The Obama campaign caught a big break today, as a new Iowa poll gave him a statistically insignificant but journalistically significant lead -- the first time in a while that Sen. Hillary Clinton wasn't ahead in something.
But this isn't just a break for Obama. It's a break for eveyrbody not named Clinton. She has to be knocked off the front-runner's perch for anybody else to stand a chance of winning.
LiberalOasis has been very skeptical that her decline would happen, because Obama and John Edwards opted to join her in opening the door to continued Iraq occupation by Jan. 2013.
And LiberalOasis remains skeptical. This is just one poll in one state.
But one poll in the most important state can shift perceptions. If nothing else, it gives everybody a fresh opportunity.
No one should think if they keep doing what they have been doing that Clinton will keep dropping. Clinton and her team are too practiced at electoral politics.
A strong case still needs to be made why Clinton would not be as good a president as one of the others. Not why she isn't the most electable. Why she won't be the best president.
Part of that case is being made, as rivals hit Clinton on not taking firm positions.
But the flip side of that is showing leadership and taking firm positions.
Instead of dancing around immigration questions and always being on the defensive, will someone forcefully argue that those who commit misdemeanors crossing the border in order to feed their families are no more undermining the foundations of America than those who get illegal prescription drugs from Canada so they can live?
Will someone take the lead in the Senate to cut off aid to Pakistan's dictator until fully open elections are held, and show what a real pro-democracy foreign policy looks like?
Will someone take the lead to expose the congressional obstructionists and pass a strong energy bill and global warming bill?
Will someone take the lead on Iraq?
And will someone resist getting sucked into petty trivial spats and instead show what they're made of by fighting their opponents on policy and principle?
Theoretical debates about experience, change and judgment will fall by the wayside if people see leadership in action.
The race is starting to open up for the first time in weeks, but this window may not stay open long.
Now's the time to shine.