Syndicated columnist Robert Novak suggests that a loss in Iowa today, if it comes at the hands of Barack Obama, could spell the beginning of the end for Hillary Clinton's presidential candidacy:
The threat of Obama winning Iowa makes it white-knuckle time for Clinton. With Obama ahead in some New Hampshire polls, a double loss for Clinton in the first two tests of 2008 would raise the specter of Howard Dean's total collapse four years ago after losing in Iowa and New Hampshire.
Clinton is surely no Howard Dean. Furthermore, Michael Dukakis finished third in Iowa in 1988 and went on to be nominated (as was the case on the Republican side for Ronald Reagan in 1980 and George H.W. Bush in 1988 after losing Iowa). But Obama's winning in Iowa could be fatal for Hillary Clinton. It is believed in Democratic circles that Penn, as the advocate of triangulation, would be the scapegoat, with Bill Clinton leading the trashing of the strategy that helped make him president.
Novak suggests that Sen. Clinton could survive a loss if it came at the hands of John Edwards.