Klein writes: “This doesn’t sound like a couple preparing to fight all the way to Denver.”
What I think you underestimate, Phil, is the echo-chamber effect. The people who might tell Hillary to pack it in — well, those people aren’t talking to Hillary right now, and most of them haven’t been talking to her for months. Meanwhile, she’s hearing from all these angry women who feel like they’re being cheated by Obama and the DNC, women who are telling her not to quit. This dynamic has been going on for months:
“The most common thing the people say — it happened here, it happened last night, it happens everywhere I go — is, ‘Don’t give up,’ ‘Keep going,’ ‘We’re with you.’ And I feel very good about that, because that’s what I intend to do.”
As rational as it would be for the Clintons to arrange a peaceful exit from the campaign, the candidate herself is getting a lot of irrational feedback. That’s why my money says Hillary will (a) trim her campaign staff down to a trusted handful; (b) make some conciliatory noises; and (c) keep up the behind-the-scenes intrigue all the way to Denver.
A true concession would be for Hillary to release her delegates from their pledges on the first ballot and call for a unanimous vote for Obama. Hillary won’t do that; she’ll insist on at least a show-of-strength vote on the first ballot, meanwhile hoping for some surprise development that will send the superdelegates crawling back to her.