The media is nudging Hillary Clinton toward the exit, even though it will impoverish their cash-starved sales departments - so deep is the Clinton hatred in the press that they root against a continued Democratic race that would be golden in this recession-driven advertising slump. Look, there's Andrea Mitchell predicting Hillary's imminent departure.
Across the blogs, doe-eyed Obama supporters, so new to this messy "democracy thing" whisper about "party elders" pushing Clinton from the race. They won't stand for a continued race now that John McCain awaits, will they?
The answer is "it depends." If Clinton has a strong showing tomorrow (and the polls are decent for her) in the second super Tuesday, my view is she will remain in the race at least through Pennsylvania a month from now. And those urging an exit forget one thing: it's her call. Entirely. You think she'll listen to Teddy Kennedy and John Kerry at this stage? Guess again.
As hard as it is for Clinton to overcome Obama's 100-plus pledged delegate lead in the coming weeks, it's equally as difficult - if not more so - for Obama to find a path to 2,025 delegates, the number needed to clinch the nomination.
And here's the kicker - it's good for Democrats. A Hillary-Barack race that goes to the convention is a bonanza not just for the media sales departments (who will be rooting against their Obama-worshipping colleagues in the newsroom) but for the Democratic Party and for the progressive cause. The fickle, often-bored electorate is excited about this race - why go dark for several months? Further, why give McCain and the Republicans equal time?
An ongoing Clinton-Obama race also sharpens the issues and the candidates. I say: make 'em defend their positions, and make 'em hang left - not tack to the right, as Obama has started to do once he became convinced this nomination was in the bag.
Finally, keeping hope alive in Clinton land means keeping my hopes alive for the best possible Democratic ticket featuring the best two candidates of this long, long cycle.