The Post piece is a “hold your horses” type deal, and ends with a “we’ve been here before” type sentiment.

Still, even Clinton’s biggest advocates are not suggesting that trading places is even under discussion. “I’d be stunned if there’s anything to it,” Democratic strategist James Carville said Tuesday. “Anything is possible in politics. But I don’t know of anything beyond speculation, and I really doubt it’s anything.”

It is worth noting that similar howls are heard around Washington every four to eight years or so. Remember the strategy to remove Dan Quayle as President George H.W. Bush’s running mate in 1992? Or the notion - pronounced with such certainty in some quarters - that President George W. Bush would have to kick Vice President Richard B. Cheney off the ticket in 2004 in order to win reelection?

In a perfect world, Woodward’s comment would not warrant a flurry of web posts and blog write-ups nor require a competent assessment like Kornblut’s (nor for that matter a post of this nature from me). But I am glad she was here today to offer some journalistic skepticism and temper all the excitement that comes from the tantalizing equation of Obama+Clinton+Campaign=X Factor, even when the math isn’t quite there yet.

Still, diligent though Kornblut’s work is, anyone who’s been to high school knows rumors stick (and I am sure, Woodward would argue, always begin somewhere). It’s unlikely a well-written pushback piece like this is likely to mean the Woodward nugget won’t make the Sunday gabfests. Probably several times over the next two years. And definitely if there’s a book to be sold.

Joel Meares is a former CJR assistant editor.