He wants her as the nominee. He knows she can be beaten. Obama is a much more daunting and complicated foe. No proof, of course, just a theory in the LAT. But some history shows it's a tactic Rove has used before:

"Whomever we attacked was going to be emboldened in Democratic primary voters' minds. So we started attacking John Kerry a lot in the end of January because we were very worried about John Edwards," [Matthew] Dowd [former campaign staffer for Bush in 2006] said. "And we knew that if we focused on John Kerry, Democratic primary voters would sort of coalesce" around Kerry. "It wasn't like we could tag [eliminate] somebody. Whomever we attacked was going to be helped," he said.

I wouldn't put it past him. But then again, what wouldn't you put past him?

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