End Game: Clinton’s Exit Strategy

By Ed O'Keefe

May 7, 2008 2:02am

Opinion by Matthew Dowd, ABC News Political Contributor

In the aftermath of the Indiana and North Carolina Democratic primaries, I have at least one observation having watched the results and Hillary Clinton’s speech.

What do President Bush and Hillary clinton have in common? Neither had an exit strategy ready.

The curtain on the long Clinton Broadway campaign is coming down. It hasn’t hit the floor yet, but it’s real close.

The math and the money and the message and the momentum are all now basically and inevitably against her. And her remarks after the results became clear show she is unprepared to accept defeat at this point and exit.

The writing is on the wall but it looks like she doesn’t want to read it.

It will come but may take some time to accept reality.

Barack Obama cleared the last big hurdle he needed to clear this week. He had to show the superdelegates and the Democratic party that he wasn’t damaged goods and could take hits and walk through adversity. That through the last month’s struggle he could bounce back, that he could learn and grow as a candidate, and then win after that. 

Obama’s convincing win in North Carolina proved that he is ready for primetime and can fight the good fight headed into November. And that is one of the most important lessons in this presidential process.

My prediction is that slowly and assuredly superdelegates will move in his direction in the days ahead and that this will confirm his status as the Democratic nominee.

He now has a larger delegate lead than he had before the string of Clinton victories over the last six weeks. That is an undeniable fact. 

Clinton will come to this conclusion at some point soon. It might take days. It might take a few weeks.  But that truth will be faced. First in her head and then in her heart.

So, hopefully one of her campaign generals is putting together that exit strategy so she can implement it soon.

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