Great post from Andrew Sullivan and his blog of despair. At least tonight.
Here are my thoughts: the media piled on too much at the end and there was a voter backlash; independents may have assumed an Obama victory and went for McCain instead; the Democratic base responded to the Clinton appeal, especially women and urban voters; the youth vote didn't quite turn out as well as it should have; Clinton for the first time looked vulnerable and even human in the final days - and that helped; her final debate performance was also excellent.
She was knocked off her pedestal in Iowa and people prefer candidates not on pedestals. We will hear more about the Bradley effect, but I have no evidence it was actually there. I sure hope it wasn't. And South Carolina will give us more data.
I am now listening to her victory speech. It is my penance. Two great lines:
"I found my voice. And let's give America the comeback that New Hampshire has just given me."
But I would still note: this is still a very close victory. Compared to what we were expecting two weeks ago, it's amazingly close. The final tally isn't in - and it may come down to one or two percentage points. Nevada and South Carolina will provide two very different forums for these candidates to slug it out. This is going to be a very tough battle.
I do think that both Obama and Clinton have benefited from this campaign as candidates. Democracy works; and we need to pause and honor its findings. Congrats, Mrs Clinton. You earned this.