She Can't Be Stopped

Nothing in John Dickerson's list of strategies for stopping Hillary goes any distance toward persuading me that any of her rivals can derail her march to the nomination. (I think Dickerson himself would agree ...) Going into the primary campaign, the main hope for the non-Hillary candidates seemed to be the theory that there existed a large chunk - say, sixty percent or more - of the Democratic electorate that would only vote for her under duress, either because they didn't like her personality, because they thought that she was too right-wing (particularly on foreign policy), or because they thought she was unelectable in November. At this point, that hope seems to have been dashed: The anti-Hillary share of the primary vote is shaping up to be right around forty percent, which in a divided field simply isn't anywhere near enough to derail a candidate with Hillary's institutional advantages and deep reserves of support. If Edwards dropped out before Iowa, or if Obama did - or maybe, maybe, if Gore got in - you might see this landscape shift a bit. But small-bore attacks on her honesty, her cozy relationship with lobbyists, or her electability just aren't going to shift the dials as far as her rivals need to shift them.

(Nor will flip-flopping campaign strategies, for that matter, though I agree with Noam that there's good reason to think that Edwards and Obama ought to trade approaches.)