Back in Iowa, Barack Obama promised to be something new — an unconventional leader who would confront unpleasant truths, embrace novel policies and unify the country. If he had knocked Hillary Clinton out in New Hampshire and entered general-election mode early, this enormously thoughtful man would have become that.
But he did not knock her out, and the aura around Obama has changed. Furiously courting Democratic primary voters and apparently exhausted, Obama has emerged as a more conventional politician and a more orthodox liberal.
Tony Rezko, Jeremiah Wright, the Weather Underground and "bitter-gate" have forced Obama's followers to confront the stubborn fact of his humanity. The messiah has fallen from heaven. And in just a few more months, the sullied savior will face a rested and ready John McCain.
But first, Pennsylvania...