"The reality is that both sides have declared an effective cease-fire as they prepare to bring the party together," The Washington Post's Dan Balz writes. "While she presses forward, aides say she is determined neither to be pushed from the race prematurely nor to be seen as doing anything to damage Obama's prospects of winning in November if he emerges as the nominee. . . . Her advisers say that a major reason she does not want to be pressured out of the race is that she believes it will be easier to bring her supporters over to Obama once the primaries are over if they think she was able to finish the nomination battle on her own terms."
Writes Balz: "Although the Democratic race appears headed for a predictable outcome, the next few weeks could determine how rapidly and fully the party comes back together. Clinton and Obama both have to play their parts carefully."
(Does that include right of first refusal on the ticket? Or is that just a dream?)
As for why she stays in the race, here's one more big insight: Clinton tells The Washington Post's Lois Romano that she's had to face "sexist" media coverage: "It certainly has been challenging given some of the attitudes in the press, and I regret that, because I think it's been really not worthy of the seriousness of the campaign and the historical nature of the two candidacies we have here," she said.
For the record, she has not seen racism in equal measure: "The manifestation of some of the sexism that has gone on in this campaign is somehow more respectable, or at least more accepted, and . . . there should be equal rejection of the sexism and the racism when it raises its ugly head," Clinton said. "It does seem as though the press at least is not as bothered by the incredible vitriol that has been engendered by the comments by people who are nothing but misogynists."
Clearly, now, she's in until the end: "It's important I finish what I started," she tells The Wall Street Journal's Monica Langley and Amy Chozick.
"However, faced with growing pressure to drop out of the race, Sen. Clinton is getting hit with conflicting advice from within her own camp," Langley and Chozick write. "Some of her top strategists are warning that she is injuring her political future by staying in. Others -- notably her husband, former President Bill Clinton, and strategist Mark Penn -- are urging her to remain in the race."
This from a campaign operative: "The campaign has broken down to those who drink the Kool-Aid that Hillary can still win, and those who don't, and are considering their options." And this from an "important backer": "There will be no more million-dollar events."
(Guess who's offering encouragement -- not just on "Saturday Night Live"? "Last week [Sen. John McCain] called to congratulate her for continuing to win big contests and told her he admired her 'courage and grit,' " they write. Said Clinton: "We're friends.")
She's in through June 3 -- but it won't necessarily be pleasant. "It could be the longest two weeks of her campaign," ABC's Kate Snow reported on "Good Morning America" Tuesday. "It's not just TV commentators: Her own staffers now talk in terms of when it will be over, not if."
This can't be a good sign: "Hillary Rodham Clinton's former campaign manager and confidante, Patti Solis Doyle, and Sen. Barack Obama's top adviser have informally discussed the former Clintonite's going to work for the Obama campaign in the general election," Politico's Ben Smith scoops.