She's Bush
Lots of folks keep bringing up Howard Dean when talking about Clinton's vulnerability vs. inevitability. The comparison, though, doesn't work since Dean never led the national polls by this much -- a new USA/Today Gallup poll has her at 50%, with Obama at 21% -- nor had a stranglehold on the establishment the way Clinton does. The better comparison (if there is one historically and there's a chance there isn't one) is George W. Bush in 1999 or Walter Mondale in 1983. Both Bush and Mondale had HUGE advantages in the polls and among the establishment class of both parties, and then an early state loss put them in a precarious position. The same could hold true if Clinton loses in Iowa. Of course, both Bush and Mondale survived, and maybe that's the firewall-like lead Clinton is building, an ability to survive a major stumble. Dean's lead was never as solid as Clinton's is right now. If Dean should be compared to anyone, it would be Giuliani.
Michael Crowley