Below is a piece that I have written for Progress on the increasingly bitter contest for the US Democrat nomination for President. If Hilary does not 'win big' tomorrow she should quit and endorse Obama.
With three crucial Democratic primaries looming it is becoming increasingly obvious that Hilary Clinton is not headed toward the big wins she so desperately needs if she is to jump-start her presidential bid. In Pennsylvania, the state that was supposed to be her ace in the hole and which votes tomorrow, a new Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll only has her leading Barack Obama by only 5 points. Such a margin would not give her much of a boost in the battle for the party's nomination.
If Hillary Clinton wants a dignified and graceful exit from the race to be the Democrat’s presidential nominee she should quit by the end of the week and then formally endorse Barack Obama. Senator Obama has a commanding lead in pledged delegates and a lead of over 900,000 in the popular vote (excluding Michigan and Florida, where neither he nor Senator Clinton campaigned). Closing such a gap would require Mrs Clinton to win all the remaining contests by crushing margins – this just USN’t going to happen. The truth is she can’t win the nomination without a bloody convention battle — after which, even if she won, history and many Democrats would cast her as a villain. The latest news from across the pond is that the party's top brass have concluded that Senator Clinton’s further participation in the race can only harm the party as Republican nominee John McCain strives to take advantage of her increasingly bitter battle with Senator Obama. It appears that a number of options are actively being considered. One is for Jimmy Carter and Al Gore to go to Mrs Clinton privately and ask her to step down. The other is for both men to appear in public and endorse Obama – a move which would undoubtedly see a majority of ‘superdelegates’ go with them.
So the choice that confronts the former first Lady is to either stick it out to the end of the summer - and risk serious humiliation at the polls - or to pull out in the next few weeks with dignity and class, therefore giving herself a shot at redemption. The reality (one that ‘Team Clinton’ refuses to recognise) is that most Americans are already imagining what is likely to come next: a general election campaign between Barack Obama and the Republican nominee apparent, John McCain.
An Obama versus McCain contest would offer the American people a real choice. The two differ on everything from national security to abortion rights, from gun control to health care and taxes. John McCain would undoubtedly make for a formidable opponent, for example in a recent (February 2008) Los Angeles Times/Bloomberg poll voters believed that McCain has 'the right experience' over Obama by a 53-22 margin. Yet Obama has been underestimated before - few people imagined he could defeat Clinton in 10 straight primary contests or raise nearly $2 million per day.
Obama versus McCain would be a dream general election matchup and would result in the most defining American presidential race for a generation.