Now What? (Hint: More of the Same)S

For some reason, CBS called Indiana for Hillary Clinton at 8 p.m. or so last night, hours before anyone else dared. Katie Couric interrupted whatever nonsense they had on at the time and the CBS news website dutifully posted their story. They even got a Drudge link! So there's a lesson for you: better to be first than right. Maybe as a network without a cable news station CBS just decided to let their election coverage team go home early? Because everyone else had to stay up until 1 a.m., when the hanky panky in Lake County, Indiana finally ended and Clinton won her tiny, tiny victory. A tiny vicory that was immediately stomped upon by everyone from Drudge to Tim Russert. It's over, all the pundits said. You can go to bed! But America can't go to bed, because Hil's still staying up for that 3 a.m. call. The death march continues!

Clinton just loaned herself $6.4 million. Next primary? West Virginia, next Tuesday. Hillary will win that one handily, which means another fundraising boost, probably. Still to come: Kentucky! Puerto Rico! Her chances of winning the nomination are lower now than they've ever been, but she's not actually going to quit. There's still knee-capping to be done! And if knee-capping fails, there's bargaining.

Carl Bernstein insisted on CNN last night that two separate Clinton campers told him she's going to demand the Veep slot. We still find that highly unlikely, but the longer she stays in the greater the likelihood that Obama will have to give in and negotiate with her. If not for the Veep slot, why not the Supreme Court? A cabinet position for Bill, even? Who knows what the hell she actually wants, besides staying in it until the bitter, bitter end.

(Plus, if she stays in, there's still the chance that some new nightmare will end Obama's candidacy—Reverend Wright II: The Wrightening or some similar June Surprise.)

So while the Times' Jim Rutenberg all-but-declares the campaign over, it might be wiser to listen to Slate's Chris Beam.

Worst-case scenario, she spends a few million more dollars and drops out in late May or early June. (Remember how long Huckabee stuck around, just to see what happened?) Better that than drop out tomorrow, only to have some damning revelation about Obama emerge over the next month. Clinton paints herself as a fighter, but her best shot at the nomination is now less about fighting than waiting.

Or hey, here's HuffPo's Al Giordano yesterday evening, before any polls had closed:

Clinton takes to the stage, claims "unexpected" victory, gives out her web site address and pleads for elder women on fixed incomes to send more money to the $109 millionaire. The following day they claim that $10 million rolled in, only to be disproved more than a month later when the actual FEC filing is due. Obama's FEC filing simultaneously reveals that he raised much, much more, from more small donors, and the Clinton campaign plays the victim card over being outspent.

Onward, to West Virginia! The whitest Virginia of all!