ABC: Hillary out by Friday

How many times will the networks have Hillary Clinton conceding the primary race? We’ve heard the rumors a few times — after North Carolina and Indiana, after Oregon, and earlier this week after the Rules & Bylaws Committee meeting. ABC says this time the rumors are true, and that she’ll be out by Friday:

It’s over.

Sen. Hillary Clinton will drop out of the presidential race on Friday, ending her historic bid for the White House and ceding the Democratic nomination to Barack Obama, ABC News has learned.

Clinton’s decision to leave the race ends a long, often bitter battle for the right to challenge Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., in the general election.

I’ll believe it when I see it. Why bow out now? She has two months to work on the superdelegates, trying to convince 200 or so to change their minds and their votes at the convention. Even while Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid demand commitments now, nothing prevents them from switching between now and then.

If ABC has this right, Hillary got a deal to save face and retire some debt. She will need a lot of help in the latter, being over $20 million in the red. She will also want an important role, one from which she can run again for President if possible. Secretary of State, perhaps? That will infuriate Joe Biden, but that’s just a fringe benefit.

Now we can look forward to something else besides the mythical Michelle tape this week.

Update (AP): McAuliffe must have known. He’s been drinking since this morning.