Congratulations, Hillary...Now Go Away

Washington Matters

Congratulations, Hillary...Now Go Away

Hillary Clinton has a lot to be proud of as the final two primaries are held Tuesday, but it's time for her to accept reality and call it quits.  Fortunately, there are strong signs that she's going to do just that -- probably this week.  Obviously, she'd rather jump on her own terms than be pushed out ignobly.


Clinton keeps scoring large, late-inning runs, and that's a warning sign for Barack Obama. But her final victories come too late to change the dynamics of this race. She can't capture the nomination, and that will be clear Tuesday when the last two states -- South Dakota and Montana -- cast their primary ballots. Clinton had pledged not to drop out before the last contests, and she stuck to that. But she won't go much longer.  Consider:

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1)      Most of the 200 undeclared superdelegates, including a large majority of the 17 undeclared Democratic senators, plan to endorse Obama over the next 48 hours.

2)    Clinton has dismissed most of her campaign advance staff.

3)      She is headed back to New York for a pow-wow with husband Bill and other top advisers tomorrow, to be followed by a speech to supporters in the evening, where she may deliver the big news.

4)      Many of her advisers and supporters are telling her it's time to quit. Note former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack's comment Sunday urging Clinton to quickly get behind Obama.

5)      While she can take her challenge over Florida and Michigan to the credentials committee this summer and ultimately to the convention, her loss on Saturday before the party's Rules and Bylaws committee is a strong indication that she doesn't have enough support among party insiders to win any future showdown.


Even Bill Clinton seemed to get the message. In his last campaign appearance in South Dakota today, he said: "This may be the last day I'm ever involved in a campaign of this kind."


Neither Clinton is exactly going into hibernation -- They'll both work hard for Obama and Democratic congressional candidates. And there's still at least a slim possibility she'll end up as his running mate. Even if not, her sun is far from setting as she returns to the Senate.