Tuesday, June 03, 2008

"It ain't over 'til it's over." (It's over.)

By Michael J.W. Stickings

As usual, I'll be live-blogging the primary results this evening, but, for now, here's an update to my post from yesterday on the state of the race (and on the state of the Clinton campaign in particular):

1) The clues are rolling in. Hillary will end her campaign... soon... perhaps tonight. HuffPo's Thomas Edsall provides some of the more persuasive evidence:

Hillary Clinton has summoned top donors and backers to attend her New York speech [tonight] in an unusual move that is being widely interpreted to mean she plans to suspend her campaign and endorse Barack Obama -- if not [tonight], within a day or two.

Obama and Clinton spoke Sunday night and agreed that their staffs should begin negotiations over post-primary activities, according to reliable sources.

See yesterday's post for more clues. (Marc Ambinder has yet another here.)

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2) Or... wait... what if... what if she doesn't end her campaign? Here's The Politico's Ben Smith:

A Clinton donor tells me that on a conference call today with major fundraisers this afternoon, Harold Ickes told them Clinton isn't planning to drop out. He pressed donors to stay unified, and reviewed tactical options, including challenging the Michigan delegation.

State finance committees are also circulating letters to deliver to Clinton [today] in New York, and I've obtained a draft of the Illinois finance committee's letter, being circulated by a Clinton fundraising aide, Rafi Jafri, which stresses a fight until the convention, and a resolution in "August, and no earlier."

These are the hardcore donors and fundraisers, though. They may not speak for the Clinton campaign, let alone for Hillary herself.

The writing is on the wall, clearly, and, evidently, Hillary has read it, at long last.

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3) And the writing is getting clearer and clearer. CNN is reporting that "[m]ost of the seventeen Democratic senators who have remained uncommitted throughout the primaries will endorse Barack Obama for president this week."

At MSNBC, Mark Murray is reporting that there may be "a superdelegate flood coming" for Obama:

Buzz on the Capitol Hill suggests that has many as 34 of the undeclared superdelegates residing in the House will endorse Obama by Wednesday. As many as 18 of these 34 -- many of them elected to Congress in the last four years -- will come out for Obama [today] so he can edge closer to his magic number before the vote counting ends in South Dakota and Montana. The biggest Obama get in the House to date will come [today] when House Dem Caucus Chairman Jim Clyburn officially declares.

Meaning, it's almost over.

Hillary's speech tonight may not be a concession one, as Ambinder is reporting, but Bill -- astute political mind that he has -- knows very well that this could be "the last day" -- for him? for her? perhaps not, no, and likely not, but at least for the 2008 presidential campaign of Hillary Clinton.

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