Everyone knew that hillary had to win Ohio and Texas on Tuesday to remain competitive. It’s also generally agreed upon that, to have a hope of catching up to Obama, she had to win big. But she didn’t. In fact, given her minimal edge in the Texas primary and apparent loss in the Texas caucuses, she may end up with fewer delegates than Obama from this state. Essentially, a major opportunity for her to work towards catching up was lost.
One can argue that she may pick up some legitimacy from her victories, that she won’t be so quickly forced out of the race, but statement that she has a real hope of winning the nomination requires a real suspension of disbelief. Even if she wins big in Pennsylvania in April, the numbers are stacked against her. The only real way for her to win would be for the superdelegates to override the popular vote and elected delegates. That’s just not going to happen, as it would be suicide for the Democratic party.
I think hillary knows all this, but listen to what she’s been hinting at recently: a shared ticket. If hillary loses the nomination to Obama by a relatively small margin, then she can argue that she has the support of a large fraction of the party. Obama may then be pressured into adding her on to the ticket as VP to placate the party and “bring people together” (which of course, he says, is his specialty). If hillary plays her cards right, this may be the inevitable outcome, which would of course position her well for a presidential run in 2012 if the pair wins the next two elections. The question is how averse Obama is to this idea.