. . . your own opinion doesn’t count for much. A couple of weeks ago Barack Obama whomped Hillary Clinton in North Carolina and lost to her narrowly in Indiana, outcomes that were generally expected. Overnight, the media (and apparently the Democratic Party) decided that was that — Obama had wrapped up the nomination. The tone of the coverage underwent a sea change. Clinton was now an object of affection and indulgence:

My column on Wednesday argued for Clinton to gracefully exit the stage now that it looks like there are no more rabbits to pull out of her electoral hat. But readers — not all of them women — pushed back. Let her quit when she’s good and ready, many argued. She’s earned that right. Carol Marin, Sun-Times.

She wasn’t denied the nomination. She wasn’t cheated. She simply competed fiercely and did not win. That doesn’t mean her candidacy was not a triumph. Michael Tackett, Tribune.

revisionist gratitude:

Does Senator Barack Obama come out a bloody mess, or a battle-tested warrior? . . . Could competing against Mrs. Clinton have improved Mr. Obama as a candidate in the same way that competing against Larry Bird and Magic Johnson in the 1980s made Isiah Thomas and Michael Jordan champions in the 1990s? Mark Leibovich, New York Times.

and avuncular wisdom:

Yes, Hillary, America is worth fighting for. But the best way to fight for America now is to give up the fight. Sun-Times editorial.

But then there’s today’s primary in West Virginia, where polls show Clinton leading Obama better than two-to-one. Which means that the media’s next assignment will be to sound less than absurd dismissing Obama’s crushing defeat. It’s not easy being a pundit. This will test the best of them.