian said, everybody who's going to hate Hillary already does. That's not going to be enough to lose her the election in a Democratic year, especially if the economy goes really sour.
Obama, and especially according to the OFB, has massive upside potential. There's the oratory. There's the crossover appeal.* There's the demographic of his supporters, which our famously free press loves. There's the Chicago-strength willingness to do what it takes of the OFB. And, after all the right wing dogwhistling he's been doing, the Village loves him.
But Obama also has significant downside risk; this house thing is just a sighting shot. (Reminds me forcibly of Geraldine Ferraro, though. Whatever possessed the Dems to nominate somebody whose spouse was in New York real estate? There was bound to be something.) And the Republican dogwhistles could be a clever ploy to run to the right, and govern from the left. (Though since everybody and his brother know that's the clever plan now, it's hard to see how it's going to work.) I think the risk is that Obama will govern from the right, as opposed to the lunatic right, which is why he's giving the base the big Fuck You right now. Hopefully, he's misunderestimated our power.
NOTE * Of course, they'll turn on Obama in the general. If there's one lesson we've learned in the course of our death march through the wilderness of the Bush administration, you can trust a moderate Republican--to be a Republican (Proverbs 26:11).
NOTE Incidentally, apparently there was quite a demographic difference in Nevada between Hillary and Obama supporters. I wouldn't be surprised if Obama did, in fact, touch the third rail of American politics by putting Social Security in play.