Barack Obama won North Carolina by about 15 points last night, and lost Indiana by 2. Tim Russert said last night that Obama was now "the nominee." Stephanopolous said to expect superdelegates to start coming over to Obama "5 and 6 at a time." Hillary supporter George McGovern has already called on her to drop out, and according to HuffingtonPost, Clinton campaign officials expect more supporters to do the same soon.
Could it be the end? Could Hillary be seeing, finally, the writing on the wall?
I sure hope so. Bad campaign managers and an overall desperation has turned Hillary from a polished and decent-seeming general election candidate into a say-anything-to-win panderer trying to make less cagey Democratic voters think she's one of them. It hasn't been pretty or dignified. And now in the face of defeat in the wake of NC and IN, her people are out there on conference calls with reporters saying "We are a nation of 50 states." Meaning a.) she's going to take her fight to be president as far as she can on the basis that, somehow, the people of Florida and Michigan were "disenfranchised," and b.) reclaiming her good name isn't her priority quite yet. Trying to steal delegates from Florida and Michigan, states who broke the rules fair and square, is a weak justification to continue this fight for the nomination, but, then again, she's never actually said why she's running for president. She ought to be president, well ... well just because.
Anyway, Hillary can still, of course, redeem herself. The loser of this contest will, I believe, have much more to do with a Democratic victory than the winner because the loser will be the one most responsible for uniting the party once this process is over. If she can manage true graciousness in defeat, she'll go a long way in repairing the damage she's done to her once formidable reputation. and because I think she still cares about the Clinton "brand," once she steps aside, I expect her to get behind Barack as hard as she's been trying to beat him.