Speaking Up

Item number 4 on Mark Halrpin's list of painful things Hillary Clinton knows -- or should know:

4. Nancy Pelosi and other leading members of Congress don’t think she can win and want her to give up. Same with superdelegate-to-the-stars Donna Brazile.

Pelosi has certainly said and done some things that have "signaled" this, as we say in DC, but I think that insofar as it's really true that she and "other leading members of Congress" think this, they need to communicate it more clearly.

After all, consider the situation in Pennsylvania. All indications are that a clear majority of Pennsylvania Democrats would prefer for Hillary Clinton to be the nominee than for Barack Obama to be the nominee. But there are few indications that they understand the real structure of the race -- that a miracle Obama comeback in PA would mean that Democrats enter May with a nominee and a financial advantage, whereas a sizable Clinton win in PA may mean that Democrats don't get a nominee until August and that that nominee, who'll almost certainly be Barack Obama anyway, will have a much tougher time winning in November. I think if voters better-understood the situation, they'd be much more inclined to vote for their second-favorite Democrat in the race, much less eager to do volunteer work for Clinton, much less inclined to donate money to her campaign, etc. But people won't understand the dynamic unless it's explained to them by credible party leaders.

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Matthew Yglesias is a former writer and editor at The Atlantic.

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