If, indeed, these exit numbers from North Carolina are indicative of the final official tally, the Hillary campaign is essentially finished.


There is a tide in the affairs of men.
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.

In terms less grand, life is made up of moments.

Tonight was Hillary's last great moment of opportunity. She was on a roll, still gaining altitude after notching an exultant ten-point victory in Pennsylvania. Even more encouraging, the data underneath the Pennsylvania numbers illustrated deep trouble for the wunderkind from the Land of Lincoln. Add the second wave of the Reverend Wright fiasco to the fire, and Obama was not just in a slump, he was gasping for air and desperately in need of a high note.

For the first time in a long time, there was the a sense of possibility floating around Camp Clinton.

UPDATE: with 29 percent reporting in NC, Obama leads Clinton 59 to 39. Rout.

Oddly enough, the raised expectations concerning North Carolina makes this defeat ultimately more crushing. It was suddenly and unexpectedly the moment to "change the game," as Mrs. Clinton sensed earlier in the week.

The game changed tonight--but not in the way she had hoped. Is there anywhere to go from here?

Can anyone really get excited about the 28 delegates available in West Virginia next week?

I don't expect her to withdraw within the next twenty-four hours (but I would not be completely surprised if it happened much sooner than we might have dreamed earlier in the day). However, this loss cuts deep, and I expect the life to gradually fade from the Clinton campaign before our eyes over the course of the next seven days. This thing looks over to me.

Expect my final salute to the gutsy and surprisingly sympathetic Mrs. Clinton in the days to come.