I think after this weekend it should be clear that the inevitability aura about Hillary Clinton has been demolished. If anything, it doesn’t take a genius to figure out her candidacy is in a near death-spiral. The impregnable armada of the Hillary Campaign has been shot full of holes by the Obama phenomenon over the last week and nothing or no one can forestall the nomination of Barack Obama as the next Democratic presidential candidate.

Was Hillary’s coronation ever really that inevitable. Only if you completely discounted an individual like Barack Obama. It’s clear the Clinton campaign completely underestimated the significance of his appeal and the resonance his style of delivery and the tenor of his message has had on the American electorate. His continuing climb in the public estimation could have been long foreshadowed as early as January 2007 by the awesome eloquence of his demeanor and bearing on the public stage.

I’m not downplaying the magnificent accomplishments Hillary Clinton has managed over the years but accomplishments and length of tenure and hard won experience do not seem to figure into the equation at this juncture of the Nation’s history. Presence – not experience – is paramount. Of the former, Obama has the overwhelming edge. Politics is about presence – more than anything else. Unfortunately, Hillary has polish but sorely lacks “presence” – certainly not the kind commanded by Mr. Obama.

If this comes as unpleasant news to Hillary supporters, I’m sorry. But the truth of the matter is that the time has come for someone like Barack Obama. While it is certainly true that we are long overdue for a woman president, we are even longer overdue for – not just a black president – but for a young, fearless unifying figure deeply rooted in this nation’s history. Someone whose heritage is of the dispossessed and is in no way fearful of speaking out on their behalf. Barack Obama is not merely proposing policies and prescriptions but more importantly he is profoundly rearranging the tone and tenor of political discourse and thought in this still evolving country in a way that Hillary can only imagine.

My hats off to Hillary. But to every thing there is a season (Ecclesiaste) – to every season, there is a time. And in this season, it is the time of Barack Obama.