No better example of the importance of momentum in presidential politics than the news (news!) that John McCain is on the ground in Iowa, having spotted sudden opportunities there that did not exist a few weeks ago. Hats off to the slimmed-down McCain team for managing this mini-surge so well.
I have long thought McCain would win the nomination as the other candidates imploded, and the "Huckaboom" plays wonderfully into this; a win for Huckabee in Iowa might well lead Republicans to panic and search for someone who is, well, better capable of winning in 2008 - and a decent showing for the war hero may do the trick.
I wonder if the media's previous love affairs with McCain might be the reason why so many are so unwilling to see the obvious truth now: that he is very much capable of winning. If Barack Obama does badly in Iowa - if the balloon bursts - independents in New Hampshire will flock to McCain (for those outside the US: the New Hampshire rules allow independent voters to choose which party primary to vote in), having no great desire to go for Hillary Clinton, and the nomination will be his.
How odd that the choice of Republican candidate might depend so heavily on the votes of Democrats in Iowa and independents in New Hampshire - but that is one of the wonders of the way things are panning out this season.