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Good Clinton, Bad Clinton

A political afterthought on Clinton's health care interview: Reading about Clinton getting back in wonk mode is a reminder that, when her campaign focuses on policy, they actually make her--and her candidacy--seem very appealing. It's really the best card she has to play. But for the last few weeks, there's been far less of that and for more of, well, this. And I think that may have something to do with why, even after the Reverend Wright controversy, she and not Obama is the one whose poll numbers have taken the hit.

One of the great ironies of this campaign, in which Obama now looks like the prohibitive favorite to win, is that there was a moment long so ago when Clinton might have been able to seal the nomination for herself. It was immediately after New Hampshire, when she'd made that stunning post-Iowa comeback and had re-established her identiy as an earnest, hard-working Democrat focussed heavily on bread-and-butter issues.

It's impossible to re-run history, but I'll always believe that if she had stuck to that sort of campaign, she would have preformed better in some of the states where she got hammered--and then set herself up for a more comprehensive win on Super Tuesday. That might have put her in the position Obama now occupies, with a lead in both committed delegates and the popular vote all but impossible to overtake.

Of course, that's not the kind of campaign that Clinton ran after New Hampshire. And, just like her impressive wonkery, that says something about her, too.

--Jonathan Cohn