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Columns

May 17, 2008

It's time for Hillary to bow out

For the good of the blue-collar workers, the soccer moms, the Latinos and every other constituency she claims to support, Hillary Clinton should drop out of the presidential race.

With only five primaries left, Barack Obama has won the popular vote, the most states and even the most superdelegates, the one area where Hillary had an edge until recently. Even with her big victory in West Virginia on Tuesday, and even if she were to win all of the remaining primaries, analysts predict Obama would still accrue the 2,025 delegates needed to clinch the nomination.

Prolonging the fight is pointless and potentially harmful. In addition to wasting valuable time that could be spent preparing for the real campaign, it could cause bitterness within the Democratic Party, raising the risk of diehard Hillary fans voting for John McCain out of spite. Even more damaging is the possibility that independents who supported Hillary would be more likely to turn to McCain. The longer Hillary waits to rally her supporters around Obama, the more difficult it may be to convince them.

Analysts say Hillary's best chance is to convince the Democratic National Committee to suspend or change the penalties imposed on Florida and Michigan, which broke party rules by holding primaries before Feb. 5 and, as punishment, had their delegates barred from voting at the nominating convention this summer. With those delegates reinstated, Hillary might have a chance to beat Obama. But at what price? Does she really want to win by persuading the leaders of her party to bend or break the rules? How would that make her more electable than McCain?

Some will argue that it shows she's tough, gritty and determined.

I think it just makes her look like a sore loser.

Obama has long been my ideal candidate for president. His energy, vision, integrity and experience as a community organizer are far more valuable to me than his opponents' accomplishments and experience in Washington.

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