this started out a comment in reply to some of yours but it got too long so i moved it here:
i wonder what obama can show us before becoming prez. no matter what mitt romney says, or the gop will say in the general election, there is nothing that really prepares you for the job of president. no matter what you do, ceo, mayor, governor; when you become prez you are making a huge jump from the minors to the bigs. when i saw obama on 'meet the press' some years ago i said to my wife, why cant this guy be our president. he was an obviously bright man with a nuanced take on all the problems of our country. as in nuanced, not good guys wear white hats bad guys wear black hats. he actually had some thoughtful answers. thoughtful? a politician on television?
i think that the loss in new hampshire is huge. i think it will take something special to make it past the well oiled clinton machine. coming out of iowa, it looked like we were getting caught up in a wave of naive optimism (not always a bad thing) and that is good for obama. i think going into south carolina with that mojo would have meant alot more to him than anyone because we are cynical about everything these days and cynicism makes you make safe, or 'electable' choices. and it was cynicism that made me think years ago, having been so impressed with obama on 'meet the press' (and so unimpressed with bush, gore and kerry), that we could never elect a guy like that because as a country we dont want complicated answers to our complicated problems and we are still too racist to consider electing a black man president.