When Hillary Clinton throws in the towel, how far will she toss it?
Perhaps it was absurd to think that a Hillary Clinton concession speech could ever be a neat and simple matter. As it is, the initial orchestration of the one she's preparing to give at the end of this week has been anything but.
It had surprised many, including some of her high-profile supporters on Capitol Hill, that on Tuesday night she made no public acknowledgment that Barack Obama had surpassed the number of delegate commitments needed to claim the Democratic presidential nomination.
As the hours crept by on Wednesday, even those who had cut her some slack began to grow a bit concerned that it remained unclear what she had in mind.
Finally, though, word surfaced early in the evening on the East Coast that she had picked Friday to announce she would be folding her tent.
Better a little late than a lot late, in the eyes of most party leaders. Still, some confusion reigned.
At first, it was unclear whether Clinton's speech would take place in New York or Washington. But then, what remains of the Clinton campaign issued this statement:
"Sen. Clinton will be hosting an event in Washington, D.C., on Friday to thank her supporters and express her support for Sen. Obama and party unity."
Shortly thereafter, an amended statement was released:
"Sen. Clinton will be hosting an event in Washington, D.C., to thank her supporters and express her support for Sen. Obama and party unity. This event will be held on Saturday to accommodate more of Sen. Clinton's supporters who want to attend."
As we said, it was foolish to assume this would be easy.
Intriguingly, missing from either statement is the e-word: endorse.
Perhaps that's a meaningless nuance. But between now and her remarks, speculation will run rampant over such matters. And once she says her piece, virtually every sentence -- as well as the event's choreography -- will get pored over for clues on how sincere her embrace of Obama has been.
The Times has more on Clinton's exit from the race here.
-- Don Frederick