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Democratic Party Faces Tough Choices as Race Pushes On

Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama shifted their focus to Indiana and North Carolina Wednesday, after Clinton's victory in Pennsylvania on Tuesday ensured that their campaigns will go on. Four Democratic Party leaders assess the road ahead for the presidential nomination.

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  • RAY SUAREZ:

    So just where are the Democrats headed, to a brokered national convention in August, to a challenge to party rules in July, or will their presidential nominating process be wrapped up by June?

    We turn to four party leaders for some answers.

    New Mexico governor and former presidential candidate Bill Richardson has endorsed Barack Obama.

    Former Colorado congresswoman and presidential candidate Pat Schroeder is supporting Hillary Clinton.

    Former House Democratic Whip David Bonior of Michigan managed John Edwards' presidential campaign. He's not endorsed a candidate.

    Nor has Ralph Dawson, a Democratic National Committee member from New York and a convention super-delegate.

    Well, let me start by getting a quick thumbnail portrait of the race from all four of you. Now that the dust is clearing from a very hard-fought contest in Philadelphia, where does the race stand this evening?

    Governor Richardson?

    GOV. BILL RICHARDSON (D), New Mexico: Well, Senator Obama is ahead in delegates. I think that Pennsylvania, Senator Clinton deserves a lot of credit, but the reality is that Senator Clinton is going to have to win 70 percent of all remaining delegates.

    There are nine primaries left. I think it looks good for Senator Obama in some of the major states, like Indiana and North Carolina two weeks from now. And I think his nomination is going to happen.

    And the best thing that can happen for the Democratic Party is that we coalesce around the candidate. I'm not saying Senator Clinton should get out now, but eventually, after June 3rd, after the last primary, I think we need to come together.

    And we are really divided. We're hurting each other. The campaign is negative. And that's going to help John McCain.

  • RAY SUAREZ:

    Pat Schroeder?

    FORMER REP. PAT SCHROEDER (D), Colorado: Well, first of all, I think Hillary was amazing. I mean, she is like our lioness. She's so strong and yet very tender. So the tough and tender woman just keeps going; I don't know where she gets it. So Pennsylvania was terrific.

    But I really don't worry about the future. I think it's very positive for the Democratic Party, and let me tell you why. I see George W. Bush channeling Herbert Hoover, for heaven's sakes, and now we see John McCain channeling George W. Bush.

    Now, the difference between Obama and Hillary is about like this, and the difference between either one of them and John McCain is, oh, my goodness, way, way out there, miles and miles.

    The other thing is both of these candidates are building a strong infrastructure in all of these states and people are getting to participate and they're getting their voices heard.

    So, yes, there's some dissension right now. But I think, long term, it's going to be very positive. And you're going to have an infrastructure already built for the general that we haven't had in the past.