Worse, it's hard to see an easy way out of it for Obama, at least before the wave of primaries and caucuses on Feb. 5. He could try to make Hillary the pet candidate of Latinos the way he's being cast as the pet candidate of blacks--but that would require a shift to the right on immigrant legalization that he doesn't seem willing to make. (I hope I'm wrong about that.**)
The more obvious move is to find a Sister Souljah--after Saturday--to stiff arm. The most promising candidate is not a person, but an idea: race-based affirmative action. Obama has already made noises about shifting to a class-based, race-blind system of preferences. What if he made that explicit? Wouldn't that shock hostile white voters into taking a second look at his candidacy? He'd renew his image as trans-race leader (and healer). The howls of criticism from the conventional civil-rights establishment--they'd flood the cable shows--would provide him with an army of Souljahs to hold off. If anyone noticed Hillary in the ensuing fuss, it would be to put her on the spot--she'd be the one defending mend-it-don't-end-it civil rights orthodoxy.
I can't think of a better plan. Can you?
P.S.: Abandoning race-based preferences would certainly solve Obama's Boldness Gap, as described by Dan Gerstein.