The AIPAC Factor

Barack Obama is speaking right now before a roomful of Jewish leaders at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee’s annual conference, and Hillary Clinton’s up next.

Clinton isn’t expected to concede today, but imagine the favor she’d be doing Obama by stepping aside and pledging her full confidence in him in front of a group whose support Obama has struggled to win over . Remember how Mitt Romney dropped out at the Conservative Political Action Conference, two days after a slew of losses on Super Tuesday? He praised John McCain’s policies in his withdrawal speech, knowing it would help McCain to be lauded in front of conservative skeptics.

Clinton will eventually be forced to unify, and unify hard. That means rounding up voters with whom she performed better than Obama. Some have proposed that Clinton hold a big rally and call it “Women Voters for Obama.” She might also massage relations between Obama and her Hispanic supporters. A productive first step would be backing him in front of the Jewish community.

Update 11:32 a.m.: And praise him she does :

“Let me be clear: I know Senator Obama understands what is at stakehere. It has been an honor to contest these primaries with him,” shesaid. “I know that Senator Obama will be a good friend to Israel.”

“I know that Senator Obama shares my view,” she said, that Americamust remain a staunch Israeli ally, “our stance non-negotiable” andthat “the United States stands with Israel now and forever.

(via Ben Smith)