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.
On Thursday night, Charlie Rose hosts Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, R-Calif., and Mayor Michael Bloomberg, I-N.Y. (Think these two environmentally conscious cohorts will discuss a never to be realized joint independent bid for the presidency? Alas, if not for Article II of the Constitution…)
Gov. Schwarzenegger is currently taking part in the 2008 Yale Conference of Governors, a two day event that calls for federal and state partnerships to tackle the issue of global climate change. The event closes with a public address from Nobel Laureate Dr. R. K. Pachauri and the California governor.
"Some of the things they'll be in favor of, I'll agree with. Some of the things they'll be in favor of, I won't. But at least we'll have an adult in office who can lead and accomplish something."
-- New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg
On the campaign front. . .
-- 10:30 am ET: Attends town hall meeting with voters, Erie, PA
-- 3:30 pm ET: Attends town hall meeting with voters, Williamsport, PA
-- 6:00 pm ET: Attends rally with voters, Philadelphia, PA
-- 6:00 pm ET: Attends event with voters, Merrillville, IN
-- 11:00 am ET: Participates in town hall meeting with Rep. Joe Sestak, Radnor, PA
-- 6:00 pm ET: Participates in a conversation with Maya Angelou, Winston Salem, NC
-- 9:30 am ET: Attends event with voters, Moon Township, PA
-- 12:00 pm ET: Attends event with voters, Connellsville, PA
-- 2:00 pm ET: Attends event with voters, Somerset, PA
-- 6:00 pm ET: Attends event with voters, Fort Washington, PA
-- Attends event with voters, Lansdale, PA
-- Attends event with voters, Philadelphia, PA
As for the Republicans. . .
-- Attends Catholic Prayer Breakfast, Washington, DC
At the White House and Beyond. . .
-- 8:30 am ET: Speaks at the National Catholic Prayer Breakfast, Washington, DC
-- 11:10 am ET: Delivers remarks to Americas Small Business Summit 2008, Washington, DC
-- 4:00 pm ET: Welcomes the President of the Republic of Korea Lee Myung-Bak and Mrs. Kim Yoon-Ok, Camp David, MD
-- 7:00 pm ET: Attends social dinner with the South Korean President and Mrs. Kim Yoon-Ok, Camp David, MD
SECRETARY OF STATE RICE
-- 10:00 am ET: Speaks at the commemoration of the 25th anniversary of the bombing of the U.S. Embassy in Beirut, Washington, DC
PRIME MINISTER GORDON BROWN
-- 7:30 am ET: Attends breakfast with Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke, Washington, DC
POLITICAL NEWS STORIES ON ABCNEWS.COM
ABC News' Nitya Venkataraman: Philly Fight Night: Dems Spar Over Electability LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper: Hillary Clinton's Samsonite Argument LINK
ABC News' Sarah Amos: Bill on Hillary's Debate Performance: 'I Thought She Was Great' LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper: Nightline Debate Wrap LINK
ABC News' Marcus Baram: McCain-Goldwater Relationship Not As Rosy As Once Thought LINK
ABC News' Jake Tapper: Mitt Romney's "Top 10 Reasons for Dropping Out of the Race" LINK
ABC News' Sunlen Miller: Obama Attempts to Brush Off Tough Debate LINK
ABC News' Sarah Amos: No 'Whining' from Hillary LINK
POLITICAL VIDEO ON ABCNEWS.COM
Bill: Hillary Doesn't Whine When Going Gets Tough
Clinton on contact politics: "If you don't want to play, keep your uniform off." LINK
Jake Tapper Unspins the Spin Room
Obama-girl and Philly's new Mayor tout their candidates after the ABC debate. LINK
Day After Dem Debate
ABC's Jake Tapper weights in on Philly Showdown LINK
The 21st Democratic Debate
Clinton and Obama meet once again in what could be their last debate. LINK
Obama 'Brushes Off' Dem Debate
Sen. Obama tells a Raleigh, NC crowd the debate was "tit for tat silliness." LINK
Cheney Yuks it Up at Media Dinner
The VP jokes about his cousin Obama at Radio & TV Correspondents Assn. Dinner. LINK
Hasselbeck: Clinton Won the Debate
"The View" ladies discuss how the senators fared in Pennsylvania. LINK
Romney's Top Ten Reasons for Bowing Out of Race
Mitt Romney makes a cameo at the Radio & TV Correspondents' Assoc. dinner. LINK
The Bottom Line on the Debate
George Stephanopoulos discusses how the Democrats did. LINK
Sens. Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama go head-to-head in Philadelphia. LINK
Dems Say Obama More 'Electable'
Jake Tapper asks Pa. voters what they would say to decision-making super-delegates. LINK