Clinton now out on Saturday

According to the Washington Post, Clinton will bow out on Saturday instead of Friday, as ABC News previously reported. Note the use of the word “likely” in the first sentence of the first paragraph and the phrase “did not officially confirm her decision” in the first sentence of the second paragraph. Not even the WaPo is completely convinced it’s actually going to happen:

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton is likely to suspend her presidential campaign on Saturday and endorse Sen. Barack Obama, the Democratic Party’s presumptive nominee, according to informed sources, after a day in which many of her key supporters and party leaders encouraged the senator from New York to make a quick decision in the interest of party unity.

The Clinton campaign issued a statement late yesterday that did not officially confirm her decision but said Clinton would hold an event in Washington “to thank her supporters and express her support for Senator Obama and party unity.” The event was originally scheduled for tomorrow, but in a subsequent release her campaign announced that it would be moved to Saturday “to accommodate more of Senator Clinton’s supporters who want to attend.”

The decision came hours after the launch of an aggressive campaign by some of Clinton’s supporters to encourage Obama to pick her as his running mate had further stoked tensions with backers of the senator from Illinois. Robert L. Johnson, the founder of Black Entertainment Television and a prominent Clinton confidant, said in an interview that she was “absolutely ready” to talk to Obama about the No. 2 slot and would take it if offered.

Tomorrow are we going to hear that it’s been pushed back to Sunday to “accommodate more of her supporters”?

Right now, the mainstream media have got to be holding their collective breath waiting to see if she really accepts defeat. For Obama’s people, watching Hillary must be kind of like watching Glenn Close in Fatal Attraction. They’re on pins and needles afraid to let their guard down, not sure if she’s going to jump up from the water again.

Update: The Wall Street Journal is also reporting that she’s out on Saturday but that she’s also out as a VP choice for Obama.

Supporters of Sen. Hillary Clinton suggested she would like to be Sen. Barack Obama’s running mate, but close advisers to Sen. Obama are signaling that an Obama-Clinton ticket is highly unlikely.

Some in the Clinton camp also noted a possible deal-breaker for a party-unity ticket: Bill Clinton may balk at releasing records of his business dealings and big donors to his presidential library.

Sen. Clinton scheduled a gathering for her staff at her house Saturday, where she will end her campaign and concede the nomination, three advisers said.

A day after his history-making declaration that he had enough delegates for the nomination, Sen. Obama on Wednesday named a search team for a vice-presidential running mate. The first African-American nominee for a major party tapped two high-profile supporters–Caroline Kennedy, daughter of the late President Kennedy, and Eric Holder, President Clinton’s former deputy attorney general. They join Jim Johnson, a former Fannie Mae chairman, who had already been enlisted to lead the search and vet potential choices.

Referring to a potential vice-presidential slot for Sen. Clinton, a senior Obama adviser says: “The more this gets vetted the less likely it becomes.”

Sen. Clinton would present problems of her own for Sen. Obama, advisers in both camps say: As half of the couple that has dominated in the Democratic Party and Washington for 16 years, she would “completely undermine the Obama message” of change and new direction in politics, as one Clinton confidant put it.

Update II: Dan Riehl is on the same page I am about Hillary’s dropping out:

I’m not suggesting Hillary is in the driver’s seat in any way. That hasn’t really been true for months. But you are indeed a fool if you think this is absolutely over. Retaining her delegates is important. Were she to release them, she’d be at square one with everyone else if Obama self-destructs, or is damaged in some major way before the convention.

And don’t think there won’t be Clinton operatives looking to make just that very thing happen, if possible. At worst, Obama becomes damaged enough to lose the general election, opening the door, again, for Hillary in 2012.

I’m not sure enough of the party would want her then. But that wouldn’t stop her from trying to put an iron grip on the 2012 nomination if the opportunity exists. Hillary is Nixonian when it comes to her political ambitions. And someone, somewhere is going to have her to kick around politically for as long as she lives. In the end, I suspect it’s all she has lived for up until now.

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