Blake Dvorak, over at Real Clear Politics's "PM Line" links to a blog post by Jay Severin that reports a rumor that Hillary might quit on Friday.
Yes, yes, it's as thin as it sounds, as Mr. Severin is the first to admit: he calls it "rumor," not to mention "hearsay" and "third party," and candidly says he cannot verify it. But Mr. Severin says he trusts his source, and I must say although I don't necessarily believe it, I do not disbelieve it either.
If there's really something to this report, why might Hillary wait till Friday ? Why not just go ahead ? Perhaps she's waiting on some polling before the weekend, but she wants to make the decision early enough to avoid the last expensive media buy.
If the numbers are going south by the weekend, and it looks like Hillary's going to get hammered in Ohio and Texas, getting out looks like a good move. Things do not look good for her at present: Ohio is down a little, but her lead in Texas has evaporated -- the latest polls show Obama going ahead. Admittedly, his lead is within the margin of error, but there's no question that she's sinking.
I still think that the nomination is within reach for Hillary -- if she can eke-out bare wins in Texas and Ohio, and cajole, beg and politically threaten enough super-delegates into her corner. The delegate deficit, on paper, is not that huge. Mrs. Clinton speaks for a lot of voters, and she presumably has files full of years worth of information on super-delegates, not to mention longstanding ties and connections, through Bill, with many of them. If she gets Florida and Michigan back on the board (not a foregone conclusion) -- she's within striking distance. But she has to lawyer, palaver and maneuver to prevail -- the conditions she's laboring under simply aren't going to allow her to win this outright, unless Obama collapses this weekend.
But what does Hillary really gain, even if she wins the nomination ? A hopelessly divided party, and massive resentment from Obama disciples angry that she denied their Messiah his throne. I'm hoping she tries it, of course, but I see no way that this can end well for her.
If she turns aside now, and lets Obama have it, Mrs. Clinton can hope that McCain can burst St. Barack's bubble in November, and that she can say "I told you so" four years hence. If St. Barack wins election (probable), and his administration produces a truly memorable disaster (also probable), she can try to pick up the pieces later. In the meantime, she can rake-in thanks and praise from getting out of the way of the coronation.
I don't know that Mrs. Clinton is quitting. It's definitely not her MO to quit. But it's probably her wisest course.