Clinton has also so far won all the big states that will be in play in the general election. She knows the superdelegates were created precisely for a year like this, and so will argue that these Democratic pros are there to check the exuberance of a liberal electorate that might actually nominate someone untested like Obama. Had Clinton run under Republican primary rules, her wins would have already sealed for her the nomination.
Clinton can also point to polls showing that an Obama nomination will lose more Democrats to McCain than would her own. In other words, she thinks that she has every reason to continue her last-chance campaign, even as it hurts her party, Obama and the Clinton legacy.
Finally, no matter who ultimately becomes the Democratic nominee, it may not be so easy to run a campaign against McCain on the notion that everything is falling apart -- or that it is his fault.
It is not at all clear that the Iraq war will get worse, despite the latest news of Shiite in-fighting. Most Iraqis — especially the Sunnis of Anbar — have long wanted the Shiite government to put down the militias of Moqtada al-Sadr. If this happens, the good news of the surge could get better.
At home, we not are yet in a recession, and may avoid one altogether. For now, despite financial jitters, mortgage fears and a weakening American financial position abroad, unemployment, interest rates and inflation all remain fairly low — and could still stay that way through the summer.
Many of our problems like gas prices and deficits transcend politics — or at least were due to bipartisan mistakes of both Congress and the administration and won't play out to partisan advantage. There is no Democratic or Republican answer to stop Iran from getting the bomb, or to bring a roguish but increasingly wealthy and powerful China into the global community.
By late summer, a rested John McCain will try to reassure Americans that he will run their country just like he ran his campaign. A wounded Barack Obama will have won a Pyrrhic nomination. And an angry Hillary Clinton will be gone — but the latest addition to the Clinton legacy not forgotten.