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Hillary: It's time for a gracious exit

Bow out now and you'll be hailed as party savior – and a woman of principle

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Dear Hillary,

Enough. You've reaffirmed your standing as a fighter, reconnected with blue-collar America, forged an identity as a woman of heart and steel. Now you can be a uniter, too, hailed for your toughness and grace in recognizing when a losing cause is just that.

It's time to bow out of the Democratic contest.

Yes, you can fight clear through to the convention, demand that the Florida and Michigan delegations be seated; bring in your attack dogs to question Barack Obama's – um – masculine fortitude; wink at another round of Internet whispers that question your opponent's funny name, his patriotism, and his religion.

You can bash the press, browbeat the superdelegates, and boast of your prowess in the working-class kitchens of big states the party must win come November. You can post more ads of that irritating red phone and revel in your ability to nick your opponent just enough to keep him slightly off stride.

But you'll still lose. And the Democratic Party may lose with you.

Consider your legacy. Do you want to be remembered as Hillary the Pillorer, Hillary the Heckler, Clinton the Cutthroat? Surely not.

Doesn't Hillary the Healer seem more salving, more uplifting, on the pages of Democratic Party history? Surely you and Bill don't want to risk discarding your moneymaking memoirs in the trash heap of Democratic sore losers?

In so many intimate aspects of life, timing is everything. And in the end, even in the 24-7 glare of panting journalists and pushy photographers, politics is a most intimate sport. Seize the moment.


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