TOPICS > Politics

Clinton Fights on after Much-Needed Pa. Victory

BY Admin  April 22, 2008 at 11:35 PM EDT

Sen. Clinton in Philadelphia; AP photo

“It’s fair to say she had the entire political
establishment in the state,” syndicated columnist Mark Shields said
Tuesday night on the NewsHour. “He had the money. There was a kind of
parity of resources.”

In the six weeks since the Mississippi
contest, Clinton worked to show her blue
collar bona fides in the Keystone State and highlight her Pennsylvania family roots — and went on to
win more of the blue-collar workers, women and white men in an election where
the economy was the dominant concern.

Obama, meanwhile, was favored by black voters, the affluent
and those who recently switched to the Democratic Party, a group that comprised
about one in 10 Pennsylvania
voters, according to the surveys conducted by The Associated Press and TV news networks.

“The future of this campaign is in your hands,” Clinton told supporters at a Philadelphia victory rally. “Some people
counted me out and said to drop out, but the American people don’t quit and they
deserve a president who doesn’t quit either. Because of you, the tide is
turning.”

On Earth Day, Clinton
proposed creating more “green jobs” to kick-start the flagging
economy and help minimize climate change.

“We’re going to end the war on science and have a
renewed commitment to science and research,” she said.

Clinton
ended her speech by co-opting Obama’s “Yes, we can” slogan into a
more determined “Yes, we will.”

Obama’s most politically powerful supporter in Pennsylvania,
Sen. Bob Casey, said the Illinois senator managed to cut into Clinton’s polling
lead, which was well into the double digits as recently as the beginning of
April.

“I think Sen. Obama — when he is the nominee — will
do very well with those groups that Sen. Clinton is strong with,” Casey
told CNN. “I think he did a world of good to talk about health care, to
talk about his message of change, the price of gasoline, the mortgage
crisis.”

New York Times columnist David Brooks said on the NewsHour Tuesday
that Obama’s campaign needs to shift back to him being a
“hope-meister” after a divisive battle in Pennsylvania.

“I don’t know whether he senses vulnerability and just
wants to finish Clinton
off or whether the campaign is sincerely worried, but they have certainly
shifted their whole image in the past couple of weeks,” he said.

Obama indeed appeared to shift back to his message of hope
and change during a speech late Tuesday in Evansville, Ind.
He congratulated Clinton on running a good
campaign in Pennsylvania,
but touted how his campaign closing the polling gap and said that the energy
his campaign created there will help Democrats in the November general
election.

Much of his speech focused on general election issues
(“Two wars, an economy in recession and a planet in peril”) and targeted
presumptive GOP nominee Sen. John McCain’s association with the Iraq
war and President Bush

“Real change doesn’t begin in the halls of Washington but on the streets of America,” Obama said. “It
doesn’t happen from the top-down, but from the bottom-up.”

Regardless of the margin of victory in Pennsylvania, “I
think a win is a win,” Shields told the NewsHour, adding that the
Pennsylvania primary was the cleanest test to date.

“If you think about it, we’ve had six weeks for this
campaign,” he said. “And there’s been no intervening clatter of
political attention. There’s no gubernatorial race going on. There’s no
senatorial race in Pennsylvania.
And I just think this is a clean test. Each candidate knew what he or she had
to do. And so I think the results cannot be taken lightly.”

Flush
with cash, Obama reported spending $11.2 million on television in the state,
more than any other place. That compared with $4.8 million for Clinton. However, the tone
of the prolonged Pennsylvania campaign was increasingly personal — to the
delight of Republicans and McCain, who has been reportedly gaining in national
polls.

With
the Democratic race projected to last through June, Obama’s campaign appears to
be more fiscally sounds. He is spending 75 cents for every dollar he is taking
in while Clinton
is spending $1.10, The New York Times reported.

After heaping attention on Pennsylvania, the Democrats will
begin salivating over the 187 delegates at play in Indiana’s and North
Carolina’s May 6 primaries, but Guam holds its caucuses for 11 delegates three
days before that. The other remaining Democratic primaries include Oregon, Kentucky, West Virginia, Montana, South Dakota and Puerto Rico.

Clinton won at least 52 delegates to the party’s national
convention, with 60 still to be awarded. Obama won at least 46, according to an
initial analysis of election returns by The AP.

Shields predicted that people from Obama’s home state of
Illinois will begin to flood into Indiana to campaign on his behalf, much like
Massachusetts Democrats historically have done in New Hampshire.

With Indiana
shaping up to be the next big battleground, both campaigns used favorite son
John Mellencamp’s music in their Tuesday speeches. Mellencamp, who used to
support former Sen. John Edwards, appeared with Obama Tuesday night, but has
appearances with Clinton scheduled as well.

Clinton is scheduled to begin Wednesday by appearing on six
network and cable news morning shows, followed by a campaign rally in
Indianapolis. Her husband, former President Bill Clinton, heads to North
Carolina for a handful of events. McCain will host a town hall meeting in Inez, Ky.