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.
Obamiacs were out in force to get folks to sign over/up for the Dem Primary here in Oregon.
Well we did so we can vote for Hillary.
Who would have ever thunk?
Nine months ago I felt it was unethical to cross over.
Today not whim of what so ever.
Hillary is suppose to come through here Thurs and Fri.
King Vanity is ready to go see her as part of his political historical mode...saw Bill two weeks ago and (dont barf yall) Bill held his hand and kinda teared up as they gazed into each others eyes (son speaks in augmented signs not verbal) it was sincere, regardless of politics.
Hillary he met 5yrs ago definetly hoof handed and fake.
Obama The Invisible Man (old black and white movie) or empty suit, young people who are ga ga for Obama IMO are buying a slogan.
Mc Cain we are not going to pay $2000 to see speak...freebie rallies only.
Chelsea would of cost $200.
I feel bad for the Chelse loves her Mom but does not like her as rumored.
I have Thursdays for respite no way am I going to give up rare time to myself to go see Hillary, sorry son.
It's her decision to make and I'll accept what decision she makes, he said.
Chuckie has always been a guy you can count on when the going gets tough.... /sarcasm
I agree with you. That’s why it’s crucial for Hillary to continue to spread chaos in the Demonrat Party.
So very true. The dynamics are going to completely change once the dims unite behind a single candidate along with their coordinated media assault. As much as we like to pat ourselves on the back, the media has been the primary driver of democrat victories with their open propaganda and blatant bias towards socialists.
And our candidate can't even consolidate his own base.
And I thought I was the only person in America that hit the mute when she came on. Already gone through 3 remotes!
And as I said before, no one who would hold such an important position should ever resort to tears to gain sympathy as she did early on. Weakness has no place for POTUS.
While McCain is no prize, an Obama presidency is a scary thought. Frankly, I could abide a Hillary presidency more than an Obama one. Hillary is a pragmatist at heart, while Obama is a pure socialist through and through.
I agree with you that once the Dems settle on a candidate, all their big guns will turn on McCain with a vengance. It will be Keating Five, etc. all autumn long. Obama will indeed be a formidable candidate and could well win. With an unpopular war, stagnant economy in many parts of the country, and likely $4 per gallon gas, people will want change, and McCain will be seen by many as Bush III.
“Shes just a woman, a stupid **** who ran a lousy race and let a flashy nobody beat her.”
This was her year. If she couldn’t pull it off this year, she’ll get nowhere in 2012. Her only hope is to convince the Superdelegates to force Obama to make her his running mate. That’s what she’s running for now, and that’s why she didn’t criticise Obama on the stump yesterday. IOW, the Clintons have seen the handwriting on the wall and are attempting to get back to 1600 Pennsylvania Ave. via One Observatory Circle.