Aside from primaries in the deeply red states of Wyoming and Mississippi the presidential campaign now arrives in Pennsylvania. Hillary came from twenty points ahead to squeak out a win in Texas and won Ohio by about ten points. She did little to dig into Obama's lead in pledged delegates but she probably did stem the flow of super delegates away from supporting her effort. This was her success yesterday. With Tom Brokaw reporting fifty super delegates prepared to endorse Barack Obama, this is Clinton's last desperate move to avoid the inevitable.
Ohio and Texas were her firewall but they didn't quell the inferno with which she sits. Her rival's delegate lead in insurmountable in the primaries. The mathematics is against Hillary. Winning every remaining primary by 60-40 ratios will still not win her the nomination. Her only chance is winning them and convincing the super delegates that she should be the candidate. She made inroads yesterday towards that goal with her victories. She revived a campaign gasping on life support.
The way she succeeded is interesting. The Clintons went hugely negative in Ohio and Texas. They turned to strategies deeply disturbing and, again, played the race card. They used both the Muslim and African American issues referring to him as Osama bin Laden and making him appear Blacker in another attempt at racial politics. These actions are to be condemned.
Hillary has been on television all morning slamming Obama for centering his entire campaign "on one speech he gave in 2002" compared to her "35 years of experience." This is obviously her latest message. She is defining Barack Obama for John McCain and going for the jugular. It worked in Ohio but not Texas. She barely won that state after having a huge lead. The NAFTA issue probably won Ohio. We'll have more to say about trade in the weeks ahead.
We will define and insert three major issues into the Pennsylvania primary debate which we feel haven't been adequately addressed. Stay tuned for them.
Meanwhile Barack Obama must address Hillary's success using the fear card with her red phone ad. He must do so better than he has so far. He must challenge her to specify the specific national security experience she has which gives substance to her claim aside from the "Holiday Inn Express" argument. He can do this also by emphasizing his other experience and achievements. If she can cite 35 years of lifetime experience and include her time serving on Wal-Mart's Board of Directors as "public service" he must counter with his commitment to community organizing.
Hillary Clinton must stop ignoring the importance of her field operation. Sen. Obama is cleaning her clock on the ground. Their operation here is awesome and hers is nonexistent. I'd also like to see her be more positive about her, her vision for the country and attack John McCain instead of claiming he's more qualified to be president. That leaves me with a visceral reaction against Sen. Clinton that will be very difficult to dispel.
John McCain supports the war, thinks we should bomb Iran, wants to privatize Social Security, make Bush's disastrous tax cuts permanent, and is ignoring the reality of the health care crisis. This man is seeking to extend all of George W. Bush's policies. One pundit on TV last night even referred to him as John W McCain. I like that. If the Republicans insist on using Obama's middle name we can add "W" to McCain's. It's all about sending a message and this message will be that if you're happy with Bush then vote for McCain. If not, don't. This is the entire message of the fall campaign season: stay the course with McCain or change direction with the Democrats. If any other message is used those responsible should be hung out to dry and never allowed to consult again.