The Note: Enter Sandman


"It's a Washington where politicians like John McCain and Hillary Clinton voted for a war in Iraq that should've never been authorized and never been waged -- a war that is costing us thousands of precious lives and billions of dollars a week that could've been used to rebuild crumbling schools and bridges; roads and buildings; that could've been invested in job training and child care; in making health care affordable or putting college within reach," Obama plans to say, per his campaign.

The vote breakdown shows virtually no Obama weak spots. "He really cracked the Clinton coalition," ABC's George Stephanopoulos reported on "Good Morning America" on Wednesday. "If he gets these kind of numbers in Texas and Ohio, he will be the nominee."

"Obama won white men in Maryland and Virginia alike. He won 84 and 90 percent of blacks," ABC's Gary Langer writes in his dissection of the exit polls. "Obama narrowly won the few Hispanic voters in Virginia; he'd won Hispanics just once before, in Connecticut. Obama's overall vote margins in the two states were his widest, outside his home state of Illinois, in any primary where fewer than four in 10 voters were African-Americans. He won women in both states, something he's done outside states with larger black turnout only in Delaware, Iowa and his home state of Illinois. Indeed, in Virginia, Clinton won white women by a scant 6-point margin; he won them by 18 points in Maryland."

And yet . . . recall that Obama has had two knockout opportunities already in this race -- one in New Hampshire, and another on Super Tuesday -- and didn't close the deal. There are plenty of reasons to think that Obama is stronger than he was even just a week ago, but if you think the Clintons will go quietly, you don't remember your history.

AP's Ron Fournier cites two senior Clinton advisers talking about the fast-diminishing menu of options: "the campaign feels the New York senator needs to quickly change the dynamic by forcing Obama into a poor debate performance, going negative or encouraging the media to attack Obama," he writes. "They're grasping at straws, but the advisers said they can't see any other way that her campaign will be sustainable after losing 10 in a row."

And keep an eye on the superdelegates, Fournier writes: "Top Democrats, including some inside Hillary Clinton's campaign, say many party leaders -- the so-called superdelegates -- won't hesitate to ditch the former New York senator for Barack Obama if her political problems persist. Their loyalty to the first couple is built on shaky ground."

"The percussive effect of eight losses in a row, with two more potential blows next week in Wisconsin and Hawaii, could take a toll on the morale of the Clinton campaign team and her voters," Peter Canellos writes in The Boston Globe.

"Traditional political analysis, especially in presidential primaries, is that momentum moves the numbers -- that candidates who lose race after race eventually have even their fairly committed supporters taking a second look at their opponents."

Obama's campaign strategy appears to be working: "Though the Clinton campaign insists that Obama's wins are small-bore, Obama kept counting something else -- victories, now eight straight, and delegates," writes the Chicago Tribune's Michael Tackett.

"By almost any objective measure, he has pulled ahead."

Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...