What it all means

Last night conformed pretty closely to what both sides in this Democratic nominating battle expected to happen. It was a substantial but not overwhelming victory for Hillary Clinton in Pennsylvania.

The Clinton supporters use this as more evidence that Obama can't win the big swing states (conveniently forgetting the home of their own campaign headquarters Virginia, Wisconsin, Missouri etc). Obama supporters, invoking "the math" retort that last night was the last chance for her to dent his lead and she didn't win big enough (conveniently forgetting that a 10 point loss is not a win). In other words nothing has changed at all following 6 weeks of a campaign that seemed to last forever and revolved around a series of non-issues that sullied both candidates.

As someone who fervently hopes that Obama wins but who has voted twice for Hillary Clinton in the senate, I feel compelled to point out that whoever wins this nominating contest will win the presidency and we have only ourselves to blame if somehow we should blow it. The energy, activity and passion on the Democratic side so far outweighs the Republican side that we need only get out of our own way to trounce them in November.

But we really need to figure out how to wrap this nominating contest up in a way that doesn't fatally wound whoever wins. Last night's analysis was full of "negative campaigning worked for Clinton" statements that made me feel ill. The NYTimes editorial this morning is a good reminder that the party, and therefore the candidates, must be mindful of the message and image that they are putting out in front of the country in this moment when all eyes are on us.

We can argue about who did what first or who made the most incendiary statements about the other but the fact of the matter is it was an unpleasant, pointless, nasty battle in PA that didn't speak to the issues of the Pennsylvania electorate and therefore not something anyone should be proud of, win or lose.

I really hope that the message that the Clinton campaign takes out of this is not lets do more of the same in Indiana. At the same time I hope that the Obama campaign doesn't take the message that they need to fight back harder and nastier. I would like Obama to pivot towards the General Election for the most part and stop getting in the mud with Clinton. He needs to get back to doing what captivated the country in the first place and he will be OK. In other words lets hope as a party that the remainder of the campaign represents us better than PA did.

It looks like now Indiana is the line in the sand for the continuation of the contest. NC should deliver a win for Obama of considerably greater margin than PA, so a win in Indiana is absolutely a must for Clinton. This should be interesting, given that the Chicago media market gives Obama a platform to over come the inherent demographic advantages that Clinton enjoys in the rural parts of the state. But also, given the way this campaign has played out nobody should be surprised if this next line in the sand is deferred just the way all the others have been.

I have given money to the Obama campaign and done some blogging  in support of Barack. I will continue to do these things in the hopes that he gets the nomination. But more than anything I am just sick of this contest now, sick of seeing Democrats sliming each other and fighting amongst ourselves. We need our nominee and fast. I think Obama, given the chance to fully engage McCain rather than having to battle a two-pronged war, is easily the stronger candidate for our side. But if Clinton wins the nomination I will be here too, because I know how important this is. As I said earlier, there is too much momentum, energy and activity on the Democratic side to be denied because of infighting.

How many people can say they will support the nominee no matter what?

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Spend Bush Stimulus on His Replacement -- Hillary!

Hillary: $2.5 Million raised in last two hours!

Keep it up!

It's time to refill the coffers!

Here's an idea, give half of the "stimulus" check that George W is sending you to Hillary. Keep half of this money for yourself, and use the other half to put the person in the White House that will change your life!

Think about it.

How much of a slap in Bush's face is it to fund Hillary with the money he sent to you?!

I owe this idea to my partner, and it's a great one!

How much will Hillary raise by morning? It's up to you!

Pledge to her campaign at www.hillaryclinton.com

Don't just hope for change, Vote for it!
Hillary 2008!

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SUSA IN today vs. SUSA IN 3 days ago.

SUSA IN today vs. SUSA IN 3 days ago.

