05/25/2008 08:14 pm ET Updated May 25, 2011

After RFK: What Clinton Must Do Right Now

Some psycho somewhere heard Senator Clinton's reprehensible reference to RFK's assassination and interpreted the words as a message: Kill Barack Obama, kill hope.

For Clinton now, any apology is meaningless. Dropping out of the race won't neutralize this poison she's thrown into the wind. Instead, decency compels her to make a pledge to the American people:

"If Barack Obama is assassinated or in any way incapacitated by an attempt on his life, I, Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton, will neither seek nor accept the Democratic nomination for the presidency."

Because of the Clintons' unrivaled propensity for trying to wriggle free from even the most plain meaning of language, I'm tempted to demand a more elaborate pledge: no presidential run as an independent, for example. But there aren't enough words in the world to overcome bad faith. So I'll settle for the words above and count on the American people to hold her to the spirit of the pledge if something unspeakable happens.

Whether or not Senator Clinton will make such a pledge, I call upon the superdelegates to speak up now with one voice and send their own message to the psychos, to the would-be assassins. The superdelegates must make clear that murder is not some political tool, not some new metric that will push Senator Clinton into the lead for the nomination. They must make clear that Senator Clinton WILL NOT under any circumstances become the Democratic nominee if harm comes to Senator Obama.

To all clear-minded people, I hope it now goes without saying that Senator Clinton cannot be Senator Obama's vice president. Through carelessness, callousness, or malice, Senator Clinton has now cast permanent doubt over whether her vice presidency could be anything more than an impatient vigil for the gunshots that would elevate her to the presidency.

My fellow Americans, I am utterly heartsick.

If you pray tonight, please add a prayer for the safety of our candidates.

All of them.

Even the candidate who sees Bobby Kennedy's murder as a rationale for continuing her scorched-earth run for the highest office in the land.