Obama Will Lose If He Doesn't Win Iowa. Or Will He?

So says Michelle Obama. (Tip to Ben Smith).

In this, she's tweaking something Obama tells his donors at private fundraisers. If he wins Iowa, he wins it all.

And yet -- this isn't an accurate portrayal of Obama's strategy.

If he loses Iowa, he'll have $15 million dollars in the bank. New Hampshire voters are temperamentally opposed to ratifying Iowa's results, and many more independents will vote there. If Obama's New Hampshire team does its job right, they'll be fairly sticky. And then, a week later, comes South Carolina. And if Iowa was really the linchpin of the strategy, the campaign would not be spending millions to organize supporters in California.

True, Iowa is crucial, critical, even. But if Obama places a close second to Hillary Clinton, or a close second to John Edwards, he's not going to drop out.

Update: NBC's Carrie Dann e-mails:

For what it's worth, the Quad City times reporting on Michelle Obama's "it's over" quote is not entirely on point. Here's the verbate of what she said (I was at the event and quoted this in my morning dispatch today.)

Iowa will make the difference. If Barack doesn't win Iowa, it is just a dream. If we win Iowa, then we can move to the world as it should be. And we need your help in making that happen.