Surely this is the nail in her campaign coffin? Well, it’s not great, admits Hillary’s camp at the news that John Edwards has finally pulled his finger out and will endorse Barack Obama. Of course that doesn’t mean they won’t firmly remain in denial:

“Well, I don’t think it’s good news, but there’s a lot of news in this business and we move forward and move past it,” a Clinton advisor told ABC News.

It’s this kind of denial that has inspired Dana Milbank of The Washington Post’s Sketch to intersperse details of Hillary’s relentless campaign diary with excerpts of Monty Python’s dead parrot sketch, with very apt results:

Edwards anoints Obama. Senator John Edwards, the former senator from North Carolina who bowed out of the presidential race in January, is expected to endorse Senator Barack Obama at a rally being held here after 6 p.m. Officials announced the news shortly after Mr. Obama landed here late this afternoon. The campaign has timed the announcement to coincide with the start of the major evening newscasts, which would have otherwise focused on Senator Hillary Clinton’s landslide victory in West Virginia, which raised new questions about Mr. Obama’s strength with white working class voters. Mr. Edwards has been watched closely for who he would endorse, and Mr. Obama’s campaign is hoping it will be taken as the start of a partywide coalescence around Mr. Obama as the Democratic nominee. — The Carpetbagger Report

Hillary is the dead parrot. Customer: “Look, matey, I know a dead parrot when I see one, and I’m looking at one right now.” Pet-shop owner: “No, no he’s not dead, he’s — he’s resting! Remarkable bird, the Norwegian blue, isn’t it, aye? Beautiful plumage!” — From “Monty Python’s Flying Circus” 11:45 a.m., Melrose Hotel, Foggy Bottom: It’s Day 7 of the Clinton Campaign Death Watch — a full week since the official arbiter of the Democratic primary, Tim Russert, declared the campaign over and Barack Obama the nominee. Hillary Clinton’s advisers continue to insist that the candidate’s prospects are very much alive, but the press isn’t buying it. Exhibit A: There are two press buses waiting at the hotel here for Clinton’s trip to her victory rally in West Virginia, but the entire press contingent doesn’t quite fill one. — Dana Milbank, Washington sketch, Washington Post

Obama can’t ignore West Virginia. Obama is acting the diffident debutante, pretending not to care that he was given a raspberry by a state he will need in the fall. He was dismissed not only by the voters Hillary usually gets, but was also edged out in blocs that usually prefer him — the under-30 set, college graduates and affluent voters. Interviews with West Virginians leaving the polls showed some profound weaknesses that could haunt the Illinois senator in the fall. More than half said they would be dissatisfied if Obama was the nominee. Half believe he shares the views of the Rev. Wright, and more than half said he does not share their values. — Maureen Dowd, New York Times

GOP cancer. For the past 18 months, ever since the 2006 elections, congressional Republicans have been like a hospital patient trying to convince visitors that he is not really all that sick: a bit under the weather; actually feel better than I sound; should be up and about any day; thanks for asking. Suddenly — belatedly — all pretense is gone. — Politico

Hurricane Hillary won’t stop. Bulletin to all nations: help! Tornadoes, typhoons and earthquakes batter the globe, while the U.S. is teetering into recession and paralyzed by a stupid war it can neither win nor quit. But somehow we are locked at the hip to Hillary Clinton, who won’t stop her manic tarantella until her party whirls into ruins, like the run-amuck carousel in Alfred Hitchcock’s “Strangers on a Train.” — Camille Paglia, Salon

Obama goes for Christians. CBN’s David Brody reports on a new Obama flyer in Kentucky showing the candidate in front of a large illuminated cross: I have been telling Brody File readers for months that if Barack Obama becomes the Democratic nominee he will make a pitch to win over independent/moderate Evangelicals. Well, we now have evidence. — The Huffington Post

Truth serum. It’s been a blast, this presidential campaign. A great story, full of drama. But no one should think it’s been honest. With the possible exception of Iraq — where candidates are compelled to face real issues — the campaign has been an exercise in mass merchandising. — Robert Samuelson, RealClearPolitics

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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