This statement from Dianne Feinstein (D-CA) is the kind of statement that signals that Sen. Clinton’s colleagues are telling her to wind this up. That doesn’t mean they are saying she needs to drop out of the race. I’m not even sure at this immediate juncture that it’s in Obama’s or the Democratic party’s interest for her to drop out of the race.

One concrete reason is that among the three contests to come over the next two weeks — West Virginia, Kentucky and Oregon — two are among the best for Hillary in the country. So having him become presumptive nominee just before losing the West Virginia primary doesn’t necessarily allow him to hit the ground running. And as Obama’s speech last night signaled, his campaign seems intent on giving Clinton the space to make the decision on her own. The eventual nomination he has in hand; what he’s got to work on is deescalating the tension between himself and Clinton’s supporters. That’s the necessary prelude to building the party unity he needs to win in November.

Both the Obama campaign and the supporters who are now telling her privately that it’s over are probably content with her staying in through this month. But it will have to be a different campaign, one focused on each of the Democratic contenders virtues and the crying folly of electing John McCain President of the United States. I don’t think Sen. Clinton will be hearing from many people who won’t be telling her that it’s time to start working this epic toward an honorable and unifying exit.

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