Hillary Clinton may have scored a big victory in West Virginia on Tuesday night, but it seems clear that the Democratic establishment still believes Barack Obama will end up as the party's nominee. In one sign of that, NARAL Pro-Choice America's political action committee endorsed Obama on Wednesday.
The endorsement, coming as it does from one of the country's most influential pro-choice groups, a natural constituency for Clinton, has to hurt the Clinton campaign. And the language of the statement that announced the decision can't have been much comfort, as it seemed based mainly on the perception that Obama is almost certain to be the nominee.
In the statement the group's president, Nancy Keenan, said, "Pro-choice Americans have been fortunate to have two strong pro-choice candidates in Sen. Obama and Sen. Clinton ... We are proud to put our organization's ... support behind the pro-choice candidate whom we believe will secure the Democratic nomination and advance to the general election. That candidate is Sen. Obama."
Keenan also drew a sharp contrast between Obama and presumptive Republican nominee John McCain, a contrast that of course took it for granted that Obama would be the one to face McCain in the general election. "While Sen. Obama has consistently and passionately stood up for and articulated his support for the values of freedom and privacy, John McCain has said that he wants Roe v. Wade to be overturned," Keenan said. "McCain wants to continue George W. Bush's failed abstinence-only policy, eliminate funding for low-income women's access to birth control, and stack the Supreme Court with even more right-wing judges who don't believe in the right to privacy."