Clinton Hopes to Reprise 'Comeback Kid' Role

Will she drop out of the Democratic presidential contest or won't she? Should she or shouldn't she? Daniel Schorr says the "Comeback Kid" is a Clinton tradition and, if Sen. Hillary Clinton ultimately loses the nomination, she will go down with all guns blazing.

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DANIEL SCHORR: Quiz question, not so trivial: Will she or won't she?

ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

NPR's senior news analyst, Daniel Schorr.

SCHORR: The she, you guessed it, is Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton. She is the subject of endless speculation about whether she will drop out of the presidential race considering that she's behind Senator Barack Obama in the delegate count. It doesn't help that the public foresees Obama as a stronger candidate against Senator John McCain, according to the polls.

But in a volatile situation, that may not be decisive. It wasn't for nothing that Senator Clinton's husband dubbed himself the Comeback Kid, faced with the possibility of overwhelming defeat in the 1992 New Hampshire primary. After the revelation of his relationship with Jennifer Flowers, he lost by just under nine points. Under the circumstances, a victory.

So now, the great game of doing better than expected is being played out in the run-up to the Pennsylvania primary. Obama supporters seemed delighted to concede Senator Clinton a big lead. That way, if she wins the primary by anything less than double digits, they can claim victory over expectations.

What about all the speculation that Obama will strike a bargain with Clinton, say, cabinet member, vice president? Those who know her best say, not a chance.

And Senator Clinton, who has invested so much into becoming not the first lady but the first woman in the White House, says she's going to stay in the race until the nominating convention in August.

Bill Clinton, in his speech in California, also urged Democrats to support a nomination battle right up to the convention. We are going to win this election, he said, if we just chill out and that everybody have their say.

The comeback kid is a Clinton tradition. It looks as though, if Senator Clinton does go down, she will go down with all guns blazing.

This is Daniel Schorr.

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