She’s lost the elites, although of course her fans would say she never had them. Bear in mind these “insiders” also say, by an overwhelming majority, that Dick Cheney’s media campaign has done more to hurt the party than help it notwithstanding Obama’s climbdown on the detainee photos and the ongoing circus surrounding Madam Speaker. Caveat emptor:

She finished three votes ahead of … “no one”? Surely these people know how much the base adores her and how much money she’s capable of raising; to put her on an equal footing with Mitch Daniels under those circumstances means they think she’s either already destroyed her credibility or that she’ll inevitably destroy it once she’s back in the glare of a campaign. I’d like to believe that’s not true, but with the media poised to seize every mistake to push its narrative that she’s the second coming of Dan Quayle, she’d have to play error-free ball to prevent it — and how likely is that?

If this poll means anything, it means she’ll have to work twice as hard now to convince skeptical fundraisers and organizers that they’re better off joining her campaign before the 2011 primaries than that of a more polished candidate. How she’d go about doing that at this point, I just don’t know. Raise money money money, I guess, and the talent will follow.

Tags: Barack Obama