It was hot, crowded, raucous and loud inside the stately old Grand Ballroom at Philadelphia's Park Hyatt at the Bellevue last night as Hillary Clinton basked in the victory she needed.
The media crush and huge assemblage of Clintonistas and party faithful made for an atmosphere that was at once festive and perplexing.
Festive because it was clear that Clinton would once again deny Mr. Wonderful the moment he yearns for - the knockout. But perplexing as well because these people are tired and somewhat confused, and even bemused. They don't have a clue what's going to happen next or how the road to the nomination will eventually open up for them - if at all. They only know that somehow or other they are determined to find a way - find a way or make one.
Back to the would-be bystanders: Looking at the hundreds of assembled media reps you could see their faces drop as Hillary's lead continued to build over the course of the evening. They want to write the story they came to write: Mr. Charisma conquers all. They've written this story over and over again in their heads but they can't get to play it out for real. It must be maddening.
How they crave a handsome, young, charismatic candidate/President right out of some longed-for storybook - so magical, so stunning, so Hollywood!
And yet the dream keeps escaping.
I'll have more details of the happenings inside the Ballroom later this morning but I wanted to give you these first impressions as I returned from the inside of this endless campaign.
In later posts I'll chronicle the winners and losers from last night; try to explain why and how all this happened; attempt to fill you in on all this spectacular drama and prognosticate a bit about what may happen next. Oh, and there will be pictures, too.
But for now I'm gonna try to get a little shuteye.