Clinton Camp Hopes to Reset The Clock Tomorrow - The American Spectator | USA News and Politics
Clinton Camp Hopes to Reset The Clock Tomorrow

Despite Bill Richardson’s suggestion yesterday that whoever has the most delegates after Tuesday’s voting should be considered the Democratic nominee, on a recently concluded conference call, Clinton campaign officials said that any victory by Clinton in Ohio and Texas tomorrow would provide justification for staying in the race.

Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson and Mark Penn, her chief strategist, made the case for Clinton staying in the race, even while acknowledging that she was unlikely to end the evening close to tied with Obama in the delegate race.

The rationale for staying in the race would be multifaced. The Clinton camp would argue that with wins in Ohio and Texas, Clinton will have won most of the largest states, including New York, New Jersey, California and Massachusetts. In addition, they would point out that Obama has lost momentum and suggest that voters are having “buyers remorse” over whether he is ready to be commander in chief and “steward of the economy.” Ultimately, they hope that if they can prolong the race another few months, Obama will fold under media scrutiny, especially with Tony Rezko going to trial and what they referred to as “NAFTA-gate.”

“If Senator Obama can’t win in Ohio and Texas with all the resource advantages he has, with all of the good press that he has, with the constant reminders from his campaign that the race is essentially over, then I think Democrats are going to take a second look at this,” Wolfson said on the call. “I think, you know, we wake up on Wednesday and the newspaper headline says that ‘Clinton Wins Ohio and Texas,’ we have a whole new ballgame here.”

Penn said that if Obama loses both states, it will mean his momentum is “seriously blunted.” He hammered Obama on questions raised by his 17-year relationship with Rezko, as well as NAFTA-gate, and said Obama was “first going through the vetting.”

Wolfson also attacked the Obama campaign over whether his top economic advisor privately told Canadians that his anti-NAFTA protectionist rhetoric was just campaign trail talk that did not reflect his true thoughts on the matter.

“At this point what we have is a lot of statements from the Obama campaign that have been proven to have been demonstrably false,” Wolfson said. “Flat denials that are clearly no longer operative; people saying that there was no contact whatsoever and clearly contact; no discussions on NAFTA, clearly discussions on NAFTA. So, I think that from our perspective, the benefit of the doubt goes to the Canadians who have been very consistent throughout this process in suggesting that conversations did occur.”

Clinton, clearly, will not go quietly. Though even coming close to her in Ohio and Texas would represent a huge surge for Obama given Clinton’s 20-point lead in the states a few weeks ago, and though he would still maintain a comfortable delegate lead, if he can’t win one of the states, he’s leaving a lot to chance.

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