Others have asked whether Hillary should have skipped Iowa. But those discussions have generally assumed that Obama would have won the caucuses handily and headed into New Hampshire with even more momentum.

But now Alex Massie points out that, without Hillary around, John Edwards might well have won Iowa. Obama might have been finished before he started. And Hillary would have had an excellent chance of making a stand against JRE in New Hampshire and--if Obama fizzled before black voters flocked to support him--South Carolina. Paging Mike Henry!

--Michael Crowley