For all the pundits, bloggers, and politicians who called on Hillary to quit, for all the tiresomeness of the endless primaries and their shallow coverage in the media, and for all the ridiculous complications of the Democrats' baroque procedure for selecting a nominee, I've come around to equanimity about Hillary's continuing in the race. It's best to see this process, however imperfect, to its end.
Think of the alternatives:
- The superdelegates short-circuit the process and king-make - either way.
- Either candidate drops out before actually being beaten.
Wednesday, we Democrats will find ourselves here: The voters will have finished their say. The delegates they have already chosen are narrowly for Obama. The superdelegates have held back (enough!) from tipping the contest. They have let the voters choose so that the final outcome is legitimate. Based on Howard Dean's, Nancy Pelosi's, and Harry Reid's public statements, I believe that some Democrats in Congress decided to wait so that their votes would ratify the decision of the voters and not overturn it. Quite a restrained decision to be made in a smoke-filled room!
There's now a context in which to unite. That's still not guaranteed to happen. Whether it actually does hinges on Hillary's generosity and that of her core supporters. But to come out of the primary season in early June with a narrow but legitimate victory by one candidate is about all we could hope for.
Of course, all bets are off if Harold Ickes and Hillary take their beef to the floor of the convention.