With Hillary Clinton's impending exit from the race, conventional wisdom has it that she's touting her supposed popular vote advantage to muscle her way onto the Obama ticket.
I don't buy it.
Even if Obama wins, VP would be a dead end for Hillary. If Obama loses, Hillary will be remembered as the candidate who lost both the nomination and during the general, just like John Edwards. If Obama wins, the first opportunity Hillary has to run again is in 2016, at age 69... 24 years after her husband was first elected.
I think most in the Democratic and Republican parties, as well as those in the Fourth Estate, would heartily agree that we need Hillary '16 like we need a hole in the head.
Hillary '12 might still be manageable if Obama loses and by a not insignificant margin, validating the Hillary '08 narrative. She could come back and say, "I told you so... and oh, by the way, I won the popular vote." The Clintons have probably internalized the Obama unelectability narrative more than any human beings alive. Why add insult to injury with a losing VP bid when HRC could easily assume the mantle of "lion of the Senate" from Ted Kennedy? Or, even, perhaps, run in 2012?
Still, Hillary 2012 is unlikely, just as Gore 2004 and Gore 2008 were. If Obama disappoints, they'll probably revert to some safe boring white guy four years hence.