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Best Campaign Ad This Season

Fellows, here is the best tv ad so far this week.  Lot of reasons that made this the best includes:
*    Having the candidate made the case for her favorite Americans
*    Linking the topic to real life issues that face Americans
*    Providing the audience with a simple guide on the issue
You might disagree with the content of this ad but you can't ignore its effectiveness.
Please click on the link below for the actual ad.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=jS2UkRSUoPo

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Will Indiana be a primary battleground?

My name is Thomas and I write over at the Blue Indiana blog, which up until recently didn't have a whole lot to do with the Democratic presidential primary. We in the Hoosier state pulled for our favorite team, but at the end of the day, our May primary seemed light-years away. Having not mattered in this particular electoral process for decades, we had all resigned ourselves to our collective fate.

But fate has a funny way of not doing exactly what you had planned, and as we cruise toward April it is becoming increasingly clear that Indiana won't just matter -- we'll be a battleground. This morning's Washington Post sets the stage:

Wedged between Illinois, which is Sen. Barack Obama's home state, and Ohio, which Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton dominated on March 4, Indiana may be the one state remaining on the primary calendar where both candidates begin with a roughly equal chance of coming out ahead.

That fact alone makes it stand out from states such as Pennsylvania, where the playing field for the April 22 contest offers big advantages to Clinton (N.Y.), or the Oregon race a month later, which clearly tilts toward Obama.

First things first: Who is winning? That's the question of the hour. I'm asking it, politicians are asking it, and I have heard rumors that more than a few national polling outfits are asking it around the state right now. The bottom line is that no one knows, but the early edge seems to be toward Hillary for two main reasons.

The biggest one at face value is that the demographics of the state tend to cater to the areas in which Clinton has enjoyed success in the past. Indiana has been ravaged by job losses in heavy industry, and just today another 900 jobs were lost due to a GE plant closing in the town where I live. Hillary has already made one stop, and Bill has made more than a few, and with ten cities already under their belt, it is clear that the Clinton campaign wants to focus on these moderately rural, predominantly white regions of the state that share much in common with the more economically troubled areas to our east. In fact, the Ohio ground operation that gave Clinton her much-needed victory appears to have been shipped wholesale across the border and into the state.

The second major factor at work here, which really is the more intriguing from a state-focused political perspective, is the wildcard represented by our own Sen. Evan Bayh. Bayh endorsed Clinton very early on in the process, after he had dropped out of the race and before anyone was making even the slightest movement to legitimately challenge Hillary's front-runner status. He's far and away the most popular Democrat in the state, with approval ratings consistently above the mid-sixties, and his centrist attitude and cautious political sense has sustained his place as the standard-bearer in Indiana for over a decade.

When he announced his support -- and according to many astute observers, an unofficial bid for the running mate slot -- a good majority of the state's Democratic leadership did as well, including the Speaker of the Indiana House, the Indiana Democratic Party state chair, and the last Democratic Governor. This has translated into a 5-2 lead in the superdelegate count, with another five up for grabs among the uncommitted congressional delegation. Rumors say that more than a few lean toward Obama, but the popular vote totals will likely determine a lot.

Of course, the Obama campaign is confident that they can take great advantage of areas of the state where they should thrive. We have at least three big college towns, and you will rarely meet someone from the northwest third of the state who doesn't refer to their home as "just outside of Chicago." The Obama campaign announced the opening of ten field offices yesterday, as well as the hiring of a full field staff, and their activity in the Indianapolis area has signaled that they believe the state's largest city will be an asset come election day.

Sen. Obama has only made one trip himself to the state, a general absence that, within the context of the recent Clinton tour, has many wondering if he has already ceded the point, but I have been assured by numerous people related to the campaign that they plan to contest this state with full force, and the only (arguably dubious) poll to be done of the race thus far had Obama up by 15 points.

Where does that leave us? It's anyone's guess, but I'm inclined to agree with the Post that we will see Indiana be one of the last truly up-for-grabs states in the primary schedule. And with 84 delegates at stake, there will likely be a lot of grabbing going on. I'll have more in my next post about why Sen. Evan Bayh has more invested in this race than many realize.

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