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“Hillary Deathwatch” Odds: 14.2 Percent

Barack Obama’s “bitter” comment is just the gaffe Clinton needed towoo superdelegates. Her chances of winning the nomination jump 4.5points to 14.2 percent .

Hillary Clinton neededa miracle. She’s down in pledged delegates, likely to lose the popularvote, and slipping on the superdelegate front. So, Barack Obama’s comment at a San Francisco fundraiser—that bitter Pennsylvanians “cling to gunsor religion or antipathy to people who aren’t like them” in response toeconomic hardship—is as close to divine intervention as she could get.With Pennsylvania a week off, Clinton has just enough time to fomentoutrage and perhaps regain her formerly wide lead in the polls. It’s also as comprehensive a gaffe as Obama could havemustered: It’s got elitism, guns, religion, immigration, and trade—justthe controversy cocktail Clinton was waiting for.

The “bitter”incident serves one real purpose for Clinton: It strengthens her caseto superdelegates. Clinton has already been painting a potential Obamanomination as a disaster scenario .This flap gives her fresh buckets and a new brush. Among her plausiblearguments: Obama just lost Pennsylvania in the general. He alienatedReagan Democrats across the country. He squandered a major advantageover the less-religious McCain. His “bitter” comments—and the attitudesthey represent—are just the tip of an iceberg of vulnerabilities . Clinton even compared him to John Kerry and Al Gore (so much for that endorsement), whovoters thought “did not really understand, or relate to, or respecttheir ways of life.” An Obama nomination, she can now argue, would bethe worst kind of disaster—a repeat. …

Read more at the Hillary Deathwatch .