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McCain Clinches, Clinton Eyes Pennsylvania

By Kevin Robinson in News on Mar 5, 2008 3:54PM

Yesterday's primaries in Ohio, Texas, Vermont and Rhode Island saw John McCain assume the mantle of the Republican presidential nominee, with commanding victories in all but Texas, and Mike Huckabee's announcement that he's withdrawing from the race. "It's now important that we turn our attention not to what could have been or what we wanted to have been, but now what must be -- and that is a united party," Huckabee told told supporters in Dallas. After it became clear that McCain would sweep all four races, Barack Obama called McCain to congratulate him on winning the nomination, adding that he was looking forward to facing the Arizona senator in the general election.


Obama carried Vermont easily, but Hillary Clinton was the big winner last night, taking Ohio by a relatively large margin, and winning Rhode Island outright by nearly 20 points. And Clinton's win in Texas, while close, was key last night, too. To Democrats, who can taste the White House this year, winning in a state like Texas matters, math be damned. In her victory speech to supporters in Columbus, Ohio, Clinton made it clear that she was staying the race. "For everyone here in Ohio and across America who's been ever been counted out but refused to be knocked out, for everyone who has stumbled but stood right back up, and for everyone who works hard and never gives up - this one is for you," Clinton said. Wyoming and Mississippi vote next, and Obama has the advantage in both states. The Keystone State weighs in April 22, a good six weeks out.

Clinton now has the next seven weeks to make up for the time - and elections - she's lost since February. She'll push harder to have her delegates from Florida and Michigan seated at the convention. And her attacks on Obama - which have worked so far - will intensify. In the final days leading up to yesterday's vote Clinton regained some control over the campaign narrative in the media. If she can hold on to that, and if she can convince party leaders and superdelegates that Obama is untested, inexperienced and unfit to lead, she can make up her delegate deficit. Big ifs, but not impossible.

Image via Hillary Clinton