An admission: I did not watch politics last night. I spent most of the evening thinking about Lyndon Johnson. Nevertheless, here is what I think last night might mean.

Some quick reactions to Michigan off the top of my head:

1. The Y2K of American politics failed to materialize last night. The season of the witches for conservative orthodoxy perhaps is coming to a close.

I have said this once before and been dead wrong, but I declare John McCain officially finished. If he cannot win in Michigan with all the available independents and Democrats, how can he win in core Republican venues? McCain will run hard in South Carolina, of course, but his chances there seem increasingly improbable. A loss in the Palmetto State places his campaign on a seemingly unrecoverable lethal trajectory.

2. Romney had a great week campaigning. A lot of observers (including our Tocqueville--who predicted this big win) sensed a renewed vigor in the former Massachusetts governor. He looks to be hitting his stride.

3. Romney is back. Since the entire canvass remains so horribly muddled, Michigan places Romney back on top of the game (at least for a brief moment). Despite all the talk over the last twelve days of his demise, Romney now rolls into the South with momentum and the aura of a winner. While South Carolina will undoubtedly take the bloom off of that a bit--the trip to the winner's circle in an important contest permanently changes public perception of this candidate. Romney is now indisputably viable.

4. No poll before last night has any meaning. We can expect a big bounce for Romney and a big dip for McCain following this telling contest.

5. Huckawho? The next must-win scenario? Mike Huckabee must take South Carolina. My hunch is that he is in trouble there--but we will see soon enough. In terms of perception, the media focus on Huckabee in New Hampshire and Michigan helped to raise his name recognition, but coming in third in those two primaries tends to color him as a perennial loser. Iowa seems like a month ago. The fresh images of Huckabee portray him as an affable also-ran.

6. South Carolina is Fred's last last chance. He seems to be surging somewhat. Will it be enough? For months I have wondered if we are waiting on a broken-down bus. Well I can hear the bus rumbling down the street blocks away. Will it arrive on cue to get us to the dance just in the nick of time?