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Hillary's Sacrifice?

The New York Observer has an interesting story (via RCP) on Hillary's party-unifying efforts, including this nugget:

The feeling—even among those of Mrs. Clinton’s high-profile supporters who are inclined not to hold a grudge—remains that it is she who made the sacrifice in calling an end to the race for the nomination.

“She essentially tied,” said Ellen Moran, the executive director of Emily’s List, an influential political action committee that supports female Democratic candidates. “He had a few more delegates, she arguably had a few more popular votes, she fought this thing to a near draw, and she has handled herself in the aftermath of that completely gracefully; she gave what many of us thought was the speech of a lifetime on Saturday and was incredibly compelling.”

Uh, you say, "made the sacrifice," I say, "lost."

To borrow Chris's metaphor, she made a sacrifice the same way the Detroit Pistons made a sacrifice when they declined to insist they were the Eastern Conference's rightful representative in the NBA Finals.

The Observer also had this sharp observation from Rep. Artur Davis, a top Obama supporter:

In Mr. Davis’ reckoning, there were left-leaning professionals who identified with Mrs. Clinton and passionately backed her—these women would never vote for a pro-life Republican anyway, he said—and more culturally conservative working-class women.

“I think she can help make the case to one cohort—I am not so convinced that she can help make the case to the other cohort because I am not so sure that cohort was voting for Hillary Clinton as much as they were voting against Barack Obama,” said Mr. Davis. 

Incidentally, this is the same reason I don't think there'd be a ton of fallout from putting Jim Webb on the ticket, despite the hair-raising statements he's made about women.

That is, the women most likely to be outraged by Webb are in that first group--left-leaning professionals who care too much about abortion rights and health care and the war to ultimately vote for McCain, or even sit the election out. The second group of women is the one that's really in play, and I think Webb helps as much as he hurts with them. (I don't think they'd be nearly as sensitive to his comments on gender.)

--Noam Scheiber