Yesterday, I wrote once again that Hillary Clinton is the most likely person to become the 44th President of the United States.

As a counter-weight, I will also repeat, once again, my mantra for Campaign 2008: Nobody Knows Anything. Almost anything can happen between now and November.

Having said that, why does every day seem to bring Mrs. Clinton one step closer to the Democratic nomination?

The three-way race is turning into a two-way race. Although always a long-shot in my book, many learned observers saw John Edwards as a real threat to win the nomination. But the former senator from North Carolina and 2004 Democratic nominee for Vice President seems to be falling farther and farther off the pace. Last week Barack Obama and Mrs. Clinton posted record campaign fundraising revenues. Edwards did not. Running a campaign designed to appeal to the "disinherited of this land," a poll today showed him garnering only 10 percent of American voters who live in households with a combined income of $20,000 or less. Who is the candidate of the poor? Mrs. Clinton overwhelmingly. Obama is a distant but respectable second. Edwards is betting it all on Iowa--but Clinton has the money and organization to wage a national campaign during a primary season in which more than thirty states will pick delegates over a fortnight.

What about Obama? As noted above, the first-term senator turned in unprecedented financial numbers last week. He continues to draw large crowds and avoid lethal gaffes. But the buzz seems to be abating.

Democratic primaries (all primaries) are about picking a winner in November. Could Obama win the general? I think he could. Absolutely. But Democratic voters may be getting a case of the cold feet. What do we know about Obama? How will he do in a debate against Fred Thompson on national TV? What does he really have to offer in the way of ideas and experience? Of course, these are not insurmountable problems. As I say, Obama can win this nomination--if he gets the right breaks.

But Democrats are beginning to think that it would be easier (safer) to hand the ball to Hillary Clinton. We know her, they say; sure, a lot of people don't like her, but we know who they are. We also know that Hillary is not going to lose anybody that she has not lost already. No one in America is going to wake up after Labor Day and realize that Hillary was the not the knight in shining armor that they once thought.

Hillary is not going to crater under the pressure. She is probably not going to rise above herself to meet this new challenge either--but that is okay. Hillary is going to give us the same measured performance she has delivered for the last twenty years. Combine that with perhaps the best political organization ever crafted together, and she is probably more than good enough to win. In this case, the devil they know may be superior to a promising wild card.

One other thing going against Obama: Race. I am not convinced that race would hurt Obama in the general election. In fact, I think race for Obama is, at worst, a wash. My hunch is that race would actually play to his advantage. Undoubtedly, there are still some Americans who would not vote for him because he is an African American. But most of those folks live in states that are not likely to go Democrat anyway. Maybe he will lose Alabama by a few more votes than a white Democratic candidate would have, but nothing from nothing leaves nothing. No net loss. On the other hand, I think there will be some voters of all races who will vote for Obama because he is black, and my hunch is that many of those voters may be in swing states where every converted vote counts.

So, why does race play to Obama's disadvantage? Democrats do not buy the scenario I just laid out. In their heart of hearts, according to their world view, fly-over America is racist and will not vote for a black candidate. I hear Democrats (especially African American Democrats) say this all the time. So, in calculating a candidate who can beat the Republicans in 2008, Obama and race nag at their optimism. He becomes an increasingly risky choice for more and more Democratic primary voters.

Add in Bill, organization and battle-tested hired guns, and Hill looks more like a winner every day.

UPDATE: Yesterday "Barry-Bonds Head" asserted that Hillary needed a transcendent, human, funny, ice-breaking, "Bill on Arsenio playing the saxophone" moment. Is this it? Although it is by surrogate--this little video is pretty cute (and sexy). You may view here via YouTube.

Previous Campaign 2008 posts from the Bosque Boys:

"Another Bad Hair Day for John Edwards: is the jig up?" here.

"Is Obama Losing his luster?" here.

Even more here (click and scroll down).