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Clinton: Still not giving up

The New York Times' Nagourney writes, "[W]hile he would like to shift his attention fully to the onslaught already coming from Senator John McCain and the Republicans, Mr. Obama still has problems in his own party that may overshadow everything else until he addresses them: How to repair relations with Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton and her supporters and whether to offer her a spot on the ticket. Mrs. Clinton used her final hours of the long primary season to make clear that she would be open to being Mr. Obama's running mate. If there was ever any hope in Democratic circles that she would let Mr. Obama off the hook with an evasion or a flat declaration of no interest, Mrs. Clinton dashed it on Tuesday."  

Maureen Dowd lays out two possible theories what Clinton may up to. "Theory No. 1 is that it's the Cassandra 'I told you so' gambit: She believes intensely that he's too black, too weak and too elitist -- with all his salmon and organic tea and steamed broccoli -- to beat her pal John McCain. But she has to pretend she'll do 'whatever it takes,' even accept the vice presidency, a job she's already had and doesn't want again, so that nobody will blame her when he loses on Nov. 4. Then she can power on to 2012. Theory No. 2 is that it's a 'Bad stuff happens' maneuver, exemplified in her gaffe about the R.F.K. assassination, that she figures that at least if she moves a few blocks from Embassy Row to the Naval Observatory, she'll be a heartbeat away from the job she's always wanted." 

The AP's Fournier: "Running as the establishment candidate against the headwinds of change, a hawk in a party of doves, a Clinton for better and worse, she couldn't match Obama's timing. His celebrity was too big, his political savvy too much and Internet-driven ground game too powerful for the candidacy of the '90s." More: "What does Hillary want? She wants to be president -- still -- and she wants the respect she's due. Obama denied her the former this time, but now is his time to grant her the latter."

On Clinton's speech last night, the NY Post headlines: "Hill is STILL not giving up." "Her advisers said they considered the delegate numbers to be unreliable, even as The Associated Press and other media outlets estimated Obama had more than the 2,118 needed. Refusing to acknowledge the historic moment, Clinton instead ran down the list of every state she has won, trumpeted the nearly 18 million people who voted for her in this year's contests and demanded that her supporters be given 'respect.'"

"A defiant Clinton paid tribute Tuesday night to all that Barack Obama had 'accomplished,' but she stopped well short of acknowledging him as the Democratic Party's presidential nominee -- and didn't say when she would. Behind the scenes, she fueled a push by many Democrats to have her name added to the ticket as Obama's vice president, while publicly remaining coy on her plans," the NY Daily News writes. 
 
"[M]ostly there was anger, as the mainly female supporters blamed the media, sexism, Obama -- everything but the New York senator -- as they bemoaned the failure of the most successful presidential female candidate in history to clinch the nomination," the Boston Globe writes.

The Boston Globe's Milligan writes, "At a social event last spring at the home of Mark Penn, then Hillary Clinton's chief strategist and one of the most prominent and well-compensated Democratic consultants in the business, a fellow Democrat wondered aloud if freshman Senator Barack Obama might wrest the nomination from the well-connected New York senator. Penn, the dinner guest said, waved his hand dismissively. 'Flash in the pan,' Penn said, adding that the Clinton campaign saw former North Carolina senator John Edwards as her biggest challenge.
 
"Indeed, few at that time expected that Obama would overcome the political and financial head start the wife of the former president appeared to have at that phase of the campaign, even though Obama had already drawn exuberant crowds in early primary states. But Penn's offhand remark reveals the mistakes made by a Clinton campaign that failed to take Obama's candidacy - or his supporters - seriously enough at the outset, and did not prepare for the long-haul fight Obama was ready to wage for the nomination, according to political specialists."