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Hunter S. Thompson once compared national political reporters to birds on a wire. One lands on a wire, the rest follow. One flies to another wire, they all follow.

So look for the birds to land on a new Hillary Clinton wire soon.

The conventional wisdom, as confirmed on Page One of Sunday’s The New York Times, is: Hillary Clinton has widened her lead in the Democratic presidential race. She’s running a flawless campaign, and she’s leaving Obama and Edwards frustrated and in the dust.

Her strong performance is punctuated by the rollout of Hillary Care 2.0, which got rave press reviews. And various VP wannabes, like Wesley Clark and Evan Bayh, are jumping on the bandwagon. (Of course, that can be a bad sign. Howard Dean’s campaign imploded in 2004 immediately after Al Gore endorsed him.)

Here’s the bad news for Hillary: It’s September. There is no way this story line lasts for four months.

So we can safely predict that one or more of the following will happen soon:

  • Hillary will stumble in a debate, one of her advisers or key supporters will say something offensive or the Man Who Would Be First Laddie will set off a firestorm.

  • The media, with help from opposition campaign researchers, will find something controversial in the nexus between her policy proposals and her campaign contributions – or a series of fundraising controversies that revive the old image of the Clintons auctioning off the Lincoln Bedroom.

  • Obama or Edwards – or maybe Bill Richardson – catches fire, or what looks like fire to a bored and itchy media pack.

Of course, the Edwards and Obama campaigns might tell us that the New York-dominated media has way too much invested in Hillary to let her stumble. But we know that’s just provincial paranoia, don’t we?

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