CNN is reporting that the Clinton and Obama campaign are "in formal talks" about ending her campaign. Here (h/t TPM) is the video:
I don't have a transcript to post, unfortunately. It's sourced to "Hillary Clinton's inner circle"; the Obama campaign denies that there are talks. "Clinton's inner circle", whoever that might be, is quoted as saying that they are "pushing for some sort of graceful exit strategy", and see three options. The first is that Obama chooses someone else to be Vice President; the second is that Obama publicly offers the VP slot to her and she declines; the third is that somehow Obama and Clinton get together personally and work something out. They don't say much about option three. Option two seems not to be working: they claim that the Obama people are worried that she might just take the VP slot. But it's what they say about the first that's really striking.
They think that for Obama to choose someone else as his running mate would be "a total dismissal", and "totally unacceptable to their camp, one of them saying that it could mean open civil war within the party," and that "it wouldn't mean that Clinton wouldn't campaign for Obama -- she would -- but she would do so like Bill Clinton campaigned for Al Gore, quite aloof. They do not believe that this would be acceptable."
I have been thinking about Clinton's conduct ever since she compared her efforts to get the Florida and Michigan votes counted to abolitionists, suffragists, and the current crisis in Zimbabwe. I agree with Josh Marshall that her attempts to gin up resentment and a sense that the nomination was stolen from her are toxic. Even Ezra Klein, who has been a lot more open to Clinton than many people, has concluded that she is trying to ensure that Obama loses. Since then, there have been a lot of stories wondering what on earth she is up to. And while I haven't heard what the NYPost describes as a "Groundswell Of Calls For O-Hill Union", there has definitely been a groundswell of stories about that alleged groundswell, much of which seems to be coming from the Clinton campaign itself. There have also been a lot of stories asking: what does Obama need to do to keep her on board?
Note what's missing here: any sense that Clinton herself is a responsible moral agent. People are writing about her as though she were a bomb that needed to be expertly defused, as opposed to a person who can govern her own life, and is responsible for her own choices.
I am aware that it must be hard to face the fact that you've lost. But it became clear that she was not going to win the nomination months ago -- I would say after Wisconsin, but certainly after Texas. Moreover, this is not unprecedented. People lose the nomination every four years. Most of the time, they do not stay on until it is mathematically impossible for them to win; they leave when it has become clear that they will not win. They do not complain about disenfranchising all the states with later primaries, they do not threaten to keep their supporters home, and they certainly do not threaten "open civil war" if they don't get nominated for Vice President. On those rare occasions when some candidate does this in the absence of some truly monumental issue, we normally think that that candidate is a narcissistic and unprincipled person who has just shown why s/he should never, ever be President.
There is absolutely no reason not to apply these same standards to Hillary Clinton. Right now, instead of floating demands in the press and comparing herself to abolitionists and suffragists, she could be telling her supporters that she lost fair and square; that while there was a lot of sexism in the campaign, there was racism as well, and that sexism does not explain why a candidate with literally every institutional advantage over her opponent lost the nomination. She could be reaching out to the voters who supported her in places where Obama has had trouble, and urging them to vote for him. She could, in a word, be doing the right thing: trying to earn that respect she seems to want.
Instead, she's throwing tantrums, making demands that she has no right to make, and threatening civil war.
I can't imagine a better demonstration of why she should not be President or Vice President. Nor can I imagine a better demonstration of why some of us who are committed feminists are not happy with her as our standard-bearer. She lost. It happens. If she were an adult or a professional, she would deal with it. Apparently, she is neither.