But there's another scenario I'd like to discuss:
One where Obama doesn't even end up as the nominee.
Again, look at the chessboard and where the pieces are. See how the moves could play out from here.
First we have Hillary's name being put on the nomination ballot as a favor to her and her supporters.
"I am convinced that honoring Clinton's historic campaign in this way will help us celebrate this defining moment in our history and bring the party together in a strong, united fashion," Obama said in a statement.A move to restore party unity, while the Hillary or Bust faction of the Democrats proudly call themselves the PUMAs...Party Unity, My Ass! It's not being put on for their show. It's being put on like wool over our eyes.
Observers have been wondering for months whether there continues to be a rift between the two former opponents, and there have been several reports that Clinton supporters plan to demonstrate at the Aug. 25-28 convention in Denver, Colo.
Placing both names in nomination will serve as "a show of unity and in recognition of the historic race she ran and the fact that she was the first woman to compete in all of our nation's primary contests," said another joint statement by the campaigns of Obama and Clinton.
Second, both Bill and Hillary will speak at the convention. I am convinced they will make the case not for Hillary, but against Obama.
Third, party leaders are now openly questioning Obama, and the Village media is going right along with it, a week before the convention.
As Senator Barack Obama prepares to accept the Democratic presidential nomination next week, party leaders in battleground states say the fight ahead against Senator John McCain looks tougher than they imagined, with Mr. Obama vulnerable on multiple fronts despite weeks of cross-country and overseas campaigning.
These Democrats — 15 governors, members of Congress and state party leaders — say Mr. Obama has yet to convert his popularity among many Americans into solutions to crucial electoral challenges: showing ownership of an issue, like economic stewardship or national security; winning over supporters of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton; and minimizing his race and experience level as concerns for voters.
Mr. Obama has run for the last 18 months as the candidate of hope. Yet party leaders — while enthusiastic about Mr. Obama and his state-by-state campaign operations — say he must do more to convince the many undecided Democrats and independents that he would address their financial anxieties rather than run, by and large, as an agent of change — given that change, they note, is not an issue.
“I particularly hope he strengthens his economic message — even Senator Obama can speak more clearly and specifically about the kitchen-table, bread-and-butter issues like high energy costs,” said Gov. Ted Strickland of Ohio. “It’s fine to tell people about hope and change, but you have to have plenty of concrete, pragmatic ideas that bring hope and change to life.”
Or, in the blunter words of Gov. Phil Bredesen, Democrat of Tennessee: “Instead of giving big speeches at big stadiums, he needs to give straight-up 10-word answers to people at Wal-Mart about how he would improve their lives.”Does this look like party unity to you? It looks like a revolt to me. These are folks supposedly on Obama's side, but is this being sent as a clear warning that the Democrats believe Obama should decline the nomination for Hillary? When's the last time you heard of a presumptive nominee getting attacked like this a week before the convention?
Fourth, The Media is playing along. Everywhere you look we're being told that "Obama has a slim lead that is tightening." He's not 15 or 20 points ahead when by all accounts he should be. The Village seems to think Obama has already lost. McCain is the maverick underdog, while Obama is the faltering and fading star. The reality is McCain is running a miserable campaign...but the Village and the noise machine are selling the "Obama is in trouble" narrative as hard as they can in a year when the GOP as a whole is about to find itself losing another 30 seats in the House and possibly enough in the Senate to give the Dems a filibuster proof 60.
And yet the "Obama in trouble" narrative won't end. Why is that?
The obvious answer is that Hillary's move won't come now, but in 2012. She figures she can beat McCain. But there's still a slight chance that she'll go for the brass ring. Obama won't have the support when he needs it. It could happen...there's a chance the nomination vote will get held up, then contested...then fought out for real. Neither side will have the 2,118 needed for the nomination.
A brutal floor fight could go Hillary's way. Things would have to play perfectly for her, but it's possible. Obama could give up for the good of the party.
From there it's anyone's guess. I'm hoping I'm crazy. But I forsee some bad, bad things in Denver for Obama.