One of the main assumptions underlying Rachel Maddow's recent warning about Hillary's intentions is that the Democrats can't win after a contested convention.
As this race has progressed, and it has become more apparent that Hillary has every intention of risking political suicide to keep her campaign alive to the bitter end, I have to think that Obama has been planning for this eventuality.
Clearly, a man running to be the Nation's first black president isn't going to accept conventional wisdom that says he can't win after a contested convention just because no one has ever done it before!
In keeping with everything else about the Obama campaign, I suspect that he is prepared to use the time between the last primary on June 3 and the convention in late August to position himself against John McCain't and begin uniting the party, even if Hillary is still yapping like a startled dog about her electibility!
I suspect Obama now knows he can essentially ignore her without fear of superdelegate defections, and thus begin the general election campaign, because he understands that she has at least three strikes against her that she'll never be able overcome with the superdelegates:
1. She signed a pledge regarding Michigan and Florida and then reneged when it suited her!
2. She used racial fears to solidify her base, but alienated both the African-American community and all the other Democrats who value them!
3. Her RFK comment was either a) intentionally devious and unpresidential, or b) carelessly insensitive and unpresidential!
Without the ability to gain superdelegate support, Hillary's campaign (and now probably her political career) is dead in the water. Her "base" will slowly shrink to Bushian proportions, and have just about as much influence on the general election.
In other words, if Hillary contests the convention, and there's no one there who hears her, does she make a sound?