After the March 4th Primaries concluded everyone thought that the race would get a little bit more aggressive, and it did not take long for that to happen. The day after, Wednesday, the Obama Camp immediately sent out a memo asking why Hillary Clinton has yet to release her tax returns. Hillary and Bill Clinton file a joint return because they are married and there have been some interest in Bill's dealings since he left the Oval Office. For example there is one report that Bill went over to Kazakhstan (jagshemash!) and signed some deal with their King and he Clinton gave MAD money for some investment with a guy who runs a coal plant in Canada... some really weird stuff and Obama's whole deal is that he is for transparency in government, one of the biggest things he as done in D.C. is ethics reform. So the Obama Camp is trying to put pressure on Hillary to release it soon. Clinton responded by comparing Obama if Ken Starr... known most for his investigations in the Whitewater Scandal and the Monica Lewinsky Scandal. Chief Clinton Spokesman Howard Wolfson said this on a conference call with reporters:
"After a campaign in which many of the questions that voters had in the closing days centered on concerns that they had over his state of preparedness to be commander in chief and steward of the economy, he has chosen instead of addressing those issues to attack Senator Clinton," Wolfson told reporters in a conference call. "I for one do not believe that imitating Ken Starr is the way to win a Democratic primary election for president."
I give Wolfson a hand pound for his statement, it was a very nice tie in, especially considering what I just said about Obama wanting Clinton to release her taxes, that has no real reasoning for actually being involved in this campaign... exactly what Wolfson just said.
On the other side of the fight they are also throwing insults out, an aide to Obama who was giving an interview to The Scotsman, a Scottish Newspaper if you were wondering, her tongue a bit more forked:
"Ms. Power told The Scotsman Mrs. Clinton was stopping at nothing to try to seize the lead from Mr. Obama. 'We f***** up in Ohio,' she admitted. 'In Ohio, they are obsessed and Hillary is going to town on it, because she knows Ohio's the only place they can win.
" 'She is a monster, too - that is off the record - she is stooping to anything," Ms. Power said, hastily trying to withdraw her remark. 'Interestingly, the people in her innermost circle seem to not mind her; I think they really love her.' But she added: 'There is this middle circle - they are really on the warpath. But the truth is she has proved herself really willing to stoop.' "
I also give Samantha Power, an Obama foreign policy aide, because its hard to argue with that, Clinton threw the kitchen sink at Obama in the last 3 days, from the ads to mocking him to running with all his bad stories. (Rezko, NAFTA snafu) That could get you labeled a monster, no? Powers apologized earlier this morning saying that that’s now how she personally felt... even though SHE said it. Clinton supporters are pushing for Powers to be fired. (UPDATE Samantha Powers has resigned)
So the campaigns are getting pretty heavy in this post March 4th world and I wouldn't be surprised to see it go on for a long time.
Virginia Is For Lovers But Pennsylvania Has Intercourse... And Long Campaigning
A quick look at the polls shows that Hillary is still ahead in PA, the newest Rasmussen poll shows Clinton with a 15-point advantage. It appears that Clinton has received a "bump" due to her success in Texas and Ohio. A poll taken at the end of February had Obama within 6 points. The Clinton people see Pennsylvania as an Ohio twin. Lots of blue-collar workers, as Chris Matthews always likes to say "meat and potatoes Democrats" that is Clinton's wheelhouse. Obama will have to work here in order to win this state, the demographics aren't in his favor that much except that there are not that many Hispanics here, who vote basically 2-1 for Clinton everywhere. Obama will get his time though, the Keystone State votes on April 22nd 46 days away.
What everyone is really concerned about is the length of this race; no one wants to see this campaign last all the way to August 25th, the 1st day of the Democratic Convention. Robert Novak speaks on this subject in his latest column, here’s an excerpt:
Clinton's decisive victory in Ohio and unexpected narrow win in Texas coincided with Obama facing adversity for the first time in his magical candidacy, and not handling it well. The result is not only the prospect of seven weeks of fierce campaigning stretching out to the next primary showdown April 22 in Pennsylvania, but also perhaps what Democratic leaders feared but never really thought possible until now: a contested national convention in August.
As of right now Obama still has the delegate lead, has won more states, and has the popular vote. All of those are good to have when going into the convention; the only question is whether he can hold on to any of those things. It looks like it will be very hard for Hillary to take the delegate lead but she can certainly close the gap to within 10 or 20. The popular vote could also swing the other way and if both of those things happen it would probably be because Hillary beat Obama in the last few big delegate rich states: PA, NC, even Puerto Rico has 55, that’s more that RI, VT, MS. Etc. On top of that Howard Dean, chairman of the DNC, has said he would be for Michigan and Florida having “do-overs” whether by primary or caucus which puts those 156 delegates in Michigan and 210 in Florida back into play and would put the magic number from 2025 to 2208 or some odd number like that, now if they are caucuses held that would seem to favor Obama since he as won all but 1 of those so far, a plus for the states and the DNC is that caucuses are free, primaries on the other hand could cost as much as $25 Million dollars. The states and the DNC will definitely argue about who would pay for a primary.