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Clinton's End Game: More To The Story Than Meets The Eye

Friday, 6 Jun 2008 | 3:23 PM ET
AP

Some people assume the worst about Hillary Clinton, who tomorrow will formally end his campaign for the Democratic nomination and endorse Barack Obama.

And those people have had a field day with her campaign's endgame, seeing Clinton as caring only about herself.

But sometimes there's more to the story. Clinton had wanted more time to consider how she would end her campaign, and rebuffed senatorial colleagues on a conference call Wednesday in which they urged her to quit promptly.

She delivered the same message on a call later on Wednesday with House members, one lawmaker close to Clinton told me. But when another member pointed out that several of her African American backers might face primary challenges if they refused to promptly embrace Obama, Clinton changed course. She decided to signal an end to her campaign, which she did within hours.

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Senator Obama meets privately with Senator Clinton at her home in Washington last night. Details with CNBC's John Harwood

That in turn allowed her backers to endorse Obama, a step they considered crucial to THEIR political survival. The decision surprised her own aides, and it hardly fit the stereotype of a politician concerned only for herself.

Questions? Comments? Write to politicalcapital@cnbc.com.