Skip to comments.Clinton won't quit; Obama doesn't care
Posted on 05/07/2008 9:39:46 PM PDT by The_Republican
As Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton made a last-minute trip to West Virginia and declared her intent to stay in the race, aides to Sen. Barack Obama signaled Wednesday that he would move towards a general election strategy over the next month.
The contrasting game plans underscore the fundamental shift in the presidential campaign following Obamas decisive victory Tuesday in North Carolina and narrow loss in Indiana.
Obama has accumulated a lead in pledged delegates that is all but insurmountable a point that Clinton campaign officials acknowledged Wednesday in a conference call with reporters. That pushes the campaign largely into political backrooms, as both candidates made plans to meet privately Wednesday and Thursday with uncommitted superdelegates in Washington.
On the campaign trail, Obama is expected to continue pressing the message of party unity that he rolled out Tuesday in Raleigh, N.C., while increasingly turning his attention to presumptive Republican nominee Sen. John McCain and gearing his travel schedule toward general election states.
Aides to Obama, who spent Wednesday in Chicago with his family, said the Illinois senator would campaign in the remaining primary states and Puerto Rico. He heads to Oregon, which votes May 20, on Friday for a two-day trip and travels Monday to West Virginia, which votes May 13.
But before the results in Indiana results were even confirmed Tuesday night, chief strategist David Axelrod told reporters traveling on the campaign plane from Raleigh to Chicago that Obama had multiple tasks.
Senator McCain has basically run free for some time now because we have been consumed with this, Axelrod said. Everybody is eager to get on with this. We are not going to take anything for granted. But we are also going to spend time addressing broader issues. I mean, I dont think we are going to spend our time solely in primary states.
When asked whether Obama would campaign over the next month in general election states, Axelrod said: I guess you can infer that from what I said.
Campaign manager David Plouffe was less direct Wednesday on this point.
We have to continue to fight as hard as we can to secure this nomination and that's our first, second and third goal, Plouffe said. Obviously, you know, we also don't want to wake up the morning of June 4th or June 10th or whenever this is gonna end and not be prepared so we're gonna do the things we can in kind of our off hours to be ready.
Obama aides and supporters, on a conference call, declined to nudge Clinton out of the race, going out of their way to show deference to the New York senator.
It would be inappropriate and awkward and wrong for any of us to tell Senator Clinton when it is time for the race to be over, said Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.). This is her decision and it is only her decision. We are confident that she is going to do the right thing for the Democratic nominee. We are confident that she will help, work hard to unite our party.
Clintons campaign set out Wednesday with a diminished goal: To show that shes alive.
With a deliberately cheery conference call and a single campaign stop, the candidate and her staff gave no public indication that Tuesdays election would derail her campaign. She did, however, unilaterally disarm, dropping a key aspect of her underdogs campaign: Sharp attacks on the frontrunner. Clinton did not mention Obama during her visit to Shepherdstown, W.Va. a late addition to her schedule, located just 80 miles from Washington, D.C.
While she delivered a familiar message focused on the bread-and-butter economic frustrations of working voters, she dropped the central contrasts that had driven her stump speech in the closing days of the Indiana and North Carolina primaries: Attacks on Obamas position on home foreclosures, healthcare, and the gas tax holiday, and the accompanying implication that he is out of touch with their views.
Next Tuesday, I hope you will give me a chance to be your president, she said.
She based her case not on contrasts of policy or character, but on the contours of her coalition of working class whites, women, and Hispanicscrucial swing voters in the general election.
The base I've put together in this primary is a stronger place to start from, she told reporters in Shepherdstown.
Clintons aides, too, drew no contrasts on matters of issue or character with Obama in a morning conference call with reporters.
Instead, they gave an unusually explicit nod to the racial calculus of electability.
We lost the white electorate in Virginia, started even in North Carolina among the white electorate just two weeks ago, and ended [with] a very significant win of 24 points among those voters, said Geoff Garin, Clintons chief strategist, acknowledging that among black voters, Clinton did not do as well as we would want or need.
Clintons campaign touted the endorsement of one superdelegate, North Carolina Heath Shuler, who kept a pledge to follow the voters of his North Carolina district. But Obama received four superdelegate endorsements, including one who switched from Clinton, Jennifer McClellan of Virginia.
Clinton also heard lukewarm words from key Senate supporters.
I, as you know, have great fondness and great respect for Sen. Clinton and Im very loyal to her, said Sen. Dianne Feinstein, (D-Calif.). Having said that, Id like to talk with her and hear her view on the rest of the race and what the strategy is.
Clintons New York colleague Sen. Charles Schumer declined to offer a vote of confidence when asked if Clinton should stay in the race.
It's her decision to make and I'll accept what decision she makes, he said.
Obama will get the nomination and lose dramatically in November. McCain will be a one term president and Hillary will be back in 2012 telling everybody they should have nominated her in ‘08 instead of Obama an I told you so moment).
Operation Chaos II
But, will Hillary have strong Dem. support in ‘12, after all the ill feelings of this years campaign?
And, couldn’t there be another new face on the scene in 2012, similar to Obama rising up this year to challenge the presumptive front runner Hillary?
You go girl! All the way to Denver!
I never thought I would find myself rooting for Billary. I think I’ll go shower now.
Please God, make her go away—the mute button on my remote is wearing out.
Please God, make them all go away and give us a strong candidate that truly cares for America and her people.
It's now or never for her, and why she is hanging on to the bitter end now.
I do think McCain is a one term deal however. Seems like another Ford. Let's just hope we don't get another Carter after him.
Age if nothing else, will make McCain a one and done.
Call me a dreamer but I would love to see rejected Billary run as an Independent.
GO HILLARY! YOU GO GIRL!
My biggest fear...shes still alive..
While he is certainly more beatable than Hillary, he will be a very formidable opponent in November.
If McCain can pull it out - and I have no real faith that he will - it will be by one or two states max.
Obama is going to swamp him in donations, support, and positive media attention.
McCain will be treated like dirt and be painted as another very old white man who is nothing more than a Bush clone, and a furthering of the same old tired and failed Republican policies.
Voters will flock to Obama.
Big Mistake for Obooma. The beast works best when nobody is looking.
Well, yer right, age hasn’t been kind to her and she may be far too ugly by 2012.
If Bobama loses it will be because of high negatives cause of the “black power” tone of his campaign. Why would the rats then turn to Hillary who has sky high negatives of her own and a scandal for every letter of the alphabet. They’d likely turn to a Governor with a clean record.
There seems be a lot of people who seem to think she is some kind of supernatural evil. She’s just a woman, a stupid **** who ran a lousy race and let a flashy nobody beat her. She will never be President.
I didn’t say anything about her ever being president.
Hillary may still run in 2012, and I am one of the people who think that’s why she’s staying in so long now - to damage Obama so that McCain wins, knowing that he will in all likelihood only be a one-termer.
One major mark against her is that the democraticals don’t treat their also-rans very well as far as giving them the nomination once they’ve blown their chance at the first one. Plus, I think many dems have had it with the Clintons, and just want them to go away.
I totally agree with your assessment. I want to believe that Obama is weak, but the sheeple are begging for something different this time. He fits the mold, and they don’t want to hear otherwise.
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