With Hillary Clinton’s chances of beating her rival all but shot, Ben Smith, on Politico, runs down the graceful and non-graceful ways to exit:
- Never say die: If Clinton can stomach shrinking coffers and departing supporters, she can bide time until the convention, ensuring that lightning hasn’t struck Barack Obama before she concedes.
- Extract a job: If not the VP slot or a cabinet post, maybe Hillary wants a promise that Obama will support her for New York governor in 2010.
- Cash out: If Clinton’s people don’t think Obama can win, maybe he’s only good for helping her pay off a sizable debt. Cue the counterintuitive fundraising push.
- Kicking and screaming: Al Gore, Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, and Charles Schumer still hold influence cards.
- Racial meltdown: If her top black supporters left, she’d be fatally pegged as racially divisive—and forced to step off.
- Unconditional surrender: Who wants to be on a president’s bad side? Maybe Clinton should start currying favor by taking the next off-ramp.