I was with AA in the early 90s, these hub closures (from the videos that were forced down my throat on a weekly basis it seemed) were similar to other cost slashing measures experienced at many other carriers.
In fact the closing of these hubs were only another facet of the deep cost cuts that went into effect in those days. In 1995, AA farmed out ground work at 30 domestic cities to other carriers and contracters. (I remember DL doing a lot of it in the west Texas cities it seems; i.e. AMA, LBB, MAF).
Hubs are expensive, and with fortresses at DFW, ORD, and MIA, RDU and BNA were simply unrealistic at a time when the entire industry was bleeding. I think they were starting to rethink RDU recently (the thought that Midway is making it work is killing them, I'm sure), but with this new wave industry uncertainty, I wouldn't guess AA will be moving to run back into RDU full force any time soon.