Clinton lends campaign $6.4M for ongoing primary fight

Hillary Rodham Clinton lent her campaign $6.4 million in the last month, a campaign aide said Wednesday, and she and Barack Obama plunged back into the still-unresolved battle for the Democratic presidential nomination.

Obama closed in on a history-making presidential nomination Tuesday — sweeping the North Carolina primary and holding Clinton to a narrow victory in Indiana that raised questions about the future of her campaign. He planned to be off the campaign trail Wednesday, spending time in Chicago before heading to Washington, D.C.

But Clinton made an appearance in Shepherdstown, W. Va., where she talked about the economy, her proposed gas tax plan, health care, education and the Iraq war.

"I am staying in the race until there is a nominee," Clinton told reporters later. She planned to campaign Thursday in the state, which holds its Democratic primary Tuesday.

Clinton's campaign moved quickly Wednesday to dispel any notion that her bid could be coming to an end.

On a conference call with reporters, Clinton campaign chief strategist Geoff Garin painted both primary results as good news for the New York senator.

"We're pleased with our result in Indiana," he said, because Clinton "came from behind to achieve a primary victory."

As for the loss in North Carolina, Garin said the results there "also in an important respect represent progress for us" because Clinton carried white voters in the state by "24 points."

Clinton spokesman Howard Wolfson also told reporters Wednesday that the senator had lent her campaign another $6.4 million between mid-April and May 5. Her campaign reported raising $10 million online after her victory April 22 in Pennsylvania, but Obama has outspent Clinton in primary after primary, and has shown little difficulty raising large sums of money. He spent more than $7 million on advertising head of Tuesday's primaries in North Carolina and Indiana to her nearly $4 million.

In another development Wednesday, former Sen. George McGovern, an early supporter of Clinton, urged her to drop out of the race and endorsed Obama.

After watching the returns from North Carolina and Indiana, McGovern said Wednesday it's virtually impossible for Clinton to win the nomination.

The 1972 Democratic presidential nominee called former President Clinton to tell him of the decision, adding that he remains close friends with the Clintons."I will hold them in affection and admiration all of my days," he said of the Clintons.

McGovern said he and Bill Clinton "had a very friendly conversation...we didn't have one single angry word."

Obama supporter Sen. John Kerry said Wednesday he thought the race changed fundamentally on Tuesday.

Obama, he said, "clearly did more than he had to and she (Clinton) did not achieve what she had to...He beat every poll and he beat every expectation."

Obama campaign manager David Plouffe said in a conference call Wednesday that "we can see the finish line."

Obama, he said, needs just 33 more "elected" delegates to have won the majority of those that have been at stake. He predicted that Obama will cross that mark on May 20, with primaries in Oregon and Kentucky.

In the same conference call, three Obama supporters, Sens. Claire McCaskill of Missouri and Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota, and Gov. Janet Napolitano told reporters it's not up to them or other Democratic leaders to tell Clinton when it's time to leave the race.

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