Can Hillary Be Bought Out?

One almost feels bad for Hillary Clinton right now.

Scads of strategists, pundits and pals, like former Governor George McGovern, are asking her to step aside; newspapers, blogs and magazines have basically called Barack Obama the nominee; and, basically, everyone’s on her back.

While some of us would like such action, we’re pretty sure Clinton’s not so pleased. Nor are her die-hard supporters. But there may be some major incentives for her to leave…

Thomas Edsall reports:

One of the most inviting is the near certainty that the Obama campaign would agree to pay back the $11.4 million she has loaned her own bid, along with an estimated $10 million to $15 million in unpaid campaign expenses.

In addition, Democrats, both those who are loyal and those who are opposed to her campaign, say the odds of her winning a top leadership spot in the Senate would improve dramatically if she gracefully conceded now. The icing on the cake includes an improved political climate, giving Hillary and Bill Clinton the opportunity to heal the rift with the black political community.

While Clinton currently has her eye focused on only one thing, the presidential nomination, if she loses — as appears increasingly likely — her stature in the Senate will depend, in part, on whether she is ultimately seen as helping or hurting Obama’s chances in November.

Clinton, of course, refuses to exit – for now, at least.