A reader writes:

The reason why Hillary is fighting so hard to get the Democratic nomination despite the long odds against her is that winning it this year is tantamount to being elected president.  The Democratic candidate’s chances are so good this year and the Republican’s are so bad that it is virtually a slam dunk.  This being the case, it makes total sense for Hillary to fight until the bitter end and hope that lightning will strike.

In every other year of the postwar era except 1964, the Democrat’s chances were no better than 50-50 and usually a little worse regardless of who the candidates were.  That is because of various factors such as the bias in the Electoral College toward so-called red states and the propensity of voters to favor gridlock during an era when Democrats mostly controlled Congress.  So it is a rare phenomenon for the Democratic nomination to have as much value as it has this year.

I suspect that if the Democratic Party’s chances were closer to average, Hillary would be much more inclined to drop out.  If McCain had a real shot at winning, she might figure that dropping out gracefully might give her an easy ride to the nomination in 2012 were he to win.  But of course, if Obama wins he will be the Democratic nominee that year, meaning that 2016 would be the next time she could run againmuch too late given her age, I would think.

Therefore, it is now or never.  That’s why she cannot concede.