Hillary Clinton made a very public point of keeping her options open—with Harold Ickes angrily reserving the campaign's right to appeal today's delegate decision—but she seems increasingly resolved to defeat, the New York Times reports. Instead of taking the fight to the convention, close associates think she'll drop out at some point after next week's results and endorse Barack Obama. Just don't bet the house on it.
Given the fireworks at today's rules committee meeting, the party's prospects of healing depend heavily on which route Clinton takes. “In order for us to be successful in November, the runner-up is going to have to go all out in support of the nominee,” said one party leader. Still, don't rule out a long summer. Despite her own growing pessimism, Clinton continues to insist to aides, albeit in a more subdued way, that she's the better candidate. (Read more Hillary Clinton stories.)