early and often

Why Clinton Needs to Drop Out: Pundits Pile On


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We’re two days removed from Tuesday’s primaries, and Hillary Clinton is soldiering on, despite Barack Obama’s widespread coronation. Clinton’s old friend George McGovern has told her to quit, and the undecided superdelegates just seem to be giving her a window in which to drop out. But is there really a good reason for her to stop, other than widespread impatience with the primary process? According to the pundits, there are a lot of good reasons!

• Nicholas Kristof thinks the chances of Clinton ruining the general election for the Democrats is about ten times as great as her chances to get the nomination. [NYT]

• Rosa Brooks says that while Clinton of course has the right to stay in the race, her decision to do so would be wrong. The “rights” argument is meant to distract people from thinking about the potential damage Clinton poses to the party. [LAT]

• The Boston Globe editorial board appreciates Clinton’s “grit” and “resilience,” but since “the delegate math is now inexorable,” her position is beginning to “look like denial.” [Boston Globe]

• The Chicago Sun-Times editorial board believes dropping out would be the “noble” and “magnanimous” thing to do and would be important because Americans could then fully vet Obama and John McCain in a lengthier general-election campaign. [Chicago Sun-Times]

• Mike Lupica thinks Clinton is staying in on account of her “own vanity and narcissism” and for “the worst possible reasons,” such as that a new “bogeyman” may break Obama down the stretch. [NYDN]

• Matthew Yglesias notes that while a Clinton campaign official has said they shouldn’t even consider dropping out until the Michigan-Florida dispute is resolved, the only thing keeping that dispute from being settled is Clinton’s continued presence in the race, as each campaign is still intent on “maximizing their delegate counts.” [Atlantic]

• Jake Tapper counters Hillary Clinton’s claim that staying in the race is no biggie, because in 1992 Bill Clinton didn’t wrap up the nomination until June: Though he didn’t officially have the delegates until June, Bill had essentially won the nomination by April. [Political Punch/ABC News]

• Chuck Todd and friends say that one of Clinton’s main arguments for her candidacy in today’s USA Today interview is likely to work against her. In the interview, she said her base of support is larger and “Sen. Obama’s support among working, hard-working Americans, white Americans, is weakening again.” This could be precisely the type of statement “that might drive more supers toward Obama pretty quickly,” as “they don’t want her to spend three weeks making a case that Obama can’t win.” [First Read/MSNBC]

• David Broder doesn’t call on Clinton to drop out, but says that the primary contest has “lurched from irrelevance to trivia,” “triggering a near-universal call to bring it to a halt.” [WP]

• The Los Angeles Times editorial board thinks neither of Clinton’s viability arguments — to seat Michigan and Florida and for the superdelegates to overrule the voters’ choice — are any good. “She has run a fine race, but she has lost.” [LAT]

• Roger Simon doesn’t think Clinton really has any arguments left to provide to the superdelegates. There are no metrics by which she can claim victory, and her claims of being the stronger general-election candidate are unconvincing. [Politico]

Related: CBS: Top Clinton Advisor Already Telling Clinton It’s Over
Heilemann: Clinton Over — and Out?

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.

Why Clinton Needs to Drop Out: Pundits Pile On