After Tuesday's split decision, the media is abuzz about what options now remain for Sen. Hillary Clinton. Several have suggested that the race is over, and that Barack Obama is now the de fact nominee. Others have compiled a new list of obstacles barring Clinton's path: money, momentum and superdelegate support.
With this frame in mind, several have suggested the period of escalating harshness in the Democratic primary is finished. Mike Allen wrote this morning of Hillary's campaign:
She may continue the campaign, but the harsh attacks are over.
Roger Simon worried about the risk to Clinton's political future if she continues to attack Obama:
She has options, but only if she manages her endgame carefully.
If she becomes known as the candidate who was willing to destroy her party in order to gain the nomination, she is likely to lose not just the nomination but also her political future.
Even Karl Rove, who once penned an article advising Clinton to attack Obama (largely as an excuse to air as many attacks on the Illinois senator as possible), told Fox News:
Tonight, we saw gracious talk from both candidates. Both of them complimented each other. Both of them pledged unity. It doesn't hurt Hillary Clinton to go forward from her with that same kind of tone, and let the process play out till the end of June."
Clinton is meeting with her advisers today in D.C., and she has signaled that she will continue the race; she even scheduled extra events in West Virginia Wednesday to fight suggestions that she was withdrawing from the public attention. The tenor she takes there might well determine if the Democratic race will continue to be a bitter event.