Tales from the Trail
CHICAGO – As Barack Obama celebrated his compelling win in North Carolina and the unexpected closeness of the Indiana race on Tuesday night, his senior strategist said one of the campaign’s top tasks now is to court influential Democratic Party figures.
The Democratic senator from Illinois was seen as showing resilience after a bumpy ride in which he has struggled with questions about his former pastor’s fiery sermons and efforts by Clinton to paint him as an “out of touch” elitist.
Analysts said his rival Hillary Clinton, who won only narrowly in Indiana where she had been favored to do well, was likely to face increased pressure to exit the race because her showing did little to advance her argument that she would be more electable than Obama in a matchup against Republican Sen. John McCain.
Asked by reporters whether there would be a slew of new endorsements from the party stalwarts and officials known as the “superdelegates,” Obama’s chief strategist, David Axelrod, was careful not to reveal too much.
“We’re going to be reaching out to them,” Axelrod told reporters as Obama, who would be the first black U.S. president, flew back home to Chicago from his evening rally in North Carolina.
The Obama strategist said the message in these conversations would be a simple one: “Read the newspapers.”
WASHINGTON – Remember John Edwards?
He ran a spirited campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination, never caught much fire and dropped out of the race about, oh, it feels like 10 years ago (actually it was January).
The former North Carolina senator has kept a low profile ever since and has resisted entreaties from the remaining Democrats, Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, for his endorsement.
And he is still resisting, as voters cast ballots on Tuesday in his home state’s Democratic primary election, according to People Magazine, which tracked down Edwards and his wife, Elizabeth.
Edwards, who was John Kerry’s vice presidential running mate in 2004, told People he likes Clinton’s “tenacity” but sees “a lot of the old politics” in her.
He likes Obama, too, but “sometimes I want to see more substance under the rhetoric.”
Bottom line, according to People, rather than endorse one or the other, Edwards and his wife will save their political capital for causes such as fighting poverty and improving U.S. health care.
INDIANAPOLIS – Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, seeking to erode rival Hillary Clinton’s edge with blue-collar workers, made a personal pitch for their support on the eve of Tuesday’s Indiana and North Carolina primaries.
DURHAM, N.C. – Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama took aim on Monday at his rival Hillary Clinton’s argument that he is less electable than her given his recent series of troubles and because he has not been fully “vetted.”
INDIANAPOLIS – A brief disclaimer at the top of the show was not enough to keep ABC moderator George Stephanopoulos from becoming part of the story on Sunday during his interview with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.