It's exciting to see young people take an interest in politics. It's exciting to watch a candidate elicit extraordinary enthusiasm. Barack Obama is on a roll. He deserves it. Voter enthusiasm may indeed carry him to the nomination. And, if so, let's hope also to the presidency.
We ought to be asking ourselves, though, whether we want all but one Democratic candidate to drop out of the race because an out-with-the-old and in-with-the-new fever has swept two of the first in a long lineup of primary states?
Related to this question, and equally if not more important, is whether the youth vote that could put Obama in first place will be there for him in November? If not, then the Republicans have much to cheer about. They're running on more-of-the-same and tweak- for-change platforms, so their voters are likely to be people who always vote no matter what.
The same question about November could be asked about right-leaning independents who decide today to cast a vote for the exciting Democratic candidate but return to their Republican leanings in November.
If these potential outcomes become reality, we'll be looking back wishing John Edwards, Hillary Clinton, and Bill Richardson hadn't departed before the "momentum" had inexorably turned into an unrelenting "movement."