It Puts Hair On His Chest

As Hillary Clinton begins to talk openly about Sen. Obama's "choice" of pastors, bear in mind that she has three different audiences: the most important of them being the smallest: the remaining superdelegates. The more they worry about Obama, the more they will be afraid that their constituents will worry about Obama, and the longer they will wait.

Every day a superdelegate does not endorse Obama is one more day that HRC has to convince Pennsylvanians that their votes will move her closer to the nomination, even if, ceteris paribus, the nomination will not be hers for the taking.

I asked a top HRC adviser this a.m. to assess the argument that all of this is hurting the inevitable nominee -- Barack Obama. The adviser was blunt: "So now Obama expects to win the nomination without toughening up and lasting all fifteen rounds?"

The weird implication: if Obama is the nominee, all of this is _good_ for him in that it, as a father is want to say to a son, puts hair on his chest. In other words: this would have come up anyway, and because Hillary is making Obama fight for the nomination, she's "toughening" him up if he wins.

It's a pretty audacious argument.

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Marc Ambinder is an Atlantic contributing editor. He is also a senior contributor at Defense One, a contributing editor at GQ, and a regular contributor at The Week.

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