The Weak NomineeThe New York Times posits the question not only of when Hillary Clinton might throw in the towel, but whether she will do so at all:
In many ways, Mr. Obama is wheezing across the finish line after making a strong start: He has won only 6 of the 13 Democratic contests held since March 4, drawing 6.1 million votes, compared with 6.6 million for Mrs. Clinton.
Gov. Phil Bredesen of Tennessee, a superdelegate who has been at the forefront of calling for uncommitted Democrats to make a choice soon after the last vote, said in an interview that Mrs. Clinton called him last week and urged him to “keep an open mind until the convention.”
While many Clinton associates have hinted in recent days that she may be prepared to concede the race next week in New York, Hillary is still calling superdelegates, including our own Governor, and asking them to keep their minds open "until the convention." It seems as though the reality is that Clinton has not made her mind up to concede just yet, and she may not make it up one way or another until next week.
Whether his supporters believe it or not, Barack Obama will be nominated as one of the most fractious and weakened nominees in the history of either major political party in America. This is not merely a case of a lot of people having voted against Obama (Clinton can now, it would seem, make a legitimate case that she is the popular vote leader-and this is the same party that wants to trash the electoral college. If the Democrats nominate Obama, their case against States' rights in the electoral college is dead as a doornail), but most of these people are simply opposed to Barack Obama. If the polls are to be believed, many people who voted for her did so as a way of voting against Obama-and they'll do it again in November.
Hillary Clinton is not stupid, this is a reality of which she is well aware, and that may be why she is still mulling going to the Democratic National Convention and engaging in a floor fight. Her appeal to the Honorable Phil Governor is especially noteworthy, because Hillary Clinton beat Obama soundly in Tennessee. Her performance outside of Nashville, Memphis, and Chattanooga was overwhelming. In a State where Barack Obama is not exactly Mr. Popular, and where John McCain may win by double digits, Bredesen may forced into giving Clinton's advice a second look.
Barack Obama will still be the Democratic nominee, whether it is this week, next week, or in Denver. However, he will be a badly wounded nominee when he finally claims his party's mantle. Half the party is opposed to him, and many (if not most) of those people do not believe he is electable.