early and often

What Every Last Pundit Is Saying About Clinton


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What a wild ride last night was, huh? With Barack Obama trouncing Hillary Clinton in North Carolina by 14 percent and losing by just 2 points in Indiana, the pundits are either outright declaring him the nominee (Tim Russert, Matt Drudge) or speculating on when her campaign will end. (The fuss made for some amusing headlines — just now followed by ones announcing her intention to fight on.) John Heilemann gets to the bottom of all that. But what’s the range of opinion out there?

• Adam Nagourney says Clinton’s prospects of overtaking Obama “dwindled” last night, and it “will not be lost on the superdelegates” that she failed to capitalize on her chance to broaden her base against a wounded Obama. [NYT]

• Matthew Yglesias points out that we’ve all known the math didn’t work for Clinton as far back as March 5 and says he’s glad to see the media is finally realizing it. [Atlantic]

• Michael Crowley says that last night was “at worst, a total campaign-ending disaster” and suspects she may ride out the remaining primaries as a harmless Mike Huckabee–type candidate. [Stump/New Republic]

• Thomas DeFrank reports that the feeling among many Clinton insiders is that she might as well stick around until the convention, in case Obama has a major slipup. [NYDN]

• Ben Smith says Clinton’s climb became much steeper and that Obama took a “potentially decisive step” toward the nomination. [Politico]

• Jon Kass thinks “it’s over for Hillary,” because “what counts are delegates” — and she “can’t catch him.” [Chicago Tribune]

• Vaughn Ververs doesn’t think last night is enough to “drive Clinton out of a race she has fought so long to win,” but that her chances have pretty much “vanished.” [Horserace/CBS News]

• John Dickerson thinks Clinton’s path to victory “has become more fantastical, narrow, and painful” and that it may take a “willing suspension of disbelief” (a phrase Clinton once used with General Petraeus) to believe she could win the nomination. [Slate]

• Marc Ambinder says that, having failed to deliver a huge “Holy Moly” moment to the superdelegates, it’s now only a question of how Clinton chooses to exit the race. [Atlantic]

• David Corn isn’t so sure about Clinton’s imminent demise, noting that, while she has no chance, the Clintons learned from their impeachment episode to doggedly ignore “those calling for you to quit.” [CQ Politics]

• Melissa Harris-Lacewell writes that because her victory in Indiana gives Clinton “just enough rationale to stay in it,” Howard Dean should step in and push her out so the party can strengthen and unify. [Root]

• Walter Shapiro says Clinton is “closer to oblivion” after her “last major window of opportunity…slammed on her fingers.” [Salon]

• Thomas Edsall throws every political cliché he can find out there to describe Clinton’s situation: “She is on life support, her oxygen choked off, her knees buckling, unable to stanch the bleeding, down for an eight count, on the ropes, praying for the bell to ring, desperate to get her wind back.” [Huffington Post]

• Dahlia Lithwick thinks that “Clinton may be going down fighting, but she is going down,” and that Obama has already begun to move beyond the primary fight. [XX Factor/Slate]

• Byron York says that, from Clinton’s perspective, there’s still Michigan and Florida and the remaining primaries to push her ahead in the popular-vote count, and he doesn’t expect her to quit. [National Review] —Dan Amira

Related: Heilemann: Clinton Over — and Out?
Media Glee at Clinton’s Fall Makes Headlines

For a complete and regularly updated guide to presidential candidates Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama, and John McCain — from First Love to Most Embarrassing Gaffe — read the 2008 Electopedia.

What Every Last Pundit Is Saying About Clinton