I’ve always felt as if there was quite a lot of entitlement the Clinton campaign’s treatment of this primary–as if they just took it to be obvious that Clinton’s position in the democratic establishment meant that she had to be the nominee. I don’t like to make much of it, because that’s a criticism heavily influenced by unreliable gut reactions. But here goes:

“An act of betrayal,” said James Carville, an adviser to Mrs. Clinton and a friend of Mr. Clinton.

“Mr. Richardson’s endorsement came right around the anniversary of the day when Judas sold out for 30 pieces of silver, so I think the timing is appropriate, if ironic,” Mr. Carville said, referring to Holy Week.

Aside from the fact that Richardson was a friend of Clinton’s, what probably hurt was what he said along with the endorsement:

“Senator Clinton has a right to stay in the race, but eventually we don’t want to go into the Democratic convention bloodied. This was another reason for my getting in and endorsing, the need to perhaps send a message that we need unity.”

Richardson also seemed to lay blame for the campaign’s negativity on Clinton, saying “I want it to be positive. I think that’s what’s been very good about Senator Obama’s campaign — it’s a positive campaign about hope and opportunity.”

Followup: When given a chance, Carville stands by the quotation.

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