It would be stunning for Mr. Obama to go all the way to August without a critical mass of voters waking up to the dangerous combination of his extraordinary inexperience, naïve foreign-policy beliefs and lack of vigilance against those who mean America harm. It takes more than a good speech to protect a county.
Between Iran, North Korea, Afghanistan, the long-term threat of China, concerns over Russia, and now brewing danger in South America, there is unfortunately a real chance that dangers abroad will become a front-burner issue before Election Day.
Once voters fully digest this, Mr. Obama’s poll numbers against John McCain will dive, and Democrats will look elsewhere for a candidate with better prospects. It is inconceivable that in dangerous times Americans would elect a president who clearly is not ready to keep America safe.
Then again, it is possible. Maybe this fictional portrayal of Mr. Obama as a modern-day President Kennedy -- strong, wise and moderate -- ready to lead America forward together, could go all the way to the election. It seems impossible that such a profoundly unsubstantiated image could last that long, but there’s a first for everything.
But just last week, the bright lights have been turned on Mr. Obama. Tim Russert asked him tough questions during last week’s debate, prominent Democrats are beginning to speak out over the media bias for Mr. Obama, and even David Ignatius of the Washington Post is acknowledging that Mr. Obama’s record is as a stridently-liberal partisan, not a bipartisan consensus-maker who gets things done.
This may be the beginning of real scrutiny of Senator Obama. If so, then he will look much different to voters by this summer.
So Mrs. Clinton has nothing to lose by hoping that this trend continues. If it does, the bloom will be off the rose as people start thinking of ads like her 3:00 a.m. ad. If so, she will be the Democratic nominee in August.
Though she had better hope they do not think too much about whom they should want answering the phone in the White House at 3:00 a.m. Because if they do, they might vote for John McCain.
Until then: “Run, Hillary! Run!”