Why does she stay, hanging in there like a bad smell? There are Hillary's reasons and there are other reasons.
Hillary's Number One:
She claims she is working on behalf of the Democrats because she has more appeal to whites than Obama and can win in the fall while he cannot.
That is bunk. Obama has won twice as many states as she has with more popular votes and delegates and -- the last time I looked -- some of the whitest states in the nation such as Iowa, Idaho or Oregon.
Facts are that the opposite is true. Obama is more electable because his campaign has made the pie grow by broadening the base of interest in politics in general and him in particular. Conversely, if Hillary replaced him as the candidate, his departure will make the pie shrink. Young people, independents and huge numbers of African Americans are turning out for the first time, or in a long time, for Obama.
Hillary's Number Two:
She claims that she is the champion of democracy and wants everyone to be able to cast and ballot. She also wants the party to recognize Florida and Michigan's results, delegates and votes added to her side of the roster even though both primaries were not recognized by the party because they broke the rules.
But recognizing the half-assed results in those two states would represent the opposite of democracy because Obama did not even place his name on the ballot in Michigan and neither candidate campaigned in Florida. Michigan votes never made a choice between Hillary or Obama so that outcome is totally invalid. And Florida, for goodness sakes, is going to vote Republican anyway which is why neither one campaigned there.
Here's the skinny:
1. She's running because she can.
The Clinton's campaign would have gone bust weeks ago but the couple has reportedly "loaned" $20 million of their $109 million fortune to her cause. Her campaign is $31 million in hock. Obama has garnered a record-setting amount of money and 1.5 million donors, a record number.
2. This is really all about Bill, not Hillary.
He wants his backdoor entry to the White House. He is a pathological competitor who is more motivated the more others pass him by, from Al Gore to Bill Richardson and certainly Barack Obama. Besides that, Hillary knows that idle hands are the devil's tools and once she is out, Bill's wandering eye will turn elsewhere.
The Clintons are betting their farm that Obama will make a mistake or that her persistence will somehow force him to choose her and Bill as his running mates -- a move that former Clinton advisor Dick Morris said would lead to upstaging and backstabbing in the White House.
Follow Diane Francis on Twitter: www.twitter.com/@dianefrancis1