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Asian Tribune is published by World Institute For Asian Studies|Powered by WIAS Vol. 12 No. 2967

Clinton Wins Pennsylvania: Vows to Continue All the Way

By Philip Fernando in Los Angeles for Asian Tribune

Los Angeles, 23 April, ( Senator Hillary Clinton won Pennsylvania and vowed never to quit the race. The eight percent margin of victory meant that the fight will go all the way through Indiana, N. Carolina, Kentucky, Montana, Oregon, Guam and Puerto Rico. After a hiatus of six weeks, the voters had a real glimpse of the intense battle going on between two stalwarts. Obama had outspent Clinton three to one and dominated TV and radio advertising. Like two prized boxers going at each other toe to toe, Clinton and Obama criss-crossed the state several times during the past six weeks. It was becoming less substance and more pot shots, said one commentator. Clinton has shown great durability and fighting capacity even when outdistanced in fund raising and advertising by her opponent. The delegates count stood at Obama 1,648 to Clinton 1,504 on Monday. Pennsylvania would likely split their 155 delegates 52 to 44 percent between Clinton and Obama.Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y. celebrates alongside her husband, former President Bill Clinton, after winning the Pennsylvania primary in Philadelphia, Tuesday April 22, 2008.Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton, D-N.Y. celebrates alongside her husband, former President Bill Clinton, after winning the Pennsylvania primary in Philadelphia, Tuesday April 22, 2008.

The last six weeks were troubling for both candidates as news of Obama’s former Pastor Rev Wright’s vitriolic sermons surfaced followed by Clinton’s embellished account of her landing in Bosnia under sniper fire. Both did damage control immediately. Clinton had to fire her chief strategist for consulting with the Colombian government on a free trade deal Clinton opposes and Obama made less than eloquent remarks about rural people “clinging to guns and religion” being bitter about losing jobs.” The jabs were perhaps a deviation from the first six months of fairly decent campaigning by both candidates. Negativity had climbed several notches.

The tipping point was during the final one-on-one debate at ABC the questioning continued for forty five minutes on trivial matters causing Obama to complain about the debate. Obama called it a fake debate while Clinton thought Obama was whining.

Last week Obama accused Clinton of plunging into the "politics of fear" after she released a new ad showing an image of Osama bin Laden and the lines "Harry Truman said it best — if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen... Who do you think has what it takes?" Clinton seemed to have come out favorably looking out of that exchange with Obama. Obama however kept up the pressure as the polls indicated that he had closed the 18 percent advantage Clinton had to about 5 points.

Clinton was trying hard to get a decisive double digit win. Now she has to keep the heat on in Indiana and North Carolina where Obama had done a great deal of campaigning. A knock-out win may not come easily. Meanwhile Obama was reported to have successfully registered new voters to the tune of 327,000 in the Keystone State before registration closed a month ago. What is bothering the Democratic Party now is that a bitterly fought primary season would antagonize the supporters of both candidates who might not come in large numbers to vote in the Presidential election in November. The fierce battle may mean too much bad blood that would harm the morale of the party no matter who wins.

Altogether, the campaign for Tuesday's contest was dissolving into the sort of acrimony that makes party leaders long for the finish line, before the nominee is damaged in the fall. Obama's criticisms were direct, while Clinton's were oblique but unmistakable. At various times during the lengthy contest, it's been the other way around.

Clinton was going after Obama more intensely. Obama stayed somewhat measured. Yet the acrimony could be seen developing into a no punches pulled marathon fight. Otherwise she stuck to her stump speech, something of a role reversal in a battle that has seen the New York senator going after her opponent while he has stayed measured.

Super delegates continued drifting towards Obama in the past six weeks. Pennsylvania may not stop that trend according to most observers. Party leaders were hoping that the primary battle would end by May 6th after Indian and North Carolina. In her victory speech Clinton seemed more optimistic and mentioned Obama only once. Obama was campaigning in Indian and reminded his supporters that the fight was not over yet.

- Asian Tribune -

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