Democrats seemed determined to convert their sunny 2008 forecast into a perfect storm, which only can be diverted if either the approaching Obama front or Clinton front dissipates soon or changes directions to join forces with the other via the proverbial "dream ticket."
Until Pastor Wright managed to become Obama's potentially career-shattering albatross, Obama looked unstoppable, indeed superhuman. But as has happened repeatedly in this campaign, Hillary's persistence was rewarded -- briefly, anyway. Obama's long and close association with the incendiary pastor undercut his perceived ability to rise above both race and party.
With the passage of a little time, though, Obama appears to have recovered. Or are his rising poll numbers merely a result of Hillary's umpteenth gratuitous tall tale?
It's hard to imagine that Obama's 52 to 42 percent national lead among Democrats, his narrowing of the superdelegate gap, and his lopsided acquisition of endorsements since Super Tuesday (64 to nine) are the result solely of Hillary's fraudulent assertion of sniper-tested heroism.
It's more likely that concerns about Obama's association with Wright have diminished with the cessation of a 24/7 news cycle devoted to it. The mainstream media's reversion to Obama adoration following his dreamy post-Wright lecture on race in America hasn't hurt him, either.
That said, if Hillary wasn't deterred before -- when her prospects looked even worse -- why would she be now? She has to believe -- along with many, many others -- that the Wright story has legs.
But the dirty little secret is that the Democratic left, which wields enormous power in the party, probably isn't much troubled by Pastor Wright's anti-American and racist diatribes or Obama's arguably tacit endorsement of them.
Don't forget that it wasn't the Democratic left that threw Howard Dean overboard. Nor did the party reject Dean's message; they just deemed him unelectable, and the media reinforced that perception.
Interestingly, the same thing hasn't happened yet to Obama. Since the initial Wright shock wore off, there has been no sustained mass exodus from Obama. Yet his association with Wright, along with other disturbing stories beginning to surface out there, could render him as unelectable in the general election as Howard Dean in his worst screaming moment.