Yeah, he’s an Obama supporter, but he’s big enough within the party that his willingness to make noise about this may embolden other big names to start making noise too. Dean’s pushing back this morning against her “all the way to the convention” plan, and while the Goracle’s not quite yet ready to drop the hammer, that “we’ll see” that he tacks on at the end doesn’t exactly foreclose the possibility.

Sen. Pat Leahy, D-Vermont, the chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee and a high-profile supporter of Sen. Barack Obama, D-Illinois, has called for Obama’s opponent to drop out of the race.

In an interview on Vermont Public Radio, said “There is no way that Senator Clinton is going to win enough delegates to get the nomination. She ought to withdraw and she ought to be backing Senator Obama. Now, obviously that’s a decision that only she can make frankly I feel that she would have a tremendous career in the Senate.”

Assume she loses North Carolina and Indiana. The party bigwigs, mindful of reports that “[a]ccording to those close to her, she is hoping that as spring becomes summer, the potential for finding another skeleton or two in Obama’s closet will prove him ultimately unelectable in the fall,” decide it’s time to approach her as a group and have The Chat before she descends into full blown Lady Macbeth dementia. Question: What can they threaten her with to force her out? They need an irresistible force to move the immovable object, but unless they’re willing to go nuclear and start leaking dirt on her to the press, there’s nothing realistically they can do. They’re not going to run a primary challenger against her in New York four years from now; they’re not going to strip her of her committee seats lest it send her supporters into a pre-election rage. Peggy Noonan calls Hillary’s self-delusion about her chances “the worst case of cognitive dissonance in the history of modern politics,” but that cognitive dissonance is momentarily shared by tens of millions of Clinton-loving Democrats the party needs for the general. Hillary may be a lost cause but most of them aren’t (I think). What can Pelosi et al. do to convince them that endgame is, at last, at hand?