One sure way to tell if Hillary is entering her “death with dignity” phase is the fact that the commentary has shifted from hashing over every detail of the Democrats’ race, to focus instead on the impending Obama/McCain showdown…

Hillary’s death with dignity phase. The New York senator has obviously reached the death-with-dignity phase of her 2008 ambitions. Normally in presidential politics three types of shortages drive a candidate out of a hopeless race — a lack of press coverage, money and prominent supporters willing to keep on spinning and sowing. But, as Barack Obama is learning with each passing day, none of the usual rules apply while waiting for Hillary to hoist the white flag. The Clintons on the downslide remain a riveting psychodrama, so the press pack is unlikely to abandon them to speculate about President Obama’s would-be secretary of agriculture. — Walter Shapiro, Salon

The cult of president. The chief executive of the United States is no longer a mere constitutional officer charged with faithful execution of the laws. He is a soul nourisher, a hope giver, a living American talisman against hurricanes, terrorism, economic downturns, and spiritual malaise. He—or she—is the one who answers the phone at 3 a.m. to keep our children safe from harm. The modern president is America’s shrink, a social worker, our very own national talk show host. He’s also the Supreme Warlord of the Earth. — Gene Healy, Reason Magazine

Questions for McCain. Your goal in Iraq is “success,” which you define as “the establishment of a generally peaceful, stable, prosperous, democratic state.” Would a “generally” peaceful, stable, prosperous but authoritarian state be unacceptable? Or a mildly prosperous and “generally” stable state but one with simmering violence—which describes a number of nations today, including Iraq? — Newsweek

Impeachment motivates the Clintons. The Clintons find themselves victimized and under siege. The presidency is being stolen from them. The press is out to get them. They deride elites and champion the masses. They live in a constant state of emergency. But they will endure any humiliation, ride out any crisis, fight on even when fighting seems hopeless. That might sound like a fair summary of how Bill and Hillary Clinton have viewed the past five months. But it also happens to describe what, until now, was the greatest ordeal of the Clintons’ almost comically turbulent political careers: impeachment. — Michael Crowley, TNR

McCain’s 7 steps to beating Obama. For weeks now, the Arizona senator’s campaign has been laying its cards on the table, spelling out a strategy for November. Here’s a look at seven of their key strategies. 1. Paint Obama as a False Messiah. The big debut for this message came on the night of the Virginia and Maryland primaries. Mike Huckabee was still in the race, but the McCain campaign wanted to pivot towards the general election. So at an Alexandria Holiday Inn, McCain offered these words: “I do not seek the presidency on the presumption that I am blessed with such personal greatness that history has anointed me to save my country in its hour of need.” The code was not hard to break. — Time