HILLARY’S LEAD….It’s still early, and people aren’t paying attention yet, and it’s statewide polls that really matter, and the Iowa caucuses are a strange beast, and, and, and…..

And even so, Hillary Clinton’s lead (among Democrats) over Obama and Edwards in the latest Washington Post poll is pretty staggering: 53% to 20% to 13%. There isn’t a single category in which she doesn’t lead. Dems trust her on Iraq, trust her on terrorism, trust her on healthcare, and trust her on the economy. They even — hold on to your hats for this one — think she’s more likely to reduce partisan bickering in Washington than either Obama or Edwards.

Actually, believe it or not, I think that last one might even be right. Yes, the loons are still out there, but everything I’ve read suggests that Hillary is a pretty effective senator and works well with her Republican counterparts, who appreciate the fact that she runs a tight ship, knows what she wants, and delivers what she says she’ll deliver. They might not like her politics, but she’s someone they can work with.

In any case, she’s got a mighty big lead, and it’s getting bigger every month. This particular poll might be a bit of a blip thanks to her Sunday chat show marathon last weekend, the recent release of Bill’s book, and the Clinton Global Initiative getting so much press last week, but still. Obama and Edwards better start making a move soon. The train is leaving the station.