Howard Fineman of Newsweek says Obama is now effectively the front-runner.
Ms-NBC hides the story, and Newsweek (apparently) scrubs it entirely.

Here’s a Howard Fineman story you won’t find on the MsNBC webpage unless you know exactly where to look; its dateline is Tuesday, but there’s no teaser for it either on the mainpage or the “politics” page.

It makes cheerful reading for my and my fellow Obamaniacs. And it was written before the Shaheen meltdown.

Huckaboom and Hillabust

The surprising falls and unexpected gains ahead of Iowa’s caucuses

Sen. Hillary Clinton’s campaign is teetering on the brink, no matter what the meaningless national horserace numbers say. The notion that she has a post-Iowa “firewall” in New Hampshire is a fantasy, and she is in danger of losing all four early contests, including Nevada and South Carolina — probably to Sen. Barack Obama, who is now, in momentum terms, the Democratic frontrunner.



National polls still give Hillary a double-digit lead. Those polls mean nothing. What matters now is not the number but the direction, and Obama is movin’ on up at a rapid pace. Little pieces of evidence matter. In Manchester, N.H., the other day, Democratic Gov. John Lynch showed up at the Obama-Oprah rally, ostensibly to introduce Oprah, but, really to cover his bets politically. The newest polls in the state show why: Obama is tied with Hillary, and people are literally exchanging her lawn signs for his. If he can win Iowa — and it remains a big if — Hillary’s campaign could collapse. New Hampshire would almost surely go his way. The Culinary Workers in Nevada might well endorse him, as could influential South Carolina Democratic Rep. Jim Clyburn. Black Democrats have complained for years that Iowa and New Hampshire are “too white.” But the irony is, South Carolina African-Americans I talked to last weekend want to see if Obama can win white votes before they commit to him. There is no better way of doing that than in Iowa and New Hampshire. And don’t forget something else: he has 150,000 online contributors. He can raise cash fast.


If she is going to argue that Obama is unelectable in the fall — if she is going to argue that the Democrats cannot afford to take the risk on a Southside Chicago street organizer — she had better get to it in the debate this week. But it is a tricky proposition. In a way, Hillary is trapped by her own do-it-yourself feminist ethos. She should have surrogates out there pounding away at Obama. I haven’t seen them. And her husband, evidently, won’t do it. Why should Bill Clinton tarnish his image as “America’s first black president” by attacking the man who might be the real deal? His circle is beginning to complain, loudly, about how Hillary is running her campaign. That kind of circular firing squad chatter is the first sign of a campaign headed into oblivion.

Update Curiouser and curiouser. MsNBC still has the story, albeit well hidden. But it doesn’t show up at all on the Newsweek site, though Fineman’s earlier work is still there.

I’ve heard the magazine called “Newspeak” before, but I had no idea its editors kept a Memory Hole.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com