The New York Times seems to be signaling that the end is near. "Clinton was accompanied by a skeleton crew of aides and a diminished press corps Wednesday as she continued to tour some of the remotest parts of America. After a tourist stop at Mount Rushmore, she drove nearly three hours across the desolate Badlands to the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation and made her electability argument to a somewhat bewildered crowd of about 250 people outside the Little Wound School. 'I believe the electoral votes that I will win make a very strong argument,' she said. 'Look at the states I won and will win. These are the states that form the base of a Democratic victory.'"
"But there was also an elegiac tone to some of her remarks. 'I view my run for president as a solemn obligation,' she said. 'I don't run for president because I need any more publicity. I don't run for president because I need the adulation or the celebrity. I don't run for president to live in the White House. That was a wonderful experience, but that's not why I run. I run because I believe we can do so much better for our country. The unkept promises are corrosive.'"
Clinton offered no clues as to her future after June 3, but she had a reflective tone as she made a rare visit to the back of her campaign plane to chat with reporters at the end of the day yesterday, NBC/NJ's Mike Memoli reports. "You know, I feel so good about the process," said Clinton, glass of wine in hand. "I feel that this has been a really positive, productive primary season in so many ways. And you know, I put some of that in the memo [to superdelegates] about the numbers of people that have been brought in. Millions of people who have registered who never voted, who never participated."
She said that she thought her party could make future primaries "more sensible," but that given the current rules she is confident still. "We'll see what the Rules and Bylaws Committee does with Michigan and Florida. We'll see what happens Puerto Rico, Montana and South Dakota. And then we'll see where we are."
The New York Post piles on. In a lighthearted stop at Mount Rushmore at reporters' behest, the Post puts it all on its cover with a photo of Clinton framed with the presidents on the mountain top and the headline: "Rock Bottom."
The AP gets a quote from that Virgin Islands superdelegate who originally supported Clinton, then jumped ship to Obama, and then switched back to Clinton just two weeks after having switched to Obama. "I decided to switch because that's my right," Kevin Rodriguez said. "I don't want to say why I decided. It's not about me ... It's about America and what's best for America."
Cecil Benjamin, Virgin Islands Democratic Party chairman, reached by First Read Wednesday morning, had not heard Rodriguez had switched again and expressed disbelief. "I doubt that very much," Benjamin told us, adding that he's spoken to him just last week and he was still supporting Obama. "I don't think he's such a fool and would make himself such a mimic when all the superdelegates are moving to Obama."
Asked by the AP "whether he might switch allegiances again, Rodriquez replied: 'I don't know.'"