What characterizes the political season so far is what we might call frontrunner collapse. The candidates we were all told were the nearly inevitable winners – Hillary Clinton and Rudolph Giuliani – are now hanging on for dear life. Obama is currently pulling ahead of Clinton in Iowa, and the two are neck-and-neck in New Hampshire. John Edwards is also making gains, and before long it may become apparent that the dynastic succession of Queen Hillary to the throne has been upended by those nettlesome noisome peasants-with-pitchforks who insist on defying the conventional wisdom and going their own way.
On the Republican side, the same pattern