Barack Obama both literally and figuratively tried to brush off a rough performance in Wednesday night's debate in Philadelphia and acknowledged the shots he took from Hillary Clinton.
"She was taking every opportunity to get a dig in there, that's her right to kind of twist the knife a little bit," Obama said. "That's how our politics has been taught to be played. That's the lesson that she learned when the republicans were doing that same thing to her back in the 1990s, so I understand it, and when you're running for the presidency then you've got to expect it."
Obama then paused --somewhat dramatically and with a smile on his face -- and brushed both his shoulders, and then his right shoulder a second time. He then bent down and brushed off his knee – amid thunderous applause from the audience.
Obama gets down and dirty with a five-day rail, road and air tour across Pennsylvania in the final sprint before the state's primary. Obama's last bus tour from western to eastern Pennsylvania won him positive reviews and may have helped him with middle of the state voters. But then, of course, came the "bitter" comments and the momentum that Obama had in closing the gap in Quinnipiac's Pennsylvania poll stopped.
Obama's multi-vehicle tour will take him to the types of towns that he was referencing with his "bitter" comments. In order to regain that momentum and keep the race close heading into Tuesday, Obama will likely continue to frame those comments, and his larger point about the concerns of Pennsylvania voters, in the context of their "frustrations," as he did last night in Philadelphia. Best to avoid the whole clingy-ness thing…
Hillary Clinton may not have scored a TKO in the showdown in Philadelphia but may be able to claim a victory in a decision. Clinton will take that post-debate confidence and square off with Stephen Colbert on The Colbert Report.
Clinton is no stranger to late night television and has earned decent reviews for her appearances on Leno, Letterman and Saturday Night Live. But Colbert is a trickier host who has been itching for this interview for months and if there is one thing he is a stickler for, it's "truthiness"
The latest ABC News/Washington Post poll found that Clinton has a truthiness problem. Among Americans, 58 percent say she's not honest and trustworthy, up from 42% in May 2006. In Wednesday night's debate she apologized for the Bosnia story and said she was embarrassed. Will she go any further if pressed by Colbert?
Obama declined an invitation and instead sent his wife Michelle, who turned in an admirable performance on Tuesday night. The audience that night was hootin' and hollerin' for Michelle and was clearly a pro-Obama crowd. It will be interesting to see if tonight the audience is more balanced or if Hillary is walking into the Generation Y Lion's Den. (Attention Clinton volunteers in PA: Get those Penn Students for Hillary in line stat!)
Clinton holds a town hall outside Philadelphia before heading south to Winston Salem, NC for an event with poet Maya Angelou. Obama is feeling good about the state of the race in the Tar Heel state and seemed to subtly apply more pressure to Clinton to end her bid in early May. "North Carolina is going to be critically important – if we can win in North Carolina I think we can wrap up this nomination," ABC News' Miller reports.