"My attitude is that Senator Clinton can run as long as she wants," Obama told reporters in Johnstown, Pa. "Her name's on the ballot, and she is a fierce and formidable competitor, and she obviously believes that she would make the best nominee and the best president."
So who am I to argue against that?*
He added, "I think that, you know, she should be able to compete and her supporters should be able to support her, for as long as they are willing or able." And that could be into early June, through all 10 remaining primaries, Obama said. "We will have had contests in all 50 states plus several territories. We will have tallied up the pledged delegate vote, we will have tallied up the popular vote, we will have tallied up how many states were won by who, and then at that point I think people should have more than enough information to make a decision. "
Yes, they will. Now the pivot:
He downplayed the notion that an extended contest could bruise the eventual winner, to Republican Sen. John McCain's advantage. "I think that the notion that the party's been divided by this contest is somewhat overstated," Obama said. "There's no doubt that, among some of my supporters or some of her supporters, there's probably been some irritation created. But I also think, every contest you've seen, in every state -- huge jumps in Democratic registration, including independents and Republicans who are changing registration to vote in the Democratic primaries. You know, those are people who are now invested in what happens. And I think that bodes very well for us in November."
Pretty smart thing for Obama to do. Dismiss his competitor as quixotic while at the same time turning his attention to John McSame.
If he spends more time disregarding the politics of personal destruction Mrs. Clinton and her surrogates continue to practice while sharpening his attacks against his eventual fall opponent, he automatically rises in stature.
* I probably still will, just for the record.