Heart-ache: Hillary to release delegates on Wednesday? Update: 42% of pledged Hillary delegates say they'll vote for her

My heart leaped this morning when the Observer reported that she hadn’t yet asked the New York delegation to vote for Obama, but it turns out she’s saving that for some sort of political Masada in which her doomed band of scrappy holdouts will finally resign itself to its fate. I’ll be there in spirit.

Clinton has invited her pledged delegates to a reception at the Colorado Convention Center, not far from the main Democratic National Convention arena…

A Democratic official told The Associated Press Sunday, a day before the convention begins, that she is expected to release her delegates at the Wednesday event. The official spoke on condition of anonymity because the person was not authorized to discuss details publicly…

Some Clinton delegates still plan to vote for her at the convention, even if she releases them.

“This is much bigger than Hillary,” said Pam Durham, a Clinton delegate from Fort Worth, Texas. “I have a responsibility. I do not own my vote. I have to represent the voters who sent me.”

Heart-ache to be sure, but only minor heart-ache: What else could she do, realistically? No matter how she plays it, some of her delegates will defect to support the presumptive nominee, leaving her potentially in the predicament of not only having pissed Obama off by not releasing them but humiliated by her wide margin of defeat in a quasi-contested roll call vote. Better to be the magnanimous loser, cast them off, then be pleasantly surprised by the number who choose to vote for her anyway. And of course, there’s always VP…

The pressure on her to tear McCain a new Maverick hole on Tuesday as payback for this morning’s ad will be enormous, so I dearly hope the RNC has something set to go in response. There’s no shortage of money Hillary clips from the primaries —
“shame on you, Barack Obama,” the immortal “celestial choirs” goof, and of course her acidic comparison back in March between McCain’s “lifetime of experience” and The One’s blank-page resume — and McCain’s got airtime available to put them to use. If they’re looking for a killer quote to nail it down, no worries — it’s Ed Rendell to the rescue!

Update: Hot off the presses from the NYT and CBS, 42 percent of her delegates (20 percent of all delegates) say they’re ready to go PUMA. Will releasing them change that?

An 80/20 split on the roll after kissing her delegates off will make for a nice little media meme about disgruntled Democrat swing voters in November. How many of them are there, potentially? Not as many as you think — but enough.

Belated exit question: If Hillary comes out on Tuesday night and delivers a stemwinder on Obama’s behalf, as she almost surely will, how sickeningly purple will the nutroots prose saluting her be? Scale of one to 10. After months of sputtering about her gobsmacking vileness, I expect Sullivan to be at his fulsomely obsequious best.