Just in from post-caucus happenings downtown Des Moines. The Obama crowd ended up taking over Centro, where my gang was eating dinner. Writer and University of Chicago law professor Cass Sunstein was there, having come to town for his former colleague, along with all the hip Obama folks. Everyone had their tales from the evening of caucus watching. Everywhere the story was the same: the complete disappearance of support for the second-tier candidates, overwhelming crowds that exceeded fire marshall maximums for the rooms where the caucuses took place, and passivity by the Clinton caucus goers despite their knowledge of the process. After that, we wandered back to the lobby and bar at the Hotel Fort Des Moines where the Clinton staffers were hanging out. The Clinton folks are all professionals and they’re ready to move to the next stop, but they were clearly troubled by having seen the balloon of her inevitability burst here in Iowa.
Without a Obama stumble in the coming days, it’s hard to see how Clinton stops his momentum in New Hampshire next Tuesday. Then, by all accounts, the Obama organizational advantage shown in Iowa is even clearer in South Carolina. With the possible exception of the overshadowed Nevada caucus, it’s a bit hard to figure out where Clinton can get a victory before February 5th. Would that be too late for her?