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Clinton in Indiana: The Night Dewey Almost Won Again

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Despite running out of ink in the final, gripping chapter, the voters of Lake County, Ind.-- and mostly of Gary, its "Steel City"-- nevertheless managed to nearly close the book on Hillary Clinton last night, turning out in record numbers and almost robbing the New York senator of her 2-point win.

For all the hype surrounding Clinton's ability to connect with "ordinary folks" following her crucial save in Pennsylvania, my weekend visit to Gary left me less than impressed, and it was interesting to see how things played out last night.

As I reported for Off The Bus earlier in the week, with just three days until the polls opened, the Clinton campaign was looking rusty in the Steel City.

Last night's near-stunner in Lake County was a testament to the tireless efforts and unrelenting optimism of the hundreds of Obama volunteers I encountered on the ground there.

It was a thriller that should not be forgotten in northwestern Indiana, and it was a thriller that, I daresay, will not be forgotten by Hillary Clinton.

Indeed, Clinton's ill-considered declaration to a cheering audience ("Tonight we've come from behind. We've broken the tie, and thanks to you, it's full speed on to the White House." ) will doubtlessly haunt the candidate when she faces an inevitable and infinitely awkward slew of conversations with key supporters today.

Just minutes following Clinton's probably unwise posturing late last night, Drudge ran a photo of Obama, RFK-esque and hand in hand with Michelle. The headline? The Nominee.

Later, Tim Russert went so far as to announce on-air that "We now know who the Democratic nominee is going to be."

He wasn't talking about Clinton.

Despite narrowly managing to avert catastrophic, Dewey-esque embarrassment in Indiana, last night's contest was one for the books.

We have a nominee.