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Pity The Poor Team Hillary Wretch

The cw this morning is that Obama must now find a way to get meaner without undermining the uplifting politics-of-hope rationale for his candidacy. But what next for Team Hillary? Her campaign has already gone seriously negative and won Pennsylvania and enjoyed several weeks of Obama controversies and mini-scandals. And yet the math remains what it is, and last night's win wasn't overwhelming enough to prompt a wave of superdelegate defections. So the candidate and her crew are faced with at least another month of diligently pick, pick, picking away at Obama's image, his popular margin, and his superdelegates--all the while praying for more and bigger scandals to crop up.

This seems like a hard, wearing slog for any campaign, much less one that is already exhausted. Newly appointed team co-leader Geoff Garin recently reassured me that morale around Ballston was high and everyone was still pulling together for the cause. Of course, he also acknowledged that he had only been at it a few weeks and was already tired. Some of his colleagues who have been fighting this fight for over a year now seemed physically and psychologically spent pre-Pennsylvania. And while I'm sure Team Hillary members would disagree, 10 points to me seems the cruelest of outcomes: a win big enough to compel their gal to keep going, but not big enough to fundamentally change the dynamics of the game.

So there will be no rest for the weary. But also no clearer path to victory.

--Michelle Cottle