The Note: Keystone Klankers

Pennsylvania could well produce two winners -- if Sen. Barack Obama keeps it close enough (whatever that means) against Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton.

But it's a pretty sure bet that it's already produced enough to make the Democratic Party lose. (Would anyone like to argue that either Obama, D-Ill., or Clinton, D-N.Y., looks better for the experience of this overtime contest -- particularly these six weeks of Keystone campaigning/complaining?)

The final days make the point -- and may be tipping the race toward the worrisome stage in the minds of savvy Democrats (and superdelegates?). Both campaigns are ending negative -- in rhetoric, tone, and advertising.

His closing argument is about her, and hers is about him, and they're not relying on surrogates or staffers to do their dirty work.

"In some of the most pointed attacks of the campaign, the rivals unleashed TV ads accusing each other of being enthralled to the special interests they say they oppose," Thomas Fitzgerald and Tom Infield write in the Philadelphia Inquirer.

And Obama provided Clinton a new last-minute opening. The line in question: "All three of us would be better than George Bush," Obama said Sunday in Reading, Pa., per ABC's Eloise Harper and Sunlen Miller.

Countered Clinton: "We need a nominee that will take on John McCain, not cheer on John McCain."

The AP's Liz Sidoti: Obama's "backhanded compliment threatened to undercut his own efforts -- and those of the entire Democratic Party -- to portray the GOP presidential nominee-in-waiting as nothing more than an extension of Bush's unpopular tenure."

As if the campaign needed an excuse to take another negative turn. "The Democratic candidates traded some of their sharpest jabs yet, again raising concerns that when the brawl is over, the party will not be able to unite for the fight for the presidency," ABC's David Wright reports.

Said Joe Morgan, a Democratic committeeman for Berks County: "This has gotten so bad this year, I'm not sure people can forget about it and put it behind themselves after Tuesday."

It's flowing in both directions: "In television commercials and in appearances before crowded rallies, Mr. Obama, of Illinois, cast his opponent in one of the most negative lights of the entire 16-month campaign, calling her a compromised Washington insider," Jeff Zeleny and Katharine Q. Seelye write in The New York Times.

"Mrs. Clinton, of New York, responded by suggesting that Mr. Obama's message of hope had given way to old-style politics and asked Democrats to take a harder look at him."

Behind the story: "The intensity of Mr. Obama's campaign and his willingness to air negative attacks in recent days suggest he harbored hope of ending the Clinton campaign here or avoiding a major loss that would keep the race alive."

Obama can try (and is trying) to condemn Clinton's tactics; his campaign is largely built on the notion that such tactics need to change. But there are enough kitchen sinks flying for guilt all around.

"How on Earth can Obama with a straight face decry these 'distractions' when his campaign that very same day organized a conference call to harp on Clinton's Bosnia-sniper-fire gaffe?" asks ABC's Jake Tapper. "Is Clinton's Bosnia-sniper-fire story not a 'distraction,' while Rezko, Wright, Ayers, Bitter-gate, and the flag pin are 'distractions'?"

